Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Grow Your Own Ginger. 2.11.14

I've been reading on growing culinary ginger.  Like other zone-inappropriate plants, growing ginger will require at least part of the project indoors, in containers.
File:Ginger farm.jpg
Ginger Farm.  Image source:  Commons.wikimedia.org
Botanical Drawing of Ginger.  Zingiber officinale

Based on info from various websites, it's a doable project. Use grocery store ginger root.

Buy a fresh looking root with multiple growth points. 
Cut so that each section contains several growth points.

If cutting the ginger root, allow it to dry so that the cut end does not rot when planted.

Some websites recommend soaking the ginger root overnight, in water.  Some sites recommend keeping the ginger root in a damp paper bag until it sprouts.  Some web sites recommend planting without pretreatment.   Hortmag.com has a good discussion.

As for planting, some sites recommend planting on the soil surface, while others recommend barely burying the rhizome, or burying it about an inch deep.

The ginger rhizome is planted in well drained potting medium.  Container size, looks like 6 inch to 1 foot diameter plastic pot will work, with 1 foot depth.  Keep lightly moist until the growth commences, then water regularly.

I've read that ginger requires much warmer conditions than we have in Pacific NW.  I'll keep that in mind.  Other tropicals can grow if I keep them in a warm place, especially in containers.  This is a good candidate for the sunroom.  Which is not built yet.  I will keep it in container, as I do with the citrus trees.  Ginger requires 230 to 300 days to mature.  Young ginger roots are juicier, compared to old roots.  Older roots have more concentrated flavor.

Ginger rhizome cluster

There was no fresh ginger root at Fred Meyer yesterday.   I found this rhizome at the Battleground roadside store.  Fat firm rhizome with multiple buds.

I cut it into 2 growth pieces and one to eat.  I will let it dry a few days before planting.

 I use a lot of ginger, to settle my stomach.  It does not have the somnolence and dry mouth side effects that often occur with nausea medications.

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