How to Grow Ginger
Asian and Mid-Eastern dishes often have a subtle and distinctive flavor that
comes from spicing the dish at the end of cooking with fresh ginger root. As
these dishes grow in popularity, many grocery produce departments stock this
pleasingly pungent root for use in flower and fruit gardening guides homemade dishes. Your favorite grocer?s
produce department is also the best place to find ginger root for growing.
What we call fresh ginger root is actually the rhizome of the ginger (Zingiber
officinale) plant. Choose a smooth, shiny root that has some buds beginning.
These will look similar to the eyes of a potato.
? A fun way to start a ginger plant is to suspend a two-inch piece of the
rhizome over a glass of water. Do this by poking a toothpick on either side
of the root. Fill the glass, submerging about one-third of the ginger. When
roots grow to about an inch long, plant the rhizome just below the surface
of a rich, moist potting mixture in a pot that has good drainage.
? Plant ginger in a pot for growing indoors or out! Using a rich potting
mixture, choose a pot at least four times the size of your ginger rhizome or
plant it in the large pot that will be its permanent flower and fruit gardening guides home on your patio,
deck, or other outdoor garden area. Fill the pot three-quarters full of
potting mixture; lay your rhizome flat on top and cover it with about an
inch of soil. Keep the pot in a sunny location until sprouts appear, then
move it to an area with good indirect light. Ginger won?t tolerate bright,
? Start a small plant for transplanting into your garden. Plant your ginger
root directly into a pot filled with rich potting mixture. Cover the pot
with a plastic bag and place it on a sunny windowsill. When the first shoots
appear, remove the plastic bag. If all danger of frost is past, move your
young ginger plant directly into your garden. Alternatively put the pot in a
location where it will get indirect sunlight. Water it regularly, but be
sure not to let the soil become saturated.
Your ginger plant will grow two to four feet tall. Slender stems and narrow,
glossy leaves may reach up to a foot long and resemble the foliage of a
lily. Occasionally, your ginger may produce a yellow green flower, but
flowers are both rare and unnecessary for the health of the plant.
Ginger is not frost hardy so in temperate areas bring plants indoors for the
winter and ignore it! Foliage will yellow and die back, but the plant will
return to growth in the spring.
Harvest ginger after the rhizome has grown three to four months. Since the
best time to plant ginger is in the spring, this usually means a fall
harvest. Harvested ginger root is usually sun-dried for longer preservation.
It can either be stored in a dry cupboard or refrigerated.
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