Last year i attempted to grow the famous ayurvedic adaptogen ashwagandha here in little old nz, and to my amazement this warmth loving superstar grew well (now i have to admit i am north in the north island) but i can't see why this great little plant couldn't be grown all over New Zealand, as it can be harvested at the end of each growing season.
After the harvest i dried, cut and ground the root and mixed it with warm nourishing spices and made our product moon milk which you will find in our online store.
Moon milk! The ultimate winter's night cap made from freshly moon harvested ashwagandha root. Fire up your solar plexus and boost your vital force with this formula designed to work on your Manipura chakra. Perfect reguvination for a vata and kapha types. It’s valued for its thyroid modulating, neuroprotective, anti-anxiety, antidepressant and anti-inflammatory properties, which are just some of the many ashwagandha benefits. . In India, ashwagandha is known as the “strength of the stallion” because it has traditionally been used to strengthen the immune system after illness. It has also been referred to as “Indian ginseng” because of its ability to enhance your stamina and work as a natural stress reliever. Paired with a good combination of spices with many medicinal qualities this night cap will keep your mind healthy and your body warm over the cooler months ahead.
now id like to explain how to grow ashwagandha so you to can enjoy the benefits of this medicine from your back yard. Ashwagandha can be easily propagated through seeds. Which thankfully i managed to save many from last years plants. Cover the seeds in a seedling tray with a thin layer of seed rasing mix. The seeds of ashwagandga germinate in 6 to 7 days of time during September and October.
you can direct sow after the last frost, sow the seeds directly into the ground, allowing at least 24 inches of space between all the seeds. You will have to push the seeds in about 3 times there width, below the surface of the soil with your finger.
Once the seedlings are 35 to 40 days old they can be transplanted into large pots or planted at 30 cm distance in the ground with well drained sandy soil. The seedlings should be planted 1 to 3 cm deep into the soil.
The herb, ashwagandha can be cultivated in sandy loam or light well draining soil with a pH level of 7.5-8. The area selected should be well pulverized by good bed prep and composting. The selected field location bed should be slightly raised from the ground level, since growing this herb is not possible in soil that retains moisture and remains waterlogged.
If choosing growing ashwagandha indoors you should move your pot or container to a sunny location, out doors or at windows facing north. You can choose a wind-sheltered planting site that receives plenty of direct sunlight. Use well-drained sandy, loamy or clay soil with an acidic or neutral pH level.
Fertilizing Your Ashwagandha
If the soil has average amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus, ashwagandha plants respond and grow well. But similar to ginseng, ashwagandha plant does not require fertilizers due to the medicinal application of its root. Usually this herb demands farm yard manure (aged), vermi-compost and green-manure or organic fertilizers near the base of the plant.
Do not over water ashwagandha remember it comes from a dry climate, and doesn't enjoy being water logged.
How to Harvest Your Ashwagandha ?
Ashwagandha is ready to be harvested in 150 – 180 days, when flowers and berries start to form and leaves begin to dry out. You can harvest ashwagandha roots by digging carefully using a small gardening tool. You need to be careful not to damage the plant when digging up and make sure the soil has some moisture while doing this. The whole plant is uprooted for roots, which are then separated from the aerial parts by cutting the stem 2 to 3 cm above the crown. Then after harvesting, roots and barriers are separated from the plant. The roots of ashwagandha are washed and cut into small pieces of 7-10 cm.They are then dried in sun or shade. The berries are then separated from the plant, dried and crushed to take out seeds.