Saturday, March 3, 2012

Grow Your Own Ginger At Home!

Today I am going to teach you how to grow ginger in your own home! Let me first tell you why you should grow ginger. Ginger extracts have been shown to have both antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects on cells. It is also a good source of potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese and vitamin B6. Ginger has anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. These substances are believed to explain why so many people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly. Gingerols, the active phytonutrients in ginger, kill ovarian cancer cells by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) and autophagocytosis (self-digestion).
How is that for an incentive? You can grow this right in your own kitchen. Your own personal pharmacy!

"Ginger root is sold in a clump that’s often called a “hand.” You’ll want to choose a hand that’s fresh and firm with as many “fingers” as possible. To get as many plants as you can, cut or break the fingers off the main root. Each section with a growing tip will become a plant. Be sure to allow any cut surfaces to dry before planting them in moist soil. 
Planting is easy: Simply pick a pot that’s at least twice the diameter as the length of your root section. Fill it ¾ full with standard potting soil, and place the small root sections on top of the soil. Water it well. Your plant will survive dry spells, but to get the most consistent growth, keep it damp at all times. Place your ginger pot in a spot where it’ll stay warm. There’s no need to find a sunny spot on your windowsill. At this stage, your ginger actually grows better without direct sunshine. Before you know it, you’ll see sprouts.
Studies say ginger’s peak flavor arrives at 265 days. (And if you start the ginger inside in late winter, that one root can produce four times that amount by fall!) But you’ll only get this long growing season by starting your ginger indoors as a houseplant early in the year and then transplanting it in your garden in late spring, once the weather’s warmed. When moving your ginger to your garden, choose a spot with rich, loose soil, and be sure to water it regularly. There aren’t many pests or diseases to worry about. And occasionally, you might get a nice surprise: Your ginger plant may produce yellowish flowers at the base of each stem.
With proper care, your ginger can reach 2-4 feet tall. It’ll have narrow, glossy, green leaves that can be up to a foot long. Its roots can be harvested at any time, but you should let the plant grow for at least three to four months before harvesting. You’ll be able to see the ginger roots growing near the surface of the soil. To harvest them, just trim off small sections whenever you need them, while the rest of the plant continues to grow. The new roots that grow from the starter root will have the best flavor and texture. The old starter root should be tossed out at the end of the season."


Learn 2 Grow is the source I used for planting and harvesting. See the full post, and their collection of photos here. Health benefit source is from WHFoods. See a complete nutritional guide on ginger here.

51 comments :

  1. I love this idea. Thanks for sharing it. Do you have a photo of the ginger that shows the growth that can be harvested? BTW, I like the look of your blog. Just started one and still trying to figure out how to design it! www.lifeatmybench.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Hey Michele! Thanks for the kinds words. This blog has been a work in progress for about 2 years.. It took me a long while to get it where it is now :)
      I also just started this ginger a few weeks ago so it wont be ready to harvest till the end of summer. The sprout is now twice the size that it was last week. I am very excited to watch it grow, and I will update the posts as they grow. So I hope that you will follow me on the adventure, and I will check your blog out. :)

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  2. Olá!!

    Adorei sua dica, eu gosto muito de gengibre.

    Obrigada!!

    :)

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  3. Hola Kristina! Gracias por compartir el dato! Puedo comenzar a cultivar el jenjibre en verano?,en Argentina es verano ;) Saludos.

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    1. Cecilia (and I would like to know if you can start a plant in summer. It is summer in Argentina now, and warm in CA)
      Thanks for the great info!
      Johanna

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  4. Can I buy the ginger that's in my supermarket or do I have to find one elsewhere?

    Rosie

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    1. Hey Rosie,
      It IS the ginger in your local supermarket. :) My ginger plant is now 4 feet tall! I've never had a plant that grows so full and fast so quickly..

