When we see the first signs of spring we all get excited to start seed.…
Let’s take a look at the basics of common or Chinese ginger.
Ginger is by definition actually a vegetable similar to a potato or carrot!
Since ginger is low in nutritional value and very high in flavor it is considered a spice by most people.
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There are hundreds of varieties of ginger. Many have interesting flowers. Because of this and their low maintenance needs, ginger is often used in landscaping in warmer climates.
Common Ginger is not a good flower producer. The plant will only produce a few flowers after 2 years. The plant will not produce a flower if the root is disturbed. So if you are going to pick some ginger root for use you will not get any flowers.
It makes a great house plant. It does mind being crowded in its container or by other plants vying for light. In fact, ginger will do best with little and indirect light making it a perfect plant to bring life into a dark corner.
A full-size ginger plant will be about 2 1/2 feet tall with leaves mainly at just the top.
When picking a container to plant your ginger keep in mind a couple of things. The ginger root grows horizontally and close to the surface. Also, the ginger root will grow in a tight cluster. So the best container doesn’t have to be large or deep but should be wide or long. A good choice would be a traditional window box.
I tried growing grocery store ginger a couple of times before I found the best way to grantee success. So here is what I learned.
Producers spray ginger and other vegetables with growth inhibitors so that they stay sellable in the store longer. To avoid this chemical, buy organic ginger. If you purchase non-organic ginger just soak it over night in water and rinse well. This should remove the inhibitors.
Break the ginger up into pieces about 2 inches or so. The important thing is to make sure each piece has several little nubs.
You can see that the middle piece doesn’t have any nubs. Spoiler alert, that one did not grow!
Place your rinsed ginger pieces on a damp paper towel in a plastic container. Cover with an additional damp paper towel. Put the lid on loosely. Leave the container in a warm dark place.
In about 10 days open the container and see what has grown.
Only 2 out of 3 of my pieces grew. The reason that I like this method is it allows you to know in just a few days if you have a viable plant. It would have been very disheartening to plant and look after one that never sprouts.
It is ready to plant right away or give it a few more days until it looks like this.
Plant your ginger with the growth pointed up. Use a loose well-draining soil. Ginger likes to be moist but not too wet.
In about 4 months you can harvest a little bit of root.
It will take about 9 months for your plant to reach full size.
If you dig into the soil and cut off pieces as you need them, your ginger plant will keep you supplied with ginger for years.
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