How to Grow Turmeric & Where to Get Fresh Turmeric Root in Florida

Growing Turmeric

There are many reasons, why you should grow Turmeric in your garden. It can be a bit intimidating at first, but once you try it, you'll want to grow more, which is why we've put together this post about about how to grow turmeric in your garden. 

Benefits of Growing Turmeric

  • The flowers are stunning
  • Turmeric is good for areas of your garden that gets little sun.
  • Turmeric offers numerous health benefits, so much that we know of several people, who buy turmeric capsules against arthritis-type pains and aches after injuries. 
  • Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Turmeric has antioxidant properties. 
  • It is easy to grow and needs little maintenance throughout the year. 
  • It is a great container plant.
  • If you use turmeric in your cooking, growing your own turmeric helps you control that no pesticides have been used in the process.
  • Turmeric and turmeric powder are usually imported, grow your own turmeric and save on your carbon footprint.
  • It can be difficult to find fresh turmeric in the store, so growing your own turmeric makes it easily accessible.

Turmeric bloom
Turmeric bloom

Our family began growing turmeric, because we use it a lot in our cooking. With Indian and Jamaican roots, turmeric powder is a staple in our spice cabinet, but we also try to add it to other dishes (and even to our dog's food), because of the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric. You can read more about the health benefits of turmeric here. 

How to Grow Turmeric
Planting turmeric root

How to Grow Turmeric 

  1. Get fresh turmeric root
  2. Divide the turmeric into smaller pieces, so that each piece has at least one node.
  3. We recommend growing turmeric in a large pot for easier harvest, but you can grow turmeric in a shallow container as long as there is room to grow.
  4. Fill a large pot with branches, woodchips and leaves at the bottom, then top off with compost and good soil.
  5. If you grow turmeric in the ground, make sure the soil is loose.
  6. Place the turmeric root, so that each piece has as least at least 2 - 3 inches of growing space.
  7. If you live in growing zone 8 - 11, you can leave your turmeric outside year round. 
  8. If you live in growing zone 7 or below, make sure to harvest all of your turmeric root before the first frost. Or simply move your pot indoors during the months with frost.
  9. Turmeric root takes about 7 - 10 months to develop, so make sure to start as soon as soon in the season as possible.

We found fresh turmeric root from Frogsong Organics at the St. Augustine farmer's market at the Amp, but if you're looking for more varieties you can find turmeric root at the Patel Brothers Indian store in Jacksonville (and other places in Florida). Indian stores are great places to find things such as turmeric root, pigeon peas and more.

Turmeric roots do not grow deep, so you can use a shallow container or plant it directly in the ground as long as you make sure the soil is loose.

Turmeric grown in full morning sun
Turmeric grown in full morning sun

This year we had two large pots with turmeric root. One was in shade most of the day with some dabbled morning light, and the other got full morning light until about 11 a.m.

The results were very different, as the turmeric root with more morning light did tremendously better than the turmeric with only dabbled light.

Growing Turmeric root
Growing Turmeric root
The turmeric on the left were grown in mostly shade with dabbled morning light, while the turmeric root on the right received full morning sun and indirect light until 3 pm.

How To Harvest Turmeric 

  1. When the leaves begin to turn yellow in the fall, it is a sign that it is time to harvest turmeric. 
  2. We waited until the end of November this year (growing zone 9b), and we are very satisfied with the results.
  3. We cut down the leaves leaving enough stem to see where the plants had grown.
  4. The edible leaves were fed to the chickens.
  5. We then grabbed the remaining stems and pulled the attached turmeric root up shaking off any dirt.
  6. We broke off most of the turmeric roots, leaving a piece with several nodes to return to the planter.
  7. We then added new leaves and compost to the pots before replanting the turmeric root with stems, and we added a few more pieces.
  8. Cover with compost/soil, leaves and leave it until next spring, when new leaves will emerge.

We planted half of our turmeric harvest, so that we will get even more turmeric next year. 

Fresh turmeric root ground in food processor.
Fresh turmeric root ground in a food processor

We gave some away to friends, we used some of the turmeric to cook fresh for our curries, and some will be dried and chopped.

If you want to learn more about growing your own food in Northeast Florida, make sure to browse our website or check out the tabs in our sidebar for help. 


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