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  5. http://www.flickr.com/photos/unic0rn0nthec0b/8451264864/in/photostream

    Here is a photo of the ginger at 2 feet tall.

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  6. Wonderful post, thank you! I can't wait to get my ginger plant started.

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  7. yeah, thanks, but what do you do with the green? Cuz i use only the root, does the root grow bigger?

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    1. Hey there!
      The root grows near the surface of the soil. As the plant grows you can see the roots lifting the plant up, and getting larger.

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  8. Does it survive the winter in, say Montana?

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    1. I don't think it would survive unless brought indoors..

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  9. Excellent. I am so excited. I have tried to grow ginger but I have always buried it in dirt. I tried several times and it did not work. Do you have to bring the ginger root in during the winter time?

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    1. You should actually get the starts going in late winter. Right now is the perfect time. You can bring it outside when the chances of frost have passed, and harvest after 3-4 months of growth in small sections, and it will still continue to grow until the frost comes again.

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  10. Fabulous post! I often wondered, but I didn't know it was possible to grow ginger. I definitely will try this ... soon! Thanks for sharing your experience. :)

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    1. My ginger plant is 4 feet tall now, and has another sprout coming up. I need to replant it into a bigger pot to encourage the root to grow bigger and fuller. Thanks for appreciating my sharing of the experience! :)

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  11. I'm totally gonna try this! I live in southern california so hopefully if I bring it in during the winter, I can keep a plant alive all year :)

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  12. What do you plant, the fingers or the hand?

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    1. I planted a small hand. The sprouts come out of each of the fingers. You could just plant fingers, but for a fuller bigger plant- The full hand worked really well for me.

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  13. Super ... i will grow my own ginger !!! Love ginger !!
    thanks,
    Biefrul

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  14. Do you think turmeric could be grown the same way?

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    1. It looks like you can! "You can use shop-bought turmeric roots to grow your own plants. Plant the root 10-15cm deep in spring in temperate zones, but it can be planted at any time of the year in the tropics and subtropics. Feed plants with Dynamic Lifter or another manure during the growing season, and keep plants well watered. When it gets ratty looking at the end of autumn or in early winter in temperate zones, cut it down to the ground. It will re-shoot in spring."
      http://www.burkesbackyard.com.au/factsheets/Food-Health-and-Nutrition/2UE-turmeric-and-ginger-tips/6050

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  15. Hello Kristina, My name is Sheila and I slowly grew closer to the country from the city. At 50, I now live in a country homestead, in a 1904 farm house with a 50 foot red barn. I love living where the air is cleaner. One of my favorite things to do is being able to play in my large yard and garden with my grandsons when they visit.

    I love Ginger, never thought of growing my own. This will be a fun project.

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    1. That is fantastic Sheila! I used to want to socialize, and be a part of everything. I did a complete 180. I want away from it all. I want serenity! I found where I belong. :) The city enhanced my crafty-artsy side though. Being around so many creative people has changed who I am. I also found my soul mate. So I like to think I am taking what I needed at this point in life, and am moving on.
      Good luck with the ginger! I moved mine outside and it died. Keep it indoors!

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  16. Thanks for the great tip -- I've been eating tons of ginger and never had a clue I could grow my own! :) We're trying to develop a self-sustaining homestead and this will be a great addition.

    What I especially love about this is the top picture shows old wrinkled garlic being planted -- and to think I'd been throwing this out for years!! Never again! lol

    Blessings,

    erin

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    1. Your homestead adventures and goals sounds so inspiring! Keep it up!

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    2. Erin, I don't think the top picture is old wrinkled garlic. Its A ginger finger. off of a ginger root plant.

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  17. Thank you for the info on how to grow ginger. I love to grow and use herbs for everything. I am about to take a new path next month and doing herbal crafting will be a big part of it.

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  18. I just started my ginger, coolest may ever. Hope it helps my heath issues too.

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    1. I hope you had progress both in growing, and in your health!

