Northern Queensland Permaculture

Revolution disguised as gardening

Tumeric

Botanical Information

Botanical Information
Order Zingiberales
Family Zingiberaceae
Genus Curcuma
Common Name Tumeric
Species C. longa

Maturity days

  • 210

Planting Months

Planting months
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
X X X X X X X X X

Permaculture uses

Permaculture uses
Usage 1 Usage 2 Usage 3
Ground_cover Herb

Growing condition comments

Growing Condition Comment
Drought Tolerant
Humidity tolerant Yes
Planting area Garden_bed
Sunlight Full_sun

Photos

Photos
wiki

Short comments

Produces edible rizomes, often turned into powder. Strong aroma

General comments

Turmeric is native to the monsoon forests of south east Asia. It is a perennial herb to 1m tall with underground rhizomes. It produces tall, very beautiful, white flower spikes, if clumps are left undisturbed for a year. The flower is so attractive that it is worth growing for this alone. It requires a well-drained soil, 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.

The harvested rhizomes are boiled and sun-dried for 7-8 days but can be used fresh. It is also used as a yellow food dye, replacing tetrazine. Leaves wrapped around fish flavour it during cooking. In Indonesia, the young shoots and rhizome tips are eaten raw. Plant turmeric in September or October, into a warm soil. The rhizomes should be planted 5-7 cm deep. It is often planted on ridges, usually about 30-45 cm apart and with 15-30 cm between plants. The crop is planted by setts (small rhizomes) with one or two buds.

Like all herbaceous perennials clumps of turmeric need to be broken up and fresh pieces planted every 3 to 4 years. Rhizomes are harvested 9 to 10 months after planting, the lower leaves turning yellow or stems drying and falling over are indications of maturity.

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