Sunday, May 1, 2011

Shade for Turmeric in Hot Weather (Companion Planting)

Growing turmeric in temperate (Mediteranean) climate is not easy if you don't have a greenhouse like us. Turmeric needs 7~9months to grow in warm weather to produce good decent roots to harvest. Only one plant gave us a small harvest when it died last winter. I am trying again to grow turmeric this year by not repeating mistakes we did previous year in Adelaide. During warm season, turmeric prefer to grow in partial shade. Growth of turmeric will be stunted or the plants died after several days of receiving harsh light from the sun during Adelaide summer. Turmeric grows wild in the dense South-East Asia tropical forest under big trees which shows having a character of thriving in partial shade. Turmeric relies on other big plant to provide some shade.
Have you ever wonder when you have limited space what you can grow under the trellis? Many root crops like carrot, turnip or garlic need full sun to grow fat roots but turmeric is one of the exception. In our garden, under bittergourd and bean plants, turmeric managed to grow well during summer. I also found many turmeric that come out from compost which is growing under tomatoes and peppers. These turmeric plants grow very fast in the shadow of these two plants compared to turmeric plants that received full sun in summer. Turmeric is said to repel black ants. Black ants can host aphids which usually like to attack tomato, eggplants and pepper plants. Turmeric can be good companion for eggplants, peppers and tomatoes to reduce pest attack and these plants provide some shade for turmeric.
In winter, turmeric might need more sun for warmth. I will moved this container that have two turmeric plants near our house brick wall to reflect some heat during the night which recieved full morning sun. Last year, the last growing turmeric (dormant) survived until middle of winter in the open garden.
What is "Companion Week" and Seed Give-Away visit this post for more information.
Thank you for linking.


Mark Willis said...

I've never seen Turmeric growing before. It looks like Ginger, but then I suppose it is realted, isn't it? Nice that it will tolerate shade when most things want the full sun.

Sue Garrett said...

No chance growing tumerc here. I suppose you harvest and grind the seeds.

Daphne Gould said...

I would never be able to grow that here, but I am trying cumin. That too might need a longer summer than I have, but some people have had success.

Mr. H. said...

Like Mark, I have never seen tumeric growing either. We sure do like using the spice though. Yours looks to be growing quite well.

tina said...

I wish you lots of luck with the turmeric. Sounds like you have a good plan. I've never tried to grow it before so it is most interesting to me how to do it.

fer said...

I posted your link on twitter, I hope you don't mind. You have a lot of great advice on companion planting!

Rosie Gan said...

Thanks for the information. I have a black ants infestation 'party'in my garden now due to the rose apples' fruiting.I should start planting tumeric. Hope it doesn't take too long to grow.
Have a peek at my new meme MISSION QUITE POSSIBLE. Hope you join in.

almutarjimah said...

For some unknown reason I always confused between turmeric and ginger plant :p My mom grow her's under the sun but luckily our house surrounded with 'wetland'.

littlekarstar said...

Hi D!! Mine grow under the shade of masses of parsley! Not sure when to harvest?! Will post a pic and you can tell me if it's ready!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Mark~ Ginger and turmeric are related and they have similar growing requirement.

Sue~ I am one of those lazy gardener, I usually freeze the root and leaves.

Daphne~ I think it is possible nowadays to grow anything if one is determined and provide the basic things the plants need.

Mr. H~ I am growing turmeric for the leaves as well, smell so nice if you grill fish with tumeric leaves.

Tina~Turmeric does not need much attention to grow that sometime I totally forgot about them.

Fer~You are welcome. Thanks! I hope I have some free time to add a button for this recent companion planting on the side bar.

Rosie~You can counter the problem now by just using turmeric powder to block the ant pathways to your tree! This is much faster while waiting for the turmeric to grow.

almutarjimah~My sisters still don't know to differentiate them either. Me too, before I become very interested in gardening.

Mrs Bok~ I am not an expert but I can have a look;-).

Malar said...

That's healthy Tumeric plant! Mine too growing happily below the shade... just partial sun light!
You have good advcie on companion planting!

Hughbert said...

My turmeric also grew quite well this summer but I am wondering what to do with it now, whether to try to harvest, or try to overwinter. Ideally I'd like to leave it for another season before I harvest, to grow some more. I know the stems will die down but presumably it will start up again next season. Advice seems to be to harvest it and then re-plant next season, but if it is going to need that sort of effort every year I might just forget about it :-)

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Malar~ My turmeric is not as green as the ones grown in tropics. But I hope it will stay a little bit more happy as the weather gets cold. I don't think it will flower like yours.

Hughbert~I still have not decide what to do with our turmeric too. I am just worried if I left it on the ground and we have really rainy season the roots will rot.But I might leave it at least until June. We used the leaves for cooking as well but I don't dare to snip too much becuase I might get fewer rhizomes.

Hughbert said...

OK, well I'm gonna leave mine in the ground, if you want to do an experiment... :-) we can compare notes in Spring!

Anonymous said...

I would love to be able to grow turmeric. I would have to do it as a houseplant.

P.S. I just spent 10 minutes trying to figure out where the wind chime sound was coming from. I eventually discovered that it was your web page, but it was quite a journey to figure out.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Hughbert~ I dug in around some of our turmeric. It does not grow much rhizome compared with the previous summer. It can be due to the cool summer that we had. Since the previous one was really hot.

jimmycrackedcorn~It is very challenging for us to grow turmeric without a greenhouse. But we used the leaves as well. But it is fun to try growing them. You are not the only one to figure out where did the sound of wind chime came from :).