Ginger is supposed to be pretty easy. I decided to give it a try and wanted to share. This is going to be another one of those posts that will require some updates as things progress but here it is. I am basing what I am doing on what I have read and will be growing my ginger in a pot since it will not take frost or freezing at all. I might try some in the ground once the cold snaps have passed. It might just make it if I get it established over the summer and mulch it deeply for winter. I will let you know but for now back to growing in a pot.
First thing you need to do is go to the grocery store and find a nice plump chunk of ginger root. I am lucky to have found organic ginger, but there is no reason not to use whatever ginger you can find in the store. This is by far the easiest way to get a start on the type of ginger used for cooking and also medicine. There are many types of ginger that are more ornamental and lovely to grow if you like. I am more interested in growing food so the kind from the grocery store is the kind I want.
Pick out a nice plump section with buds on it where new growth will emerge.
I have read a few different thing about what the next step should be. Based on all of the reading I decided to let mine soak in water for a day. If yours isn’t organic you may want to wash it, soak it and wash it again before planting. This is because it may have a growth retardant on it which needs to be washed off. If you do not get it off you might not get it to grow at all or it might be slow. I do not really trust my organic ginger not to have anything on it plus it seemed like a good idea to soak it so it wouldn’t be so dried out on the surface. Mine had a few buds so I broke it up a little to make separate plants. I am starting them in one pot and from what I have read they like, or at least don’t mind, being crowded.
Lay them horizontally with the buds facing up. They do not need deep soil so you can use a shallow container or only fill the pot part way. I am using a mix of my native soil ammended with peat and a little bonemeal. My native soil is very dark and rich looking but sandy. Ginger likes well drained soil that is evenly moist with plenty of organic matter so the extra peat will help with that and my native soil is sandy enough to drain well. If your native soil is heavy, clay soil you may want to add large amounts of compost and some sand to the mix. Be careful adding sand to clay heavy soil because you could end up making some primative concrete instead of goot potting soil. Clay needs enough organic matter added to be loose and airy, then you can add some sand to it. If you have really heavy soil you might be better off not using your native soil at all. You will really just have to judge this for yourselves though.
Cover the ginger with a small amount of soil. It likes to be near the surface and planting too deep can cause problems so I left mine peaking out a bit.
Water well from the top so any air pockets have soil washed into them. After that just keep soil evenly moist. In warm weather set the pot out in dappled shade. Add mulch to the top if the soil is drying out too quickly. Keep inside durning cold weather. They are a forest floor plant and like some shade so you shouldn’t need a grow light. I don’t have any other tips on this since it is my first try. I’ll keep you posted on the progress.