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Acorus gramineus - How, When, and Why?

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Article on A. gramineus - cultivation & use

Acorus gramineus - How, When, and Why

by Psst

After doing some searching in the archives I felt it necessary to enlighten some readers regarding this particular herb. To get to the root of the matter, it is important to realize that the vast majority of the "good stuff" is found in the long 1/16 to 1/8 inch round "tap roots", not in the rhizome. If you harvest just these long round thin "tap roots", you can replant the rhizome and let the tap roots grow again and again. This way you never have to sacrifice any rhizome parts and always have a new set of long tap roots every 2 to 3 months, depending on your growing conditions, soil, etc.

It is very important that the soil be at least 50% sand with the balance consisting of a compost/clay type soil which is not too high in nitrogen. This gives the soil the porosity for the "tap roots" to grow very quickly while retaining maximum moisture. Let me describe my approach to planting this herb using a large 1 foot by 4 foot custom made planter that is 12 to 14 inches deep. The wooden planter (cedar or redwood) is lined/filled with thick black poly sheeting is such a way that it will hold water. The sheeting is tucked into the corners and bottom, and then stapled into place using a staple gun for wood. Don't skimp on the staples and be sure to get the plastic stapled in very well. Then trim off the excess poly sheeting about 1 inch from the top of the planter. The planter will probably already have hole(s) in the bottom of the wood for drainage. So all you need to do is make an "X" slit with a razor in the poly sheeting over the hole and cover the area with a mound of gravel. Then fill the container

with the soil mixture of 50% coarse river sand (or "turkey grit") and 50% rich clay/compost type organic soil. This large planter will be very slow to drain and hold in mega amounts of water. There should be no more than two or three "X" slitted poly covered drainage holes.

Now go buy some one gallon containers of Acorus gramineus "ogon" (I got mine at Home Depot in Oregon), spray off all of the soil which may contain unwanted pesticides, and carefully divide up the rhizomes into many smaller pieces, as long as they have a few small roots on them. Plant the pieces to form a bladed forest effect.

While you are dividing the rhizomes, snip off some of the longer "tap roots" and toss them in a shallow container of water for a reward when you are finished planting. This is optional and at your own risk, depending on whether or not the nursery used pesticides or contaminated soil. Regardless of whether you consume them now, the long "tap roots" should be cut off to 1/2 inch left on the rhizome, so that the new ones will be organically grown.

When your "forest" is planted, make sure that the pieces have been very firmly pressed into the soil and totally saturate the soil. You should have standing water on the surface for at least 5 to 10 minutes after fully saturating the soil if you got your soil mix right. If it drains too quickly plug up some of the drain holes from underneath with a bottle cork or whatever works.

Place your planter in an area that will receive morning to midday sunlight for optimum results. Avoid full sun or hot afternoon sunlight. In about 2 to 3 months you can start to harvest some of the new tap roots, replanting and/or dividing the rhizomes as needed. When you harvest the "tap roots", rinse them off with a jet spray from your garden hose to remove the dirt. Then stuff the roots into a test tube. Fill the test tube with diluted hydrogen peroxide solution which is 1 part of 3% hydrogen peroxide and 1 part water. Let set for 5 to 10 minutes while the roots "sterilize" so that you don't get any nasty bugs, parasites, viruses and so on. Then rinse the roots under running water briefly and store in damp paper towels in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one or two weeks. You can also allow the roots to dry in a food dehydrator, but I prefer them fresh. I understand that the dried roots lose their effectiveness within a year anyway.

It is important to realize that these longer round "tap roots" are the things to eat for truly optimum effects. I sure hope this works out for you because in my opinion these tap roots are probably the closest thing to Viagra that nature has to offer. Feel free to post this information on the internet wherever you want. Those pharmaceutical companies are making way too much money anyway.

Created 7/31/2001 1:26:34
Modified 7/31/2001 1:29:11
Leda version 1.4.3