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Monday, 19 December 2011

Growing turmeric

I have ordered five turmeric rhizomes on E-Bay. Turmeric is a perennial tropical plant of the ginger family and it's roots are used to produce turmeric powder. These roots are boiled, dried and ground up to produce the turmeric powder which is used as a spice in curries to add a lovely peppery taste and produce a deep yellow colour.

Turmeric is a very healthy addition to your diet as it contains iron, manganese, lowers cholesterol and has antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

From what I have read growing turmeric is relatively easy, provided the plants receive enough moisture until they are established, after which they are drought tolerant. The plants also appear to be able to cope with most soil types but prefer some shade but if grown in full sun will need to be kept constantly wet. Outside of tropical areas, the plants will need covering in the coldest months to avoid frost damage.

I will use a propagator to get the plants started before planting the rhizomes out in late February. The pleated leaves will apparently grow to about 120cm tall in ideal conditions and yellow flowers will emerge between the leaves in summer months.

If the plants are successful I will investigate the method for making turmeric powder. I do like a gardening challenge.

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