Growing Ginger – The Basics
Space 10-14 inches apart. They need a mostly sunny location. Some shade is good, especially in the DEAD heat of summer. Depending on the variety most ginger grows to around 3 feet high. Keep the soil moist, not soggy. Mulch well. It adds moisture and keeps back space invading weeds and grasses. Minimize weeding and digging so that you don’t disturb the rhizomes that are growing just beneath the surface.
Water 2-3 times a week or just enough to keep the soil moist not soggy. It can take ginger up to 2 years or more to bloom. BE PATIENT.
In a pot you can put a layer of gravel in the bottom to help drainage. Use a good light organic potting soil. Potted plants will do best kept in a sunny area. South facing windows may be TOO MUCH SUN! Ideally, sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon or filtered light is best.
Cutworms can cut through a ginger plant overnight. You can put collars around the base of the plant if this is a problem. Other than that ginger is pretty pest/disease resistant. If left too wet you might get root rot. If that happens let your soil dry out and add a fungicide to the soil.
It takes almost a year before you can harvest a crop of ginger. Wait about 8-10 before harvesting the entire plant. Early harvesting is called “green ginger.” You can just take a few rhizomes without harvesting the entire plant. Green ginger is more tender and milder in flavor.
Once you clean your roots you can store them for weeks in the fridge inside a airtight container or ziploc with a damp paper towel. Some people like to freeze whole roots and grate the frozen root as needed. It does loose some of it’s texture this way but it last longer. Thinly slicing and dehydrating on low is another method of processing, storing and using ginger. Drying ginger in the sun here in the south is a challenge with the average 61 percent humidity, most often you will end up with moldy ginger or bugs, EWH!
I love to put a pound the blender with half a lemon 1/4 of the lemon peel, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, grind till smooth and scoop into cubes for later use. These are great way to make anti-Inflammatory lemonade on the fly! You can take it one step further and put all the ingredients for anti-Inflammatory Lemonade in there but I use them for other stuff and sometimes I don’t want honey or cayenne in whatever I am adding them too.
Got any storage tips or tricks? What your most obscure use for ginger?