How to Grow and Harvest Ginger Root
Although ginger root (Zingiber officinale) is a tropical plant, with some extra care you can grow it in a cold climate. Because it needs a long growing season, March is an ideal time to get your plants started. Turmeric is grown in the same way with the following method.
What You Need
- A piece of organic fresh ginger root from your local market. This is important: a non-organic ginger root may be sprayed with a growth inhibitor and likely won't sprout.
- A shallow pot.
- High quality organic potting soil.
How to Start Your Ginger Plant
- Create a bed of pre-moistened soil in your pot, add the ginger root, cover with more soil, and keep lightly moist.
- Place the pot in a warm location, away from drafts. Under a grow light is best, as this will help your plant develop strong stems and faster growth. You should see sprouts appear within 2 weeks.
- When outdoor temperatures are consistently above 55° F, transplant the ginger into a larger pot and find it a spot that gets part shade. Morning sun and afternoon shade are ideal. In hotter climates (Zones 8 and above) part to full shade is preferred.
- Feed with organic fertilizer several times during the season and water as needed. Moist but well-drained soil is best.
- Be sure to harvest or move the pot indoors before the first frost. To harvest, carefully dig up the rhizomes. Then, cut off the stems and rinse off all the soil. You can harvest rhizomes as needed, or harvest them all at once.
- To store, make sure the ginger root is completely dry, then place in a paper bag in the refrigerator. You can also dehydrate, freeze, and pickle fresh ginger for your favorite recipes and teas.
Turmeric can be grown the same way and both are highly nutritious. Enjoy!
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