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  19. Perhaps I missed reading, but did you purchase the ginger root at your local market or did you special order it. I understand that if it blooms, the scent is absolutely wonderful. Please advise as to where one should get the root.

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    1. Hey there! I did buy the hand at a local produce market. It doesn't need to be a special kind to grow. Just keep it moist, and with good drainage.

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  20. do you know if the leafs are poisones or safe I run child care and so surprised on how many plants I cant have

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    1. I have read quite a bit up on growing ginger, and havn't seen anywhere anyone talking about the leaves at all. So I am not quite sure. Sorry I couldn't be of more help. :/

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  21. Reading up on your ginger growing, I had tried to grow some before, but had no clue, and had hard soil, so it died. :( However, now that I've read your blog I will be trying it again. I did have a question though. You said you throw out the old ginger at the end of the growing season. Could you continue to use new ginger off the old root, or will it just eventually die? If it does die, do you just take a cutting off the new growth and start again? Thanks so much.

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    1. Hey Joni,
      Everything that I read said to continue to cut the new growth to keep the cycle going. The old root stops producing starts. Good Luck!!

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  22. I have an Asian/Indian market nearby that sells very fresh ginger really cheap. I've bought it there for as little 79 cents/lb. while most other stores want $2.99 to $3.99/lb. I've found that ginger freezes beautifully. Just peel it and wrap it well in plastic film. Then use a microplane to grate what you need, and return the rest to the freezer. The flavor seems to be exactly the same. That said, I'm going to try growing my own just for the fun of it. I already grow my own garlic and lemon grass, so this fits right in. I'm wondering whether dusting the cut end with sulphur would help prevent decay. I do that with potatoes before planting, and it works well.

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  23. It seems to look like the iris rhizomes that you plant the same way. The older central parts die off and must be cut off and discarded, and you need not disturb the outer fingers.

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  24. Thank you for this!! I cannot wait to start growing my own ginger!! We make our own compost and have rain barrels on hand to do watering. I'm glad I can start it indoors. And all the comments helped with more details!! Like freezing and about old root and new root.. Thank you!

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  25. Found this fascinating because I've never thought of growing ginger. Can you use the leaves to cook with or dry them for tea?

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  26. does the fact that you throw out the original root mean that you cannot keep it growing? do you need to keep planting them to keep up having a plant all the time?

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    1. I would keep a couple of plants going at all times. That way as you cut some off of one plant, while the other is growing, and keep a rotation going.

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  27. I was so excited to read this information.I have fibromyalgia and I had no idea about the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger. I can't wait to grow some.next I need to know how do you use this?

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  28. Does this type of ginger get the same kind of sweet smelling flowers as decorative ginger? Just wondering. I

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    1. Hey Robin,
      My plant didn't live long enough to see flowers as I put it outside too early and it died. I read from other comments that they do get flowers!

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  29. I'm lost. I buy ginger root all the time for diy ginger ale and tea. What are the uses of the plant? How do I use the root w/out killing the plant? Is the plant growth to make bigger roots for use?

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  30. I have RA and love ginger now I have to figure out what to do with it besides marinades.......

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  31. We used to drink ginger juice in the winter. Bit spicy and hot but taste good. We cook many food with ginger. Very healthy. Enjoy you blog

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  32. I use a lot of ginger with my fibromyalgia and my husbands arthritis can't wait to grow my own

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  33. I was wondering about the leaves and flowers of the ginger being edible also, so I did a google search. Here's what I found:

    "Leaves & Shoots Although not as commonly used as the root, the leaves and shoots of ginger are edible. They are mainly used as a flavorful garnish much as you would use chopped chives or green onions, rather than eaten on their own. To use the leaves or shoots, chop them finely and sprinkle a small portion over a dish before you serve it or add it just at the end of cooking. The shoots and leaves have a mild ginger flavor."

    Here is the link: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/part-ginger-plant-eat-74002.html

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