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I came across an article on growing ginger, so bought some organic ginger root today. I've read to soak it overnight, and how to plant, etc, but I'm wondering if anyone here grows their own.

It doesn't seem to be able to grow outside all year in my area, so I'll be planting in a pot and taking it outside for the summer. Any other tricks to this plant?
 

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I am no expert at agricultural pursuits but here is what works for me in zone 7B in the western NC foothills. I live in what is referred to as the Unifour.

I have grown ginger for the past 4-5 years in pots. Here in the humid foothills, it is an easy, low-maintenance plant. I've had better luck growing it than most of my food plants around here and have never managed to kill it through ineptness, lack of time, etc. The deer and wildlife do not bother it but I keep it close to the house.

When I started growing this plant, I bought a couple ginger roots at an Asian market. These were natural roots that had not been sprayed with anti-sprout chemicals and were fresh. Ginger roots bought from Food Lion or such probably would not sprout. I have not tried a grocery store bought ginger root so I do not know if it is viable.

I planted one root each in two 2 gallon pots. I now have four pots worth of them and harvest them in the Fall, keeping just enough ginger root to start the next years crop. I do not use a lot of it, and being that it is just me, four pots is more than sufficient to grow enough to cook with on occasion for a year. Think of each 2 gallon pot as being good for 4-10 normal size ginger roots depending on the weather, amount of water, temps, etc. "Normal size" being what you would typically see in the store produce section.

The trick to raising them is to not put them out too early where they would be in danger of frost and to not let them get much direct sun. I put mine out in late April/early May. By early June, it has sprouted and is growing quickly. Mine are in a part of the yard that gets indirect, dappled light throughout the day. It might get some direct light for the last hour of the day in the Summer when it has cooled down. I think Ginger is an understory plant. It acts like one anyway.

Make sure to keep them watered enough to keep the soil damp. If it rains at least twice a week in the peak heat of summer, you probably won't need to water them. It is very humid here so they like that. I am a few acres away from the river so I have never had them dry out from 100+ degree temperatures when they occured. Even in droughts, they have survived as long as they got a liter or more of water a week. Obviously, the more water they get, the better off the plants and the larger the ginger roots.

You will want to harvest the roots before it gets too cold in the fall. Somewhere about the time just before first frost is good. I wait until the plant starts wilting or dying back to harvest it or when I feel it's too close to a frost. I then cut the plant down to the dirt, empty out the pots into a large pan, pull the ginger and sort it out, and put aside those that I am going to replant. Then I put the soil, new manure/compost, and ginger roots back into the pots and bring the pots indoors. Over the Winter, I keep the soil moist. In other words, water sparingly as needed. Once the danger of frost is past, I take them back outside.

Is this the correct way to raise it? I have no idea but it works for me. Your mileage may vary.

In short, keep the plants warm and watered and they will do fine. If you have cats in the area you over-winter the plants, put something in the pots to keep them out of them! :D:
 

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Daughter OfThe Revolution
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I'm trying to grow ginger too. My first attempt. I saw some baskets of it at Costco, grabbed two and put one in the fridge and planted the other. Of the ginger I planted, I put some outside and just stuck it in the ground. The other I put in small pots and have kept in the house in a window.

I'll let you know what happens. :)
 
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