Growing Turmeric from Seed to Harvest: A Detailed Planting Guide for Beginners

Growing Turmeric at home is surprisingly easy, and these beautiful plants thrive indoors or outdoors with minimal care. Turmeric is valued for its distinct taste, color, and medicinal value. Turmeric is easily propagated by dividing the fleshy root and planting these parts. Growing Turmeric is as easy as growing any other vegetable in your backyard.

Growing Turmeric from Seed to Harvest:
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An excellent single harvest may suffice Turmeric requirements for a year. However, turmeric is more expensive than its close relative, Ginger. There are also medicinal benefits as well as financial benefits of growing yourself. 

Growing Turmeric from seed to harvest

How long does it take Turmeric to harvest?

  • After watering for 6 to 10 months in a warm climate, your Turmeric will start sprouting. Once you see that a stalk starts sticking out of the planter or pot, it has started growing into a mature plant. Turmeric takes seven to 10 months from seed to harvest. It depends on its growing conditions, but your growing Turmeric crop is ready when you see the leaves and stem turn brown and dry. It’s not a sign of failed growth, and it’s a sign that your fresh Turmeric is ready for you.   
  • The lower leaves become yellow or stem dry, and falls indicate maturity. It is possible that home gardeners dig carefully on the edge of a clump and remove rhizomes as needed, rather than harvesting the entire clump.
  • In the middle of summer, dense spikes of clustered flowers grace the plant. These lightly scented flowers last for three weeks. Once the flowers are over, Turmeric becomes inactive. Therefore, heat-loving Turmeric is usually cultivated in nursery pots from rhizomes planted in early spring.
  • While you can grow Turmeric from roots purchased from a grocery store, it can be tricky because these Turmeric rhizomes may be treated with a growth inhibitor to prevent them from sprouting in the store.
  • Depending on the variety, the Turmeric crop is ready for harvesting 7 to 9 months after planting, from January to March. Early varieties mature at 7 to 8 months, medium varieties at 8 to 9 months, and late varieties after nine months.

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Turmeric
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What grows well with Turmeric?

  • Turmeric grows well with most plants, like the dappled light that grows under fruit trees, it also grows with Kaffir Lime, Chilies, Lemongrass, and Coriander. 
  • Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplant can all help provide the partial shade that Turmeric prefers when planting them under these plants. You can plant Turmeric and ginger on the ground, but it should be amended first if you have poor soil.

What is the best fertilizer for Turmeric?

  • Turmeric is a heavy feeder, so use an organic matter-rich soil mix with compost to start. Once Turmeric is actively growing, feeding throughout the season every few weeks. Worm castings, organic liquid fertilizer, granular organic fertilizer, or compost tea are good choices.
  • During the growing season, Turmeric requires 3 to 4 fertilizer applications. Apply 24 kg nitrogen and 16 kg potash per acre after 80 days of planting. You should apply the last dose of 20 kg nitrogen and 14 kg potash per acre 120 days after planting, followed by the crop’s eating up. You should complete fertilizer application within 120 days from the time of plantation.  

What does it mean when Turmeric flowers?

  • Turmeric is a perennial herb to 1 meter long with underground rhizomes. It produces long, very beautiful, white flower spikes if the clump is left undisturbed for a year. 
  • When Turmeric starts growing, the Turmeric plant will grow pleated leaves that will eventually become four-foot-long plumes. The green and white cones of yellow flowers will come out between the leaves in the summer. Once Turmeric blooms, cut it to the ground to encourage new growth. 
  • In the middle of summer, dense spikes of clustered flowers grace the plant. These lightly scented flowers last for three weeks. Once the flowers are over, Turmeric becomes inactive. Therefore, heat-loving Turmeric is usually cultivated in nursery pots from rhizomes planted in early spring.

How much water does a Turmeric plant need?

