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Harvesting My Homegrown Ginger

December 7th, 2011

Remember when I told you that I planted some ginger and then I showed you how great the plant looked earlier this fall? The plants finally died back so I decided it was time to dump out the pot to see what the rhizomes looked like.

I took the pot out on the porch and turned it over onto a piece of kraft paper. The plants were pretty pot-bound, which means I should have had them in a bigger pot.

The rhizomes were about three or five times larger than they were when I planted them and the big roots were about 8 inches long. I decided instead of keeping some of the ginger for eating, I’d replant each plant in it’s own container; the biggest one getting a much bigger pot. I think if I give them a good dose of fertilizer a few times next year I should have a nice big crop of ginger next fall!

I don’t have any belief that I’ll be growing all my own fresh ginger anytime soon, but it is a fun experiment. I’m certainly interested to see how much better these plants grow in a bigger pot and see what my crop will look in another year.

Any new experiments brewing in your garden inside or out?

Growing Ginger at Home

July 26th, 2010

I just LOVE ginger, gingersnaps, gingerbread, gingered beef, anything with ginger in it. I use fresh ginger, powdered ginger and crystallized ginger. Crystallized ginger finds it’s way into just about everything I bake from scones to cobblers and we love it on our oatmeal! Every time I go to the health food store I pick up a big knob of ginger root to use in cooking and in teas.

I tried last year without success to start some ginger to grow as a houseplant. This spring I decided to give it another go. If I’m going to have houseplants, they may as well be edible! I searched around on-line, read a few different articles, all with different instructions and finally settled on a plan. (I didn’t follow the instructions I tried that failed last year). This is what I did.

Pick a few rhizomes that have some buds on them. You’ll notice the greenish buds on the tips of the rhizomes, they’ll look like little starts almost. Make sure you pick plump, healthy looking roots and break them into chunks that have a few good buds each. If they’re shriveled and dry they most likely won’t start. Soak the ginger overnight in water.

Fill a large pot, at least 12″, with good potting soil and place the rhizomes on top of the soil with the buds facing down. Press the rhizomes gently into the soil and water thoroughly. Place in a warm sunny spot in the North and in a warm shady spot in the South. Ginger is a tropical plant so it likes the heat, but from what I read dislikes full sun in hot climates. Mine is in full sun here since the afternoon sun in Ohio is much different than the afternoon sun in Florida. Cover with plastic or a cloche to keep the humidity levels up.

Keep the container well watered and be patient. It can take a long time for the plants to show above the soil. As long as they don’t look dried out and withered they should be OK. It took 3 months for one of my rhizomes to start showing signs of growth above the soil. I planted these on March 16 this year. Two weeks ago, I went to water the ginger and I noticed this lovely shoot. So far only one of my rhizomes has sprouted a shoot above the soil level.

I’ve read that it takes about a year for the plant to grow roots big enough to harvest. I’ll make sure to blog about my harvest next March! I have another knob in the cupboard that has some nice buds on it, so I may plant it soon. I don’t think one pot of ginger will be enough for our ginger needs! I’m also starting a lemongrass plant, more on that soon.

Have you ever tried to grow ginger or any other tropical spices? Any luck?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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