We’ve all heard of how wonderful ginger is, right? This powerful root is not only known for the flavorful enhancement it brings to our favorite dishes, but also for its wealth in health benefits. Ginger can aid digestion, reduce nausea and sickness, fight off bacteria, and protect us from the flu — some studies have even suggested that ginger can curb cancer growth. Did you know that ginger can easily be home-grown?
With this guide on how to grow ginger, you’ll be well on your way to having your very own supply.
How to Grow Ginger at Home
Find your root: First thing’s first, you’ll need to pick up a ginger root from your grocery store. You should be aiming to find a piece that is the size of your thumb that has a handful of bumps at the tips (also known as buds). Typical ginger that you’d find in the supermarket is often treated in order to prevent it from sprouting — just like potatoes. So, we suggest that you choose organic for the best results.
Cut the rhizome: Cut the rhizome into multiple pieces.
Tip: Any piece that sits at a minimum width of 1 to 1 1/2 inches, with one or more eyes can grow into its own plant.
After you have divided your root plant, you need to leave the pieces in a dry secure location for a few days, or more. By doing this, you allow the ginger pieces to form a protective hard skin over the surface and heal, which ultimately reduces the risk of infection.
Prepare the soil: For the best results, use high quality and well-drained soil. A 50/50 mix of garden soil and well-rotted compost is best. Ginger also prefers slightly acidic soil, typically between 6.1 and 6.5 p.
Tip: Putting sphagnum moss (Buy at Home Depot, $4.97) in a starting tray can prevent rot in young plants, and promote great drainage.
Choosing the right location to grow the ginger: Ginger thrives in areas with partial shade, planted away from other large rooted plants, and should be sheltered away from wind and moisture. Before the ginger plant germinates, the soil temperature should be kept warm, at around 22 to 25 degrees.
Oh, and if you are growing your ginger in a pot, make sure that the pot is at least 12 inches deep. Use a plastic pot as opposed to a terra cotta one, with holes in the bottom for drainage.
Plant your ginger: Plant your individual ginger pieces at around two to four inches deep. Place each piece in loose soil, and aim the buds upwards from the soil. Maintain an eight inch space between each piece of ginger. If you chose to grow from a pot plant two or three pieces per large pot.
Aftercare for your ginger plant:
- Keep the soil damp — water lightly right after planting.
- Check up on your plant regularly — if the soil begins to become dry, water immediately.
- Try to maintain good water drainage — water less if the soil seems soggy (this will avoid root rot).
During the colder months:
- Ginger plants cannot thrive in colder temperatures, so during the cooler months bring the ginger plant indoors.
- Store in a warm, dry location
After eight months:
- After eight months, and when the stems begin to die off, its time to dig up the ginger rhizome.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First For Women.
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