Knobs of ginger sold at grocery stores are not only expensive, but rarely do you need all of it, meaning that shriveled up part you ended up not using just got wasted. Well what if you could grow tons of ginger, in your garden or even a container, use what you need, let the rest keep growing, and end up with a product so high quality that you will never go to the store again for it? Then, HERE WE GO! *Que magic school bus music*
Growing ginger is easy. Let's get started. We did a video on it HERE but below is a very thorough step by step.
Step 1: Purchase Ginger Roots
The first step in growing ginger at home is to purchase ginger roots. Look for ginger roots that are plump and have a few buds or “eyes” on them. These buds will eventually grow into shoots and leaves. You can find ginger roots at most grocery stores or online.
Step 2: Preparing the Soil
Ginger prefers well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. If your soil is heavy clay or sandy, you can amend it with compost or peat moss to improve the drainage and fertility. You can also use a potting mix specifically formulated for ginger. Ginger also prefers a slightly acidic soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Ginger can be grow in-ground in warmer regions with longer growing seasons, or grown in containers in areas with shorter growing seasons. Ginger also thrives in confined locations where other plants may not do as well. Farmers often will plant ginger as an understory crop under coconut trees for a polyculture and dual harvest to maximize the return on their land.
Step 3: Planting the Ginger Roots
Plant the ginger roots with the buds or “eyes” facing up, about an inch deep in the soil. Space the roots about 4 to 6 inches apart. Water the soil thoroughly after planting to help settle the roots. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Ginger doesn't like to be flooded. Yes, it is tropical, but the soil it grows in naturally would drain freely as well as have many other plants to share the excess water with. Just make sure you are not watering more than needed. In our garden, we usually water our ginger about once a week. We also grow in containers since we live further North.
If you start your ginger in containers like this, make sure to transplant once the roots begin to poke out the bottom. This is excellent to save on space, and get many plants growing in a small area.
Step 4: Provide Adequate Light, Temperature, and nutrients
Ginger is a tropical plant and prefers warm temperatures between 60-90°F. It also prefers bright, indirect light. Ginger will thrive with 6-8 hours of sun, and loves a humidity around 30-40%, but can tolerate more. If you live in a cooler climate, you can grow ginger indoors near a sunny window or under grow lights.
Ginger are heavy feeders. Though they can grow in a tight space, giving them lots of nutrients is critical to keeping them growing. We use Trifecta+ with amazing results, but any all purpose fertilizer will work great. Just remember that whatever you use should have lots of Nitrogen to assist in leaf growth and plant development.
Step 5: Harvesting the Ginger
Ginger is typically ready to harvest in about 8-10 months. The older foliage will begin to yellow and die back, indicating that the older ginger rhizomes are mature. Carefully dig up the ginger roots and wash off the soil. The younger ginger rhizomes will be tender and very light almost pink. These are the future plants and can be left to grow. The ginger can be used fresh or stored in the refrigerator for later use. But what if you don't want to harvest it all? That's ok! Just dig up a small portion, snap it off, and the ginger will naturally heal and keep growing. Ginger "crawls" under the soil, so the older parts of the plant will remain, while new "fingers" of the ginger sprout new growth. This keeps the cycle going for as long as you keep the plant healthy!
Growing ginger at home is a great way to have a steady supply of fresh ginger on hand for cooking and medicinal purposes. It is a relatively easy plant to grow and care for, as long as you provide it with the right conditions. With a little patience and care, you can enjoy fresh ginger all year round. In addition, you can try different ways of using ginger like making ginger tea, ginger juice, ginger pickle, ginger chutney, ginger marinade, and many more. Ginger is a versatile spice that can be added to both sweet and savory dishes. It is also known for its medicinal properties, including reducing inflammation and aiding in digestion. So, start growing your own ginger today and enjoy the benefits of fresh ginger all year round.