It is always a busy time of the year on the farm once June comes around. This is the time when we begin the long process of building our new ginseng fields. It takes us over two months to build all of our new gardens where we will seed our new ginseng at the end of the summer.
It is a very important decision when selecting the land on which to grow ginseng. Ginseng cannot be grown on the same ground twice, so once we harvest our ginseng we cannot plant ginseng there again. This means we are constantly looking for new farmland to grow our ginseng. The important thing when selecting ginseng ground is that we have sandy soil. Sandy soil allows for good water drainage out of the field, which helps with disease prevention.
Once we have our ground selected for the planting year we have to mark out the field. We mark out the coordinates where we place straws into the ground. These straws are reference points so we know exactly where to put our ginseng posts. Our ginseng fields are divided into rows that are twenty-four feet wide.
After our straws are placed into the ground, we are able to lay out our ginseng posts throughout the field and then install them into the ground. Once the ginseng posts are installed we are able to run out our cable wire. The cable wire runs on top of all the ginseng posts both length way and width way of the field. Having the cable wire installed will allow us to later install our shade cloth which is connected to the cable wire.
Shade cloth is required to prevent our ginseng plants from having direct sunlight. Ginseng requires constant shade because having direct sunlight would destroy the plants. Installing the shade cloth is not required until the following spring when the new ginseng plants will first germinate out of the ground. However, we like to stay ahead on all of our fields so we will often install our shade cloth later in the summer. Attached below is what a finished ginseng garden with shade cloth looks like.
We will continue working on building our new fields all throughout June and into July. The other thing that we will look forward to coming up in July is bailing season. We will harvest our rye crop and make straw bails out of them with our bailer. We will use these bails for our new ginseng fields later in the summer immediately after seeding.