Grow Your Own Ginger

 
Ginger tea

What are the steps to planting ginger? 

Ginger is a root crop. It doesn’t produce seeds, which is fine because all you need to grow ginger are some fresh rhizomes (literally some organic ginger) with living “eyes” on them. The eyes are growth buds from which the green shoots grow.

Just take them and plant them right into the soil if you live in a warm area, or into a big pot if you don’t. Then, wait. It sometimes takes a long time for ginger to send up shoots. The timing depends on the warmth of the soil, so if you plant when conditions are warm, you might see ginger in a few months. The best time to plant ginger in the ground is in late spring, as the soil has just started to heat up.

Ginger does best in semi-shade in warm climates and full sun in cold climates.  Plant rhizomes with buds facing upward in loose, preferably high in organic matter moist soil that drains well, it doesn’t need to be planted deep, just 2-4 inches deep in the ground or potting mix with just enough soil to cover the surface of the ginger.

Once your ginger has been planted, make sure you keep the soil damp, and don’t allow the soil to dry out completely. You will also need to monitor for drainage and adjusting your watering so your newly planted rhizome soil doesn’t become water logged which could result in your rhizome rotting.

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Once the green shoots appear and this can take up to 4 months, then it's a matter or monitoring, watering and occasionally feeding your ginger with an organic fertiliser, your ginger will grow up to 1m tall in which case you can begin to harvest the young roots which will have a mid-flavour or wait until it reaches maturity to get a much more stronger taste.

How does one grow ginger in a pot?

Growing ginger in pots is easy and great if space is a problem, It also doesn’t require direct sunlight and it mostly takes care of itself. It likes moist soil with good drainage, so the rhizome doesn’t rot and prefers semi-shade unless you’re in cold climate in which case it does best in full sun. With just a few pots, growing a year’s worth of ginger is possible.

Can you grow ginger indoors?

Most defiantly, since ginger is a tropical plant it likes the more humid spots indoors like steamy bathrooms or kitchens, just make sure that when indoors it’s receiving as much light as possible and if you can occasionally give it a holiday outdoors, so it receives much more direct sunlight. Ginger grown indoors is much milder and this related to the amount of sunlight is receives.

How long does it take to grow ginger before you can eat it?

It takes anywhere from 3-5 months to see shots appearing from you ginger and this is subject to the warmth of the soil, and an additional 4 months for the rhizomes (ginger root) to start developing. In all your ginger will be planted in spring, grow through summer and early autumn, this is when you will start to see your plant die back just in time for late autumn to early winter harvest.

Can you grow ginger in cold weather? What about hot weather?

Ginger originated in Southeast Asia, and like most tropical plants naturally prefers warmer weather, humidity and rich soil high in organic matter. It can definitely grow in cold weather as long as it not subjected to frost which can damage the rhizome, strong winds or poorly drained soil.If this is the case and your live-in areas that reach 5 degrees during spring to autumn, then your best to grow ginger in pots so they can be moved around to make the most of sunlight availability. 

Ginger Plant

In climates with frost, ginger is normally planted in early spring so that it can be harvested by May when the foliage starts to die back. Luckily for most of us in Australia our winter is considered mild, allowing for rhizomes to be left in the ground where they stay dormant until spring.

If your climate is hot and dry then your best to plant your ginger in the shade, making sure you keep the soil moist, so the ginger doesn’t dry out.  

How do you harvest ginger and how do you know its ready?

Ginger grown in pots should also be divided or harvested when the pot is full, normally 8–10 months after planting. To harvest, remove the leaf stalks and either tip out the whole contents of the pot or dig them out with your hands.  

If planted in a garden bed or in the ground, it’s a matter of watching, as the temperature cools, the foliage dies back naturally, indicating a good time to harvest. This happens right “on schedule,” for winter, as ginger is mature for harvest about eight months after planting.