Growing Ginger from the Store

Growing Ginger from the Store

What you need to know about Ginger

Ginger is relatively easy to grow if provided with the right conditions. It thrives in partial shade, particularly in the hot summer temperatures of the Southern US, though it does enjoy warmth and dislikes cold nights. Ginger prefers sandy, well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter and retains moisture—similar to the conditions found in the tropical rainforests and volcanic soils of Pacific islands.

Outside the tropics, ginger doesn't reach full maturity, which typically takes over a year. Instead, we harvest what is known as baby ginger, which is tender, spicy, and sweet. Baby ginger does not require peeling before use, but it does not store well. To preserve it, we freeze the ginger and grate it as needed using a microplane.

How to Pick Ginger & What to Look For

To start, I purchase organic ginger hands (the term for a piece of ginger) and sprout them in trays. I recommend organic ginger because it's more likely to sprout successfully and hasn't been treated with chemicals that inhibit sprouting.

While multiple shoots can emerge from each hand, planting larger pieces can provide the new shoots with more resources. Ginger reproduces through rhizomes, not seeds, and can be grown in containers. Starting with disease-free ginger stock is crucial. Certified disease-free stock is available online, though it is pricier, but it’s a worthwhile investment if you're planning to grow ginger for market purposes, propagation, or large-scale planting.

When to Start Growing

Begin sprouting your ginger in late winter so you have established plants ready to transplant a few weeks after the last frost—ginger is sensitive to cold nights. The ginger can remain in the ground throughout the season, but ensure it's harvested before the first frost. The longer it grows, the larger it becomes.

How to Grow:

To sprout the ginger, press it into a tray of potting soil and keep it in a warm, well-lit area until the tips of the hand begin to swell and produce shoots. I typically pack several hands in a single tray, then separate them and plant them in 4- or 6-inch pots to continue growing.

I generally transplant ginger with two rows per bed and two feet of spacing in each row. They require a lot of space as they grow quite large. I use a drip tape and water daily throughout the summer, especially if growing in a tunnel. It's also important to keep the area well-weeded by hilling soil around the emerging rhizomes. Ginger is generally pest and disease-free, although I've encountered issues with grasshoppers in the summer.

Lastly, ginger is a heavy feeder and benefits greatly from supplements like AZOMITE for trace minerals and Feather Meal for nitrogen. Both products can be found and purchased on our website!


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