  • Water is required to keep the soil moist and misty if the air is dry. But, for the most part, Ginger and Turmeric plants are relatively carefree, with Ginger growing 2 to 3 feet in height and Turmeric 3 to 4 feet. As they mature, you’ll find a beautiful display of tropical leaves and maybe a flower.
  • Once you open a mini-greenhouse, you’ll need to start watering your Turmeric as required; keep the soil under the plant moist but not soggy, and mist the leaves with water once or twice a day to maintain moisture. Allowing the soil to dry at any time will reduce your final harvest. 
  • Water every two days; keeping the soil moist is the key to success, so ensure you don’t leave your Turmeric for too long between watering it. 
  • Turmeric is a perennial plant that prefers rich, moist soil in a safe, shaded position. It is drought and frost tender, so it will not tolerate drought or exposure to frosts.

What is the best soil to grow Turmeric? 

  • Although Turmeric can be grown on a wide variety of soils, it works best in well-drained sandy or clay loam soils with a pH range of 4.5 to 7.5 with good organic status.
  • Turmeric thrives best on loam or fertile alluvial soils and cannot withstand waterlogging. The heavy shade will reduce production, but the light shade is beneficial.  
  • The soil used for Turmeric cultivation should be rich and friable. Turmeric grows best in well-drained sandy or clay loam with slightly higher sand content. It grows on a wide variety of soils ranging from sandy loam, light black, and clay loam to red soil with a pH range of 4.5 to 7.5. 

In case you missed it: Best Fertilizer for Turmeric: Homemade, Liquid, Natural, NPK, and Compost Manure

Turmeric Powder
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How does Turmeric propagate?

  • Turmeric is easily propagated by dividing the fleshy root and planting these parts. Turmeric is conventionally spread through underground rhizomes. However, this process is limited to once a year because of the dormancy of buds. This is a very slow process; only 7 to 8 plants can be grown from one rhizome in a year. 
  • Turmeric doesn’t have the typical small seeds you imagine for most plants. The pieces of the root system called rhizomes are planted, resulting in larger rhizomes in the top leaves and the soil below. Those precious rhizomes are what we’re after when growing Turmeric. 

How do I know when to pick my Turmeric?

  • Your Turmeric crop is ready to be harvested when the leaves and stems brown and dry, about seven to ten months after planting. Cut the stems an inch or above from the mass of the rhizomes and wash the rhizomes thoroughly. 
  • The trick to successfully harvesting Turmeric is getting the timing right. If you harvest tubers too early, they won’t be big enough, but if you wait too long, they’ll become woody and fibrous. The best time for harvesting Turmeric is when the leaves turn yellow and the stems begin to dry. The Turmeric rhizome is relatively stable after harvesting and processing and can be stored for up to a year without refrigeration.

Can you grow Turmeric in pots?

  • Turmeric is easier to grow if you have a sunny space to place on a large pot or container. You should give it what it likes, and it will grow like an herb and reward you with a generous crop of attractive tropical leaves and fresh Turmeric. 
  • Turmeric will grow well in a pot and flower if taken care of well. As the plants grow, the rhizomes below will not only succeed but also multiply, increasing the number of plants yearly. 

How much Turmeric is produced per acre?

  • Turmeric is a tropical plant from India. Therefore, it is happiest when provided with enough sun, moderately hot temperatures, and regular water. 
  • The harvested rhizome is cleaned, and other external substances acting on them are cleaned. The average yield per acre is 8 to 10 tonnes of green Turmeric. The fingers are separated from the mother rhizomes. The mother rhizome is usually kept as seed material.

Does Turmeric like full sun?

  • Turmeric needs the sun but is a little sensitive to scorching. It will grow well to partial shade in full sunlight but will benefit from afternoon shade in the warmest climates. 
  • The heavy shade will reduce Turmeric production, but the light shade is beneficial. 

In case you missed it: Turmeric Planting Questions and Answers (FAQs)

Turmeric Leaf
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Do you soak Turmeric before planting?

  • Turmeric rhizomes are usually smaller than Ginger, so you may not need to break down your Turmeric into smaller pieces. You’ll want to make sure there are some knobs on each piece. You will soak your Turmeric pieces for a few hours before planting. You can soak Turmeric pieces overnight if you want. 
  • Next, cut your rhizome into parts with two or three buds on each section. Fill a 3-inch pot halfway with good potting clay. Keep the rhizome parts flat on the soil, and cover them with more potting soil. 

