Connected to the zingiberaceae family, turmeric is the name given to a tropical plant native to India and South East Asia. This term is used more in cooking than in the gardening world. And for good reason, the rhizome of this aromatic plant is at the origin of the spice of the same name. The perennial herb arrived in France in the historical period relating to the conquest of Gaul. The spice is nicknamed the Saffron of India because of its origin.
To evolve in a good environment, turmeric needs: - A rich, fresh and draining vegetable soil. - A light exhibition sheltered from the winds. The plant does not appreciate direct contact with the sun. - Depth: 6 cm. - Planting is done in February. The period can extend until May. Flowering takes place in summer from June to September. It can be grown in the ground as well as in pots. You have to wait three good years before seeing the first two-colored inflorescences appear (green and white). Its peculiarity being that with good growing conditions, the perennial plant can flower twice a year. In the event that you wish to cultivate turmeric in a pot, you will need sandy soil.
Maintenance is relatively simple. For it to evolve in good conditions, it is necessary: - To make sure that the substrate is correctly humidified during the growing season which takes place from March to September. - Make sure that the leaves do not dehydrate. Spray rainwater on the leaves. - Ensure that the plant does not lack phosphorus by providing it with a liquid fertilizer once a month during the flowering period. - Remove dead leaves and dried stems. After the growing season, the plant no longer needs watering. If you grow them in pots, don't forget to change the soil as soon as spring arrives.
The best technique for reproducing the plant is division. The rhizome is divided during the spring period. It takes a good three years before turmeric blossoms.
Rhizomes are only harvested from turmeric domestica. Harvesting takes place as soon as the leaves dry. To harvest the spice contained in the rhizome, you must: - Boil the rhizomes. - Carefully remove the skin from the rhizomes. - Place the bare rhizomes in a container. - Dry by exposing to the sun. When the rhizomes are dry, it is easier to grind them.
Diseases and parasites of turmeric
Turmeric is a hardy plant that is not prone to disease or pests. However, red spider bites may appear on the foliage. With this in mind, spray fermented nettle liquid as a prevention. In terms of diseases, we only know one; rhizome rot. Decay occurs when the plant is flooded with water. It therefore suffices to have a draining soil to ward off this scourge.
Uses of Turmeric
It can be used as an ornamental plant or cultivated for its aromatic and ayurvedic virtues. It is the rhizome of turmeric domestica which is used in kitchens. Turmeric powder accompanies rice, enhances meats and fish and gives flavor to dairy desserts. It is also an officinal spice known for its digestive and anti-inflammatory properties.