The ideal time to harvest goldenseal root is during the fall. This is when the plant has concentrated its nutrients in preparation for the winter months. Unlike some herbs such as ginseng, goldenseal does not increase in value with age. In fact, longer growing times may have a negative effect on root growth, which diminishes the harvest’s worth. In three to five years, goldenseal is ready for root harvesting or plant division.
Dig roots with a potato fork, being careful to keep them in one piece. This works well with small beds of goldenseal. Larger operations will need a mechanical bulb digger. Harvest roots after the tops have died off.
Choose the healthiest plants for replanting and set those aside.
Lay the mesh screen out and place the harvested roots on top.
Spray all the dirt off the roots with the hose. Remove all the soil but do not brush or scrub the roots clean. Leave the roots to dry on the screen for two hours before moving them to the drying area.