Ginger is an excellent herb to keep on hand and adds a unique flavor to any dish. Even better, it’s easy to grow and harvest on your own. You can find a starter just at your local grocery store, but it is also easy to grow from seedlings. Whether you plan on starting your ginger off in your garden or in a smaller container, keep in mind that ginger likes to be warm, needs partial shade, and needs nutrient-rich, moist soil.
Basics of Growing Ginger
For the most success, you’ll want to find a good-looking ginger root in the grocery store or local market, one that has many eye bud swellings. In your garden or pot, dig a hole about 1 inch deep and plant the ginger root with eye buds pointing towards the sky. Cover with fresh soil then water thoroughly.
If you are using a pot, one 12” pot will do for two roots, but no more than that. If you have a garden, one ginger root per square foot is the rule of thumb. It is extremely important that you keep your ginger (at this stage called rhizomes) moist and out of direct wind and sunlight.
Water the root deeply and thoroughly until leaves appear; once you see leaves you need to water only sparingly.
Harvesting your Ginger
Once you let your rhizome(s) grow for several months, you will be able to start harvesting. To harvest, you simply pull (gently!) the plant from the soil. As you harvest, if any rhizome has roots, you can simply cut that part off and replant it to get another plant started on growing.
Typically, ginger is planted in the spring and grows all summer (but of course, it depends on your climate). Once fall hits (or before the first frost), harvest when you see the leaves are starting to die. Keep in mind that it can take up to 10 months to mature, so if you live in a climate where you may not be able to harvest before the first frost or are prone to extremes in weather, utilize a pot that you can then bring inside during the winter.
Yep, growing your own ginger really is that easy. Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up a ginger root and give it a go at harvesting your own plant. You’ll find that it’s an easy herb to grow and provides innumerable benefits. Enjoy!