As vitamins, herbs, supplements, and general awareness in health has risen in recent years, so too has the desire for alternative medicine products. Ginseng is one such item, while standard multi-vitamins and other supplements are also popular on vitamin and supplement shelves. As the popularity of these products has risen, the demand has forced many growers to move their operations indoors, as well as turn their attention to maintaining growth in order to ensure optimal delivery numbers. Using climate control equipment to maintain temperature and humidity levels helps these growers throughout the process.
Growing Plants and Herbs Indoors
As with nearly any product grown indoors, emulating the outdoor environment is a struggle. While the benefit of growing indoors is avoiding sudden heat spikes, cold snaps, or severe weather, maintaining a consistent climate can be tricky. Most greenhouses and interior cultivation sites purchase and operate complex HVAC systems, monitoring and controlling temperature and humidity daily, hourly, and even by the minute. In addition, they also utilize irrigation and lighting that is designed to mimic ideal conditions.
Whether the products grown are edible food plants or ingestible herbs for health, the goal is always to create an ideal growing environment in a greenhouse or indoors. The issue that often arises is centered around spikes in climate, or humidity shifts during certain periods of a grow, even while growing plants indoors. When considering the challenges growing any products indoors, let’s consider ginseng. The seeds must remain moist and maintain a cool, steady temperature before they are planted. The ginseng plant can take years to grow (typically planted and grown outdoors in a shaded area but also indoors) but when harvested, the plant needs to be dried carefully at an ideal rate, so as not dry out the root but also dry enough of the plant and root to prevent mold. In these instances, many growers turn to the use of a temporary climate control system to deliver a specific climate.
Creating a Climate for Ginseng and Harvested Plants
When it comes to harvesting ginseng, the long haul is over after years of growth, and this is where many growers tread lightly. As stated, ginseng can take several years to grow, up to seven years in some cases. After waiting that long, growers don’t want to lose their product to mold, they don’t want to dry the roots too quickly, and they don’t want to produce an inferior product (knowledgeable buyers can tell when a plant has been dried quickly; looking at the root on the inside they will see slight coloration and a ring on the edge). In addition, there is a process to drying ginseng, arguably, the best method is hanging the plants individually.
Once the plants are hung they should remain in a shaded area with good air flow and a moderate level of humidity. Again, given the time committed to growing, harvesting, and now drying these plants, the final step is critical, and this is where a climate control system can help achieve the best results. Maintaining a specific level of humidity is easier said than done, especially in a large operation with many doors and/or several types of plants under one roof. A sectioned area to dry these plants may require a specific humidity level compared to other rooms. A temporary dehumidifier set to an alarm (or humidistat) that will engage when needed will help maintain an ideal drying chamber. Add some fans for air flow and the years of growing ginseng will certainly pay off when the roots are sold.
If you are a grower of ginseng, herbs or other products indoors and would like to know more about a temporary climate control system, contact your local Polygon representative for more information. https://www.polygongroup.com/en-US/contact-us/