This blog post is on growing and harvesting turmeric at home. It is a tuber commonly use as a spice ingredient in Asian curries and cooking. Easily grown in warm tropical climate but some challenge to grow in temperate climate like the UK. The tuber is edible from leaves to its roots. Many cooks grow turmeric for its leaves as it is impossible to find it in Asian grocers here in the UK. It’s is possible to root a supermarket or shop bought turmeric.
Turmeric yields strong bright vibrant yellow color. I have written a blog post about fabric dyeing with turmeric but the color is not lasting. However, when using as a cooking ingredient it yields nice strong yellow colour. It is possible to use turmeric powder but it is not the same as using fresh turmeric. Turmeric has got some strong anti-oxidant and anti inflammatory properties and now it’s making waves in supermarkets and shops as an ingredient. It is now not only use as a spice ingredient but also in yogurts, scrambled eggs, smoothies and many others. Turmeric has got a strong earthy and bitter flavor. It tends to go well with orange colour food like butternut squash.
Growing and harvesting turmeric
To get growing with turmeric the easiest way is to get hold of some turmeric tuber. I got mine online from Ocado and they germinate fairly easily. Funny enough I didn’t have much success in germinating the Asian supermarket-bought ones. In order to encourage germination put the tubers in some compost, cover it or leave it in a propagator. It is also possible to germinate it in a warm cupboard. Like how potatoes germinate.
Once it is germinated, leave it in sunny spot indoors or a heated greenhouse in the winter or early spring time. Plant out only when the outdoor night temperatures is warm like at least constant 8 degrees every night. It is failr disease free. I had some issues with whitefly but once left outside the probelm seems to settle down.
So far I am only growing for the leaves, not for the tubers. To grow for tubers it needs a long grow and warm growing season. I believe with regular feeding with some tomato feed given the right condition it will produce some tubers.