We all know the distinctive taste
Asian and Mid-Eastern dishes often have a subtle and distinctive flavor that comes from spicing the dish with fresh ginger root at the end of cooking.
Because of the popularity of such culinary delights, many grocery produce departments now stock the pleasingly pungent ginger root for use in 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 plant (Zingiber officinale). When selecting ginger for growing, choose a smooth, shiny root with eyes like those on a potato. The eyes are the beginning buds of the ginger root.
Like most bulbs and rhizomes, ginger is ready-to-grow and easily adapts to several starting and planting methods.
Ginger plants reach a height of 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 your ginger plant.
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. Like the plant, ginger root is adaptable and stores well either in your cupboard or in your refrigerator.
Ginger is not frost hardy so in temperate areas bring your ginger plant indoors for the winter and simply ignore it! The perennial foliage will yellow and die back, but again, like other bulbs, tubers, and rhizomes, your ginger plant will quickly snap back come spring!
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