Growing ginger requires a sheltered spot that receives filtered sunlight, rich, moist soil, warm weather and a humid climate. It is usually grown from a ginger rhizome (the part that you eat that looks like a root), and most gardeners prefer to plant it in a container so it can be brought indoors when frost is imminent.
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Ginger is propagated from rhizomes (which will sprout stems upward and roots downward) and is usually planted in early spring. Give it a shady spot or a spot that gets sun only in the mornings.
Choose a firm ginger rhizome with two or more buds, and plant it on its side with the buds facing upward in loose, moist soil about two to four inches (5 to 10 cm) deep, leaving part of the rhizome exposed.
Later on, your ginger plants will need a warm environment with filtered sunlight in order for their buds to develop, but at this point, warmth is more important than sunlight. The rhizomes grow just below the surface of the soil, so make sure to keep the soil moist (but not waterlogged) in order to keep the plant from drying out.
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Once the ginger rhizome has begun to sprout, you will want to continue to monitor it and keep the soil moist. Growing ginger is not for the impatient, as the rhizomes should be allowed to grow for one full season before they are harvested.
An all-purpose organic garden fertilizer may be added to the soil monthly.
The roots of the ginger plant may be harvested at any time about three to four months after planting, though it is best to wait until the plant is mature. You will be able to see the ginger root growing near the soil surface.
Harvesting consists of trimming off small sections of the ginger root as needed while the plant continues to grow.
Ginger is easily stored once it's been harvested.
Place your harvest in a small paper sack and place sack in the crisper section of your refrigerator.
For freezer storage, wrap in wax paper, place in a sealable plastic bag, and place in the freezer. Any time you need to use the ginger, simply take it from the freezer, slice off the amount needed, and then return the ginger to the freezer. Frozen ginger grates easily, and grated ginger may also be frozen.
Ginger rhizomes are viable for about two years.
The following pests and diseases have been known to affect the success of growing Ginger. For more information about preventing and controlling them, see Organic Garden Pest Control.
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