We typically refer to the ginger we find at the supermarket as the ‘root’. But, what you might not know is that we are buying what is actually the rhizome, which means it is the modified stem of the ginger plant.
The ginger rhizome is a widely used plant crop all over the world. It is an ingredient used to make teas, spices for baking and works wonders to treat a sore throat if you are suffering from a cold.
Ginger grows from shoots which you can find on the rhizome. These shoots will grow horizontally as that is how best to plant the ginger. You may choose to buy ginger with already sprouting shoots. Or you can submerge your rhizome in water so as to trigger the growth of these shoots, ready for planting.
Once you have your rhizome, you want to plant it in a wide and shallow pot, ideally placed in an indoor area. There is no need to plant it very deeply as you require the soil to have enough space for new rhizomes to grow.
Ginger loves warmth and humidity so you want to keep it an area ideal for its growth. Plant it horizontally to get the best result in terms of growth.
Once planted, water it generously to encourage sprouting and root development.
Ginger requires warmer temperatures to grow and thrive. So, plant this rhizome in the springtime for the best results. Larger rhizomes will produce more ginger, from your garden straight to your kitchen when planted.
In fact, the larger the rhizome you plant, the faster the growing process. Also, this increases your ginger yield at the end of the growing season. It takes about 25 weeks to grow and for it to be ready for harvest.
After planting, wait to see visible sprouts which will be an indication that you may move your plant outside. You will start witnessing your ginger’s growth and maturity within 90 days.
Time to grow
This plant is fantastic to grow in your garden, not only for its utility in the kitchen but for the display of its edible flowers when in bloom. You will find that growing your own ginger is simple and easy.
Make sure your soil has sufficient nutrients. Therefore, composting and preparing your soil beforehand is essential. If you get particularly high temperatures and are worried about water loss, mulch your pots after the 45-90 day growth period.
Ginger is known for its powerful antioxidants which help the body fight infections such as colds and flu, which means you are getting value for money when you decide to plant the ginger rhizome in your garden.
You may harvest your crop after 4 to 5 months of planting. Be sure to clean it well before using it. In colder months, this crop goes through a process of dying back, giving the rhizome its darkened brownish hue. The roots can be stored through the winter to replant when the growing season starts again.
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