Herbs forum: How do you harvest herb roots?

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Oct 28, 2015 1:14 PM CST
I grow many herbs that the primary part to be used is the root. I have not yet harvested any, and am looking for tips and tricks of how one goes about harvesting the roots but still keeping the plant. I assume one digs it up, chunks off however much seems reasonable, and then replants the remaining root? When is best time of year to do so? Then it seems it would take quite a long while for the root to dry enough to powder it. And how do you know its dry enough? And how do you powder it? Lots of questions, really hoping someone will chime in who has done some root harvesting and give me a step-by-step. I have marshmallow, valerian, and horseradish all healthy and mature enough to try (I think...)
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
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vic
Oct 28, 2015 1:41 PM CST
Deb, I would be interested as well. I'm googling your info but not getting what I want. Stay tuned..I'll keep trying.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
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Mindy03
Oct 28, 2015 2:11 PM CST
Best time to harvest roots is in the fall. That is when they store nutrients for winter.
If the Plant is perennial you can harvest by dividing them leaving 3-4 young roots.
If you just need a little bit you can carefully dig a section up and harvest what you need.
You can dry them whole or slice them first.
To powder them i use my blender doing a little at a time.
[Last edited by Mindy03 - Oct 28, 2015 3:13 PM (+)]
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Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I sent a postcard to Randy! Region: United States of America
Purslane Garden Art Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: North Carolina Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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vic
Oct 28, 2015 2:42 PM CST
Thank you Margaret Thumbs up
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
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Trish
Oct 28, 2015 3:21 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

That's how I did MarshMallow- just dug them up and let them dry in the attic area in the fall. I'll be doing Echinachea this year.
Those little Ninjas are awesome to grind!
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Oct 28, 2015 4:06 PM CST
Ninja being the blender? Or do the roots somehow look like ninjas?
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Delaware (Zone 7b)
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gardeningal
Oct 28, 2015 6:26 PM CST
I grew ginger for a while. I started with a plant from the community college that I attended for a while, while working for the landscaper/ professors' assistant there.
Yes, you dig it out of the ground, scrub it and cut it up. It has a spreading habit, so I kept mine in a pot. Kinda like the corms of an iris plant.
Follow Margaret's directions.
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
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Trish
Oct 28, 2015 7:01 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Sorry! Ninja the blender. This little one here is my new best friend for herbs and small things like flax:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HL3TBDQ?psc=1&redirect=t...
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Oct 28, 2015 7:06 PM CST
Looks quite similar to my mini-food processor, which is what I often use for mincing herbs and such. It only has the chop blade, but that seems to do the trick for most of my needs.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
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Trish
Oct 28, 2015 7:09 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Yes, I bet your food processor could do it as well. I didn't have one. I was using a coffee grinder for a long time for herbs, but it didn't quite cut it for roots, so when a child misplaced the lid Glare , I took the opportunity to get this. It's awesome.
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Oct 28, 2015 7:22 PM CST
I had a full size food processor, but loaned it to my son for making salsa...and haven't seen it since! He actually uses it more than I did, and it was a gift to me, so now a gift to him. Keeps the karma rolling.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Delaware (Zone 7b)
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gardeningal
Oct 29, 2015 5:48 PM CST
You could use an immersion blender as well. Or what they call smart sticks.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Oct 29, 2015 6:30 PM CST
Not on dried burdock root. Ask me how I know
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
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Trish
Oct 29, 2015 7:07 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Yeah, there's no way an immersion blender would have worked on marshmallow either. Those roots are incredibly hard once they are dried! I actually threw out quite a few that were so thick nothing was going to cut it. I learned to cut in half the fat roots!
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
Delaware (Zone 7b)
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gardeningal
Oct 29, 2015 7:09 PM CST
Ha! Get out the sawzall!!
I would say funny, but I get the picture.
Delaware (Zone 7b)
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gardeningal
Oct 29, 2015 7:15 PM CST
http://www.cuisinivity.com/makeyourown/2011/burdocktea.php
Check out this link.
Hope this helps.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Beekeeper
Seed Starter Permaculture Region: Kentucky Garden Ideas: Master Level
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Mindy03
Oct 29, 2015 7:31 PM CST
That works for making tea but when you need to powder burdock you need something powerful that can do the job.
I make jerky treats for my dogs with powdered burdock as one of the ingredients.
Delaware (Zone 7b)
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gardeningal
Oct 29, 2015 8:54 PM CST
Okay, so the u tube video I just watched showed the procedure for drying and making tea or drying and putting a small amount of the dried shavings into a grinder and grinding for powder.
Hopefully they make grinders that are strong enough for the shavings as well.
Name: Tom Cagle
SE-OH (Zone 6a)
Old, fat, and gardening in OH
Coppice
Nov 28, 2015 3:54 PM CST
If you lived with Ohioan clay, amending a bed with a liberal amount of sand might be a good thing with collecting roots.

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