turmeric | tumeric

We have been growing turmeric (Curcuma longa) in our zone 9b garden for several years.

Turmeric is super easy to grow, but it does require some patience. It is best to allow the plant 2 years to spread after planting it.

Turmeric on a turmeric leaf

how to grow turmeric

  • Turmeric is grown by rhizomes, not seeds. You can buy turmeric rhizomes online or you can plant what you find for sale at the grocery store.
  • Growing conditions: Turmeric is tropical plant (zone 8 and higher). It grows in many different conditions around our property – we have it in full sun and shade, dry soil and low-lying wet soil, and in pots. They seem to look their best in partial shade in super healthy soil (the lower-lying spots).
  • Grow in the ground: When planting in the ground, make sure it is well draining soil without any rocks or tree roots that will prevent the rhizomes from spreading.
  • Grow in growbags: I bought this 5 pack of growbags and have been quite pleased with them. Fill them with healthy soil, keep adding layers of organic matter to the top (leaves, mulch, chop & drop). Because the soil is so much looser, it tends to grow better in containers.
  • I suggest never using chemical fertilizer, just keep building up your soil over time with chop and drop. It will get there, eventually.
  • We plant it right when the weather starts warming up for winter, usually in February, and begin harvesting it at the end of the year – it mkaes good Christmas presents.

when to harvest turmeric

After planting, it takes a few weeks for leaves to sprout, and about 8-10 months to be ready for harvest.

When the leaves turn yellow and start to die back, it is time to harvest. I cut the brown leaves up into smaller pieces, and throw them back on the soil to serve as mulch.

Leave some of the rhizomes in the ground, harvest some for cooking or nutritional supplements, and move some to a different spot in your yard for an endless supply of turmeric.

what to do with your harvest

After harvesting, I like to rinse it, scrub it lightly with a toothbrush, then let it dry on a towel.

  • I cook and use turmeric just like I use garlic. I use my Ninja food processor with the blade to chop the turmeric into little pieces, and I cook it alongside chicken, in rice, tacos, veggies, noodles and more.
  • To make turmeric powder, peel the skin, cut into small chunks and dry in the sun or a dehydrator until brownish and dry. Then grind in a spice grinder. I use my Ninja for this too, it just doesn’t always come out finely ground, so I have to strain it, then run it through again. If fully dry, it should last for several months.
  • Turmeric will start to look bad after 2 weeks, I store extras in the freezer in a Ziploc bag with a paper towel.
  • Store whole in the fridge in an airtight container