Ginger is a pungent tropical herb used to add unmistakable flavor to a variety of food dishes. A powerful superfood, ginger contains antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties, and many people value ginger for its proven ability to calm an upset tummy.
Growing ginger at home is not that hard. Sure we have to wait and be patient to get our first harvest of ginger. We can grow ginger in the ground in a raised bed and in containers. In this article, I will try to cover the topic of growing ginger in containers.
WHEN TO GROW GINGER?
To be successful in growing ginger in containers, the season is a very important factor. Ginger grows best in the summer and the best time to plant ginger is in mid-spring.
You can also plant ginger in May or June, but at the time of harvest, your ginger will not mature enough. But you can still use that harvest in your dishes.
HOW TO PLANT GINGER: CONTAINER SELECTION AND SPROUTING
The healthiest ginger plants are grown from reputable nurseries or from quality online gardening sources. But a ginger root can also be purchased from your local grocery store. Grocery store ginger roots may be coated with a growth inhibitor, which prevent it from sprouting in the grocery store. Grocery ginger root may also be treated with fungicides and/or pesticides. So, to clean your ginger, soak your new ginger root for 24 hours before slicing it up to plant.
Choose a wide, flat container to plant. Ginger’s roots grow horizontally, so width is more important than depth. Containers that are small enough to easily be moved inside and out are the perfect choice for ginger. Fill your container with a rich potting soil that will drain well.
Slice your ginger knob, into thin pieces. Select pieces of the knob that have “eyes” on them. Eyes are indentations in the surface of the root, where sprout will begin. Place the piece of ginger with the eyes facing up into the soil, and cover with about and inch and a half of soil.
HOW TO CARE FOR GINGER PLANT
Water your ginger well in the early stages of planting. Continue to water or spray your plant’s soil often to keep the soil moist but not soggy. And be patient. Ginger can take several weeks to sprout.
Ginger is a good plant to enjoy indoors in colder climates. While it will enjoy the outdoors during warm months, any frost will kill a ginger plant. Choose a location with indirect light for your ginger.
After about eight months, your ginger plant will be mature. At that point, you can separate the rhizomes by pulling off a section of the plant including a piece of the rhizome. Transplanting is as easy as setting that rhizome into a new container of soil. Ginger is an easy root to share with a friend.
HOW TO HARVEST GINGER
Although the ginger plant may take many months to mature, you can harvest ginger when the plant is three or four months old. When you push away the soil from around the rhizome, you’ll notice that ginger rhizomes look knobby. You will also see roots reaching outward and downward from the rhizome. The rhizome is the edible portion of ginger. The roots can be cleaned off as you clean the rhizome to eat.
To enjoy a bit of ginger, simply uncover a piece of rhizome, and trim off one of the finger-like extensions. You can harvest ginger in this manner anytime you wish. However, you may find that you love it so much that you’ll need more than one rhizome planted at a time. You can alternate snipping from your plants if you grow more than one.