Ginger root is used worldwide in cuisine for its flavor and aroma. Moreover, this plant is also known for its medicinal properties, with antibacterial, antiviral and antioxidant effects. This plant, so appreciated around the world can easily be grown in pots. I personally love the taste and smell of fresh ginger and a few years ago I was surprised to find out that it’s actually not that hard to grow your own ginger at home. Although ginger loves a humid climate, it is in fact possible to grow ginger indoors as well as outdoors.
How to Grow Ginger
Growing ginger from a ginger root is relatively simple, but it is crucial to the success of your final harvest. You need to make sure you select the best root and prepare it correctly.You can purchase ginger roots which are designed for growing, or you can simply use a root from the supermarket.The first step is to soak your ginger root in warm water overnight, especially if you have purchased it from the grocery store. This is to remove any pesticides or growth chemicals that your ginger may have come in contact with.The second step is to give your ginger a kick start by growing it in a healthy, nutrient rich growing medium first before transplanting it into your garden.
Soil for Growing Ginger
The soil you are using has a big effect on the how well your ginger grows – as the ginger plant needs very nutritious soil. According to the University of Hawaii, the soil you choose should be mildly acidic, which is typical for tropical plants. Soil with a pH level of 5.5 – 6.5 is optimal for growing ginger. The soil you choose should also be moist, but well-drained, as too much water can cause your ginger plant to rot.
Conditions for Growing Ginger
Ginger is a plant that loves humidity, so it tends to thrive in a more tropical environment. Keeping your ginger plant in an area with very dry air may also attract pests such as spider mites. The best spot for a ginger plant is warm, humid and with filtered or indirect sunlight – the ideal temperature for planting ginger is about 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ginger needs a constantly moist soil but don’t over wet it. Make sure you put a drop of water daily. In summer it’s possible to water it twice a day.
In order not to excessively wet the plant is indicated to spray it with a spray bottle. When the plant grows, spray water onto its leaves because this plant loves moisture.
Ginger is usually planted in early spring, to take full advantage of the spring and summer heat. A crop of ginger can take roughly 6-10 months to develop, making harvest time around mid/end Fall. It’s not a bad idea to stagger your planting times so that you will always have some ginger growing on the go, rather than having to wait for another 6-10 months for your next harvest.
Pests and Diseases
Fusarium, which is a disease contracted from soil, causes rot and wilting. Because the best part of the ginger plant is the rhizome and roots, fusarium can have a disastrous effect on your plants. You can prevent this by ensuring you select a well sterilized soil which is free from fungal pathogens and parasites. Root knot nematodes are another nasty pest which likes to feed on your ginger. They can be tricky to get rid of completely, but can be controlled so that their damage on your ginger plants is limited. The presence of these little worms can be found on your ginger rhizomes – discoloration, warty lumps and unnatural grooves may be signs of an infestation. They tend to be more common in big outdoor crops, but they are soil borne, so if you are bringing outdoor soil indoors you may be at risk. If you are planning to do a lot of planting in the one area, using mostly the same soil, you may consider crop rotation. Crop rotation is where you plant one harvest, and the next harvest is a plant which is far less susceptible to the effects of the Nematodes, or even contains substances which kill them.