Wednesday, February 21Food Security Matters

Turmeric Farming: How to Pant and Grow Kalawag

If you are here because you want to learn about turmeric farming and production, you have come to the right place.

Are you a fan of cooking with exotic spices? Look no further than turmeric, the golden spice known for its anti-inflammatory properties and vibrant color. Growing your turmeric is easier than you might think, and can provide an abundant harvest that will last all year long. In this post, we’ll share our top tips for planting and growing turmeric successfully so you can add some spice to your garden (and your kitchen)!

turmeric-farming
Turmeric (Kalawag)

Turmeric is a flowering plant in the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. The plant is native to tropical South Asia and requires warm temperatures and lots of moisture to thrive. Turmeric is a popular spice and can be used fresh or dried. The fresh root has a bright orange-yellow color and a slightly bitter taste. When dried, it becomes a deep yellow powder with a milder flavor.

Turmeric farming is not difficult, but there are a few things to keep in mind for a successful harvest. First, the soil should be rich in organic matter and well-drained. Turmeric prefers a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Second, turmeric plants need full sun exposure and should be planted in an area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Third, regular watering is essential, as the roots will rot if allowed to dry out completely. Fourth, when the rhizomes (root stalks) are mature, they can be harvested and used fresh or dried.

If you’re interested in growing your turmeric, follow these tips for a successful harvest!

Climate and Soil Needed for Turmeric Farming

Turmeric is a tropical plant that requires a warm, humid climate and well-drained soil. It prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade. The soil should be rich in organic matter and high in nitrogen. A pH of 6.0 to 7.0 is ideal. Turmeric is usually planted in the spring or fall.

To ensure a successful harvest, it is important to provide turmeric with the proper climate and soil conditions. Turmeric requires a warm, humid climate and well-drained soil. It prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade. The soil should be rich in organic matter and high in nitrogen. A pH of 6.0 to 7.0 is ideal. Turmeric is usually planted in the spring or fall. By following these tips, you can provide your turmeric plant with the best chance for a bountiful harvest.

Preparing the Soil and Planting Tips for Turmeric Farming

Turmeric is a tropical plant and does best in warm, humid conditions. If you live in an area with cold winters, it’s best to grow turmeric indoors.

To prepare the soil for planting, mix in some organic matter such as compost or manure. Turmeric like well-drained soil that is rich in nutrients.

Plant the turmeric rhizomes (root stalks) about 4-6 inches apart, with the pointed end up. Cover with 1-2 inches of soil. Water well and keep the soil moist until the plants are established.

Once the plants are a few inches tall, you can begin harvesting the leaves for use in cooking. To harvest the roots, wait until the plants die back at the end of the growing season. Carefully dig up the roots and dry them for use as a powder or fresh ginger root.

Harvesting, Processing, and Storing Turmeric

1. Harvesting

Turmeric is typically harvested after 9-10 months of growth. The ideal time to harvest is when the leaves start to yellow and die back. To harvest, cut the stems about 2 inches above the ground. Be sure to wear gloves when handling fresh turmeric, as it can stain your hands and clothing.

2. Processing

After harvesting, the turmeric root needs to be cleaned and dried before it can be used. To clean, scrape off any dirt with a knife or brush. Then, cut the root into pieces and rinse well under running water. To dry, spread the pieces out on a clean towel or drying rack in a well-ventilated area and allow them to air dry for 1-2 days. Once completely dry, the turmeric can be stored whole or ground into powder form.

3. Storing

To store whole turmeric roots, wrap them in a paper towel or muslin cloth and place them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. They will keep fresh for up to 6 months this way. If you choose to grind your turmeric powder, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place as well. It will retain its potency for 3-4 months stored this way.

Some Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is an amazing spice with many health benefits. Here are some of the top health benefits of turmeric:

1. Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory. This means it can help reduce inflammation throughout the body, including in the joints and muscles.

2. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to disease and premature aging.

3. Turmeric has been shown to improve brain function. Studies have shown that it can help improve memory and cognitive function in adults.

4. Turmeric may help prevent cancer. Some studies have shown that it can help kill cancer cells or stop them from growing.

5. Turmeric can help improve digestion and gut health. It is a natural digestive aid and can also help increase good bacteria in the gut, which is important for overall health.

Uses of Turmeric

Turmeric is most commonly used as a spice, added to dishes for its distinctively earthy, slightly bitter flavor. It is also used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda for its medicinal properties. Turmeric is thought to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and is effective in treating various conditions like arthritis, indigestion, and skin conditions.

Questions Related to Turmeric Farming

How long does it take to grow turmeric?

Depending upon the variety, the crop becomes ready for harvest in 7-9 months after planting during January-March. Early varieties mature in 7-8 months, medium varieties in 8-9 months and late varieties after 9 months.

Can turmeric grow in the Philippines?

Turmeric or ‘Luyang Dilaw,’ is a plant belonging to the ginger family. It is commonly used as a spice for various food products and as a source of curcumin for medicinal purposes. The plant is extensively grown in multiple parts of Asia such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and India.

How profitable is turmeric?

Turmeric farming is highly profitable in the Philippines, especially for those who produce turmeric powder.

Can turmeric grow anywhere?

Although turmeric and ginger are tropical plants, they grow well in part-shade. In cooler climates, you can grow ginger and turmeric in full sun. Fertilize once a month with additional compost or other organic fertilizer. Cover rhizomes when they begin to show above the surface of the soil.

What is the lifespan of turmeric?

Fresh turmeric will last 6-9 months in the freezer, but store the powder in a dark cupboard and it’ll last you 3-4 years, maybe even a longer amount of time.

What is the best climate to grow turmeric?

It requires well-drained soil, a frost-free climate, and 1000 to 2000mm of rain annually or supplementary irrigation. It thrives best on loamy or alluvial fertile soils and cannot stand waterlogging. Heavy shade will reduce the yield but light shade is beneficial.

What is turmeric called in the Philippines?

In the Philippines, Turmeric is called “Luyang Dilaw or Dulaw” in Tagalog, and Calawag or Kalawag in Hiligaynon (Ilonggo). It is widely used in many aspects of cooking and as a traditional medicine.

Does turmeric need full sun?

Turmeric likes the sun but is a little sensitive to scorching. It will grow well in full sun to partial shade but will benefit from some afternoon shade in the hottest climates (when over 90 degrees).

Conclusion

Planting and growing turmeric can be an enjoyable experience. By following the right steps, you can increase your chances of a successful harvest. Choose healthy rhizomes to plant, provide plenty of drainage and water regularly, keep plants in warm temperatures, and fertilize when necessary. With patience and dedication, you should have an abundant supply of fresh turmeric that will make every dish even more delicious!

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