14 Apr 2022

Ginger Nuts! How to grow fresh ginger (part 1)

 

I've been trying not to get too experimental with what I'm growing this year but ginger is a staple in my kitchen (so useful for warding off winter colds).  So, for the past few weeks, I've been nurturing a root into life in the dark warmth of my kitchen cupboards.

I last tried growing ginger seven years ago, and failed. But, inspired while watching Marcus Wareing's Tales from a Kitchen Garden on the BBC, my thoughts turned to the summer warmth in my sun trap of a salad garden and I decided to try again. And on my next shopping expedition, I came home with a sturdy chunk of promising looking ginger in my basket.

I've followed the method shown in episode 8 of the show where Marcus chats to a grower about spices. And that included ginger.  Compulsive viewing for a food grower - I now know where I went wrong before! 

As the saying goes ... if at first you don't succeed, try and try again. Especially as I've now seen a tried and tested method that practically guarantees success. (I'm nothing if not optimistic.)

So this is what I've done (so far) ...

  • First, sprout the ginger.  Soak the ginger chunks in water for a couple of days; that helps to revitalise it.
  • Next, seal the chunks in a clear plastic tub and store it somewhere warm.  I found the gentle warmth of the cupboard near to my oven perfect.
  • Finally, try not to forget about it! In a couple of weeks, buds on the ginger had started to form a tuber with visible roots (see main pic).  The whole chunk of ginger was then potted up into good peat free compost, leaving the growing shoot above the soil level and the new roots just buried. Keep the plant warm and the soil moist (never wet) and in six months or so, I should be harvesting my own fresh ginger. 
  • I used a 3 litre/7.5" pot because it's what I had to hand but a 10 litre/11" pot would be even better. I'll pot mine on once it's established. 
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a subtropical plant, thriving in humid conditions and nutrient rich soil. It spreads along the ground as it grows (hence the need for a big pot or greenhouse bed) and will need feeding weekly. 

Sprouted ginger root planted into pot.
Snuggled into it's new home ... 

Part Two of this post will be if/when this experiment progresses ... and my next experiment will be the lemon grass stalk previously destined for a pot of Thai breakfast soup but now sitting in a jar of water on my windowsill.

1 comment:

  1. I was pretty successful growing ginger from supermarket bought pieces, I just can't keep the plants alive over winter even though they are in the greenhouse. Good luck with yours. I can grow lemon grass from seed but again can't keep it alive over winter....sighs...xxx

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