Kitchen Gardening – Growing Ginger
I’ve decided to start a series of blogs on Kitchen Gardening. There are SO many things you can grow from your kitchen! Many things that probably never even occurred to you. And I’m not telling you what they are. You’ll have to keep reading and following my blog 😀
But for now…let’s talk about how to grow ginger!
When February and March roll around, I get really antsy to start gardening outside, but I can’t! With the snow and cold temperatures still lingering around in typical Cleveland, Ohio-fashion, I need to do something so I’ve decided to plant ginger. Why? Well why the hell not. Because fresh ginger is damnlicious. And growing ginger at home is easy. I love using it for tea and asian-inspired cooking. There is nothing like the spiciness of super-fresh ginger. I love making ginger/lemon/honey tea, and also love to use it in stir fries.
I started with grocery store ginger, but I purchased organic ginger. Make sure it’s firm, plump, and looks fresh. Conventional ginger could be sprayed with nasty chemicals and growth inhibitors in order to keep it from sprouting and thus increase its shelf life. I purchased some organic ginger in order to make it more viable to plant since it shouldn’t have any growth inhibitor (and no nasty-ass chemicals). I wanted some indication that it was going to grow before actually planting it. So I placed it in a small bowl , submerged the root in water, and set it on the kitchen counter. (If you’re not starting with organic ginger, this process will also help to remove any growth inhibitor and increase the chance of growing.) Every day, I changed the water and let it go about 3-4 days. You can see from the picture below that it is starting to sprout. Time to plant!
If I would have thought about it earlier, I would have planted the ginger in February. Ginger is slow to emerge. I planted it in a shallow pot that is wider than it is tall. The roots will grow horizontally so it needs room to grow. I used a shallow 8 inch pot. Depending on how big your ginger root is, just allow some room for it to grow horizontally. Fill a shallow pot about half full with a good potting soil, and place the ginger on top with the little sprouting buds facing up. Cover it with 1-2 inches of soil or so, water it lightly, and place it in a fairly warm area with not too much sun. Keep the soil moist but not wet. Hopefully in a few weeks, the shoots will start to grow!
Let’s take a look at the progress of my ginger plant. Here is my plant on April 30, 2017, less than 2 months after planting. It has started to grow one healthy stalk.
By June 11, 2017, it has grown beautifully!
And finally, the photo below is from October 22, 2017 just before I took the plant inside. We’ve been lucky with beautiful weather this year but the nights are getting chilly so the plant is safe inside now. The original stalk is looking ratty, however it has sprouted several more stems! I have placed it inside in my sunroom to continue growing during the winter.
At this point, you can harvest the whole plant, or just take little sections at a time and let the rest continue growing! Then you can have a continual supply of fresh ginger! And there is nothing like fresh ginger!
Fast forward a few months…I decided to harvest my whole ginger plant on January 1, 2018. And of course, I planted another ginger rhizome so I can continue to have more plants. Take a look at my ginger harvest below! Did you ever imagine that you could grow your own ginger at home?
Since it produced way more ginger that I could possibly use before it shrivels up on me, I received a tip from a friend. I simply peeled all the ginger and left them in big chunks. Then I threw them in a jar and completely submerged them in vodka. I then sealed the jar and placed it in the refrigerator. It should keep this way for a very long time and I’ll just plan on using it as needed without worrying about it spoiling on me! One of my favorite things to do with ginger is make a tea out of it. I take a piece of ginger and slice several thin pieces and boil them for about 30 minutes. Then I’ll strain the water, add the juice of 1/4 to 1/2 of a lemon, and then enough honey to taste. It’s absolutely delicious! I also grow my own Meyer lemons. I’ll just have to start beekeeping and then I’ll have covered it all 🙂
Why don’t you give growing ginger a try?