How do you winterize a Turmeric plant?

  • Turmeric is a perennial plant that prefers rich, moist soil in a safe, shady position. Turmeric is drought and frost tender, so it will not tolerate drought or exposure to frosts.
  • Turmeric and Ginger will naturally enter a dormant period in the winter months. During the dormant period, the leaves will turn yellow and die. Rhizomes that are covered with soil will survive.
  • During the winter, it is better to store the Turmeric tuber in a cool place. However, you don’t want tubers to go completely dry in overwinter, so sprinkle only a small splash of water in the sand/moss from time to time. For Turmeric in containers, you can stop watering the container once the leaves are yellow. 

What month Turmeric grows?

  • You should plant Turmeric in March or April for the best production quality. Put the roots in the soil and water the plant every two to three days. Rhizomes should be planted at a depth of 5 to 7 centimeters. It is often planted on ridges, usually at a distance of about 30 to 45 centimeters and 15 to 30 centimeters between plants. The crop is produced by a set (small rhizome) with one or two buds.
  • Turmeric grows like Ginger from the rhizome. The best season for planting Turmeric is spring or summer when the temperature starts to remain above 12°C, and the preferred temperature is 25 to 30°C.

In case you missed it: Growing Turmeric in Pots from Rhizomes, Seedlings

Turmeric Farming
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Why is my Turmeric not sprouting? 

  • If you have a dry area, it may be necessary to soak Turmeric in lukewarm water for an hour or more a week until it sprouts. This should not be necessary for most places with at least 50% ambient humidity.
  • Otherwise, rhizomes can rot before sprouting if the soil is too damp and cool. Start by leaving the Turmeric rhizomes in a hot sunny place for a few weeks. 
  • Rhizome takes two to four weeks to sprout. If Turmeric fails to do so, it may have been treated with a growth inhibitor or rotted in a container. In this case, replant with new rhizomes and fresh potting soil.
  • Cut or split your Turmeric rhizomes into 2 to 3 inches in size. You should be leaving them at room temperature for a day or two. You can soak them in hot water for an hour or two before planting them.

What conditions are best for growing Turmeric?

  • Turmeric can be grown in tropical conditions 1500 meters above sea level, at a temperature from 20 to 35°C, with an annual rainfall of 1500 millimeters or more, in rainfed or irrigated conditions. 
  • Turmeric requires well-drained soil, a frost-free climate, and 1,000 to 2,000 millimeters of rainfall or supplementary irrigation annually. Turmeric grows best on loamy or alluvial fertile lands and cannot withstand waterlogging. 

Can I grow Turmeric in a greenhouse?

  • You can grow Turmeric indoors. Two spices, Ginger and Turmeric, are easy to grow in containers and adapt well to stay inside even though they take advantage of time outdoors in the hot weather.
  • If it is too expensive for your budget, there’s good news for greenhouse owners as they can easily grow Turmeric even in the northern climate. However, it takes about seven to nine months, depending on the greenhouse’s temperature.

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Turmeric Plant
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How deep do you plant Ginger or Turmeric?

  • To grow Turmeric, start by carefully cutting the Turmeric tuber so that one eye can be allocated per slice. Then place each piece in moist, pH-neutral potting soil using shallow, 8 to 12-inch pots to allow the tuber pieces to expand as they grow. You can initially place the potting soil in zippered plastic bags and start tuber pieces there, transferring them to pots when they have sprouted and the leaves begin to grow.
  • Plant the parts 2 to 4 inches deep and 6 inches apart with the eyes pointing upwards. Since Ginger and Turmeric are tropical plants, they prefer more moisture, higher temperatures, and bright shades.

Conclusion

Growing Turmeric at home is easy to develop a tropical plant without living in a tropical region. To grow your Turmeric, cultivate them annually, about eight to ten weeks before your last expected frost date. This timeframe gives you a head start on the growing season as it takes 200 to 300 days to fully mature. If they haven’t started sprouting, put them in a damp paper towel and on sunny windows inside a plastic bag so they can be started. 

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