days to maturity: 8-10 months
plant spacing: 2 per square foot
sunlight requirements: 6-10 hours
look out for: needs very compost rich soil
harvest notes: harvest turmeric rhizomes in spring after plant dies back
Turmeric is a super cool spice that can easily be grown in the South Florida home garden. Like ginger and galangal, turmeric is a prolific root crop grown under a beautiful waxy leafed tropical plant. Plants require fertile soil and can handle partial shade or full sun. This crop is traditionally grown from spring to spring and it does most of its leafy growth during the rainy humid summers, and then the top of the plant will die off and it will focus its energy on growing rhizomes through the dry winter months. Side dressing through the season with new compost is recommended, and if you need access to turmeric before “harvest time” just push the soil around and grab yourself a chunk of rhizome, no need to harvest the whole plant at once. Turmeric is used as a dried powder in many Indian dishes and used as a fresh root in juices and tonics. Turmeric is considered a superfood as the active compound curcumin is believed to have a wide range of biological effects including anti- inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-tumor, antibacterial, and antiviral.