How to Grow Turmeric in Australia

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Here are a few things you need to know about how to grow Turmeric

This article is about how to grow Turmeric. If you haven’t heard of Turmeric, you have probably been living under a rock for the last year or two, as it is the trendiest spice at the moment!
Previously known as the spice that turns Indian curries yellow, it is now sold for its health giving properties! It is sold as both a health supplement, and also as a food additive. In addition to this, its served in things like Turmeric latte’s.
It is closely related to ginger and galangal and has a similar pungent, peppery taste. It is grown for its root or tuber, which can be used either fresh or dried in cooking.

Turmeric is an attractive plant with wide, bright green leaves and beautiful flowers. The flowers look like they are made out of silk. Growing Turmeric is easy!

Turmeric is a tropical plant, that grows well in Brisbane and can be grown as far south as Melbourne with a bit of care. It is really easy to grow and is seldom bothered by insects or disease.
How to Grow Turmeric in Australia

turmeric plant

To grow your own Turmeric, all you need to do is get a piece of Turmeric root from your local market and plant it in a good quality potting mix. Keep it moist, but not wet in a warm, sheltered location protected from frosts and cold mornings.

I prefer to grow my Turmeric in a pot as it makes it easy to move around the garden and to harvest the corms. However, if you are going to grow Turmeric further south than the NSW central coast, or anywhere where you get cold winters, this becomes more of a necessity.

By growing your Turmeric in pots you can start growing it under shelter. Move it outside as the weather warms up.

I find mine does best with some shelter from the hot afternoon sun in summer. It takes about 8 months to grow a crop. This might seem a bit excessive but at $50 or more per kilo you soon see the benefits. Especially as you will probably find that it has pretty much filled the pot in this time!

To harvest your Turmeric, wait until the leaves have died down then dig up the plant. Pull the roots away from any stem that remains. Wash off the dirt and it’s ready to use.

How to grow Turmeric in Australi

Turmeric corm

When dealing with fresh Turmeric you need to use gloves, or you will have yellow-stained fingers for quite a few days. Turmeric adds a warm, earthy peppery flavour to many Indian and Asian recipes, especially when used fresh.

I usually grate mine and use in curries or stir-fries. Its also great in a Turmeric latte heated with almond milk and organic honey and then strained.

Otherwise, you can dehydrate thin slices in an oven or food dehydrator and then crush into a powder when dry.

If you are used to cooking with ground turmeric spice, take care when using it fresh as it is much stronger in taste and you will only need a small amount to really add its peppery zest to a meal. I find the fresh Turmeric a much nicer flavour than the dried powders.

Like many herbs and spices, Turmeric is being welcomed as a super-food and it seems that many of its claims are being supported by science. It is high in an anti-oxidant called curcumin, which is being promoted as having anti-inflammatory and even anti-cancer properties.

A number of the claims being backed up by science. These include it being very good for arthritis and joint pain, lowering the risk of heart disease and delaying age-related chronic diseases, as well as being helpful in the prevention and treatment of some cancers!

Some of the information that you read says that there may not enough of these health giving properties in the natural food, and that you have to take it as a supplement in order to get the benefits. However, it seems this is not completely true (surprise, surprise the supplements manufacturers aren’t telling us the full truth).

It has been used for thousands of years in Chinese and Indian medicine without needing to be concentrated, although research has shown that, when Turmeric is heated with fats and other spices, particularly black pepper its effectiveness is increased by up to 2000 percent.

So why not try to grow Turmeric today.

Happy gardening!

Rohanne, your Personal Garden Expert

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