Beautiful, Edible, Medicinal Ginger
I’ve already shown you how to grow grocery store potatoes… today I’ll show you how to grow grocery store ginger!
A perfect piece of ginger for planting.
When I was a kid, we were friends with a Chinese-Malaysian architect. He was the first person I’d ever seen growing ginger.
Before I saw him pulling roots from a large flowerpot, I had no idea that ginger even was a root. I only knew it as a the zippy part of ginger ale and gingerbread men.
Now that I’m older, I’ve really come to appreciate ginger both as an ornamental and a culinary plant. Over the years, I’ve planted ginger root from the store many times; however, good roots are getting harder to find. A lot of what I’ve seen lately is limp stuff from China without any good “eyes” on it. You have to look hard to get good pieces but good grocery store ginger pieces for planting can be found.
Grocery store sweet potatoes: How to Plant Sweet Potatoes
Be Choosy When You Grow Grocery Store Ginger
You want pieces that have eyes like this:
Nice, healthy yellow-green bumps. Those are where your new ginger plants will grow from. Watch out for pieces like this:
That’s what a lot of the ginger in the store looks like these days. The growing eyes have been chopped or abraded off. Skip them and keep looking.
When you have your nice, healthy pieces of ginger, break them up into a few pieces if they’re huge chunks, and ensure each piece has at least one or two growing buds.
Grow Ginger as An Ornamental
I planted a long row in a planter bed as part of The Great South Florida Food Forest Project – check it out:
After spacing the roots on the surface like that, I buried them all a few inches deep. In a few months, ginger plants will pop up in a lovely row and it’s off to the races.
Forget plugging in non-edible ornamental plants… why do that when you can grow something delicious and beautiful? Growing ginger is easy. They have few or no pests, grow in so-so soil, like the shade and they’re good for you.
We use it for seasoning (the leaves can be added to soups like bay leaves) and to treat upset stomachs (ginger is a champion at calming queasiness… I pop chunks of it into tea all through campaign season).
See my food forest: Convert Your Lawn into a High-Yield Food Forest
Don’t Plant Ginger Outdoors in Cold Climates
Now here’s the downside: if you live in a colder climate, you won’t be able to grow ginger in the ground. If the soil freezes, it will die. In that case, grow your ginger in pots and then keep the pots indoors or in a warm outbuilding during the winter. Ginger tend to go dormant in the winter anyhow, so the lack of sunshine won’t be a problem. Just don’t let them dry all the way out and definitely don’t let them stay wet. Waterlogged roots during dormancy will quickly lead to dead ginger. In the spring when the weather warms up and it’s time to plant corn and bush beans, put your ginger back outside.
I’ve been growing ginger for years and won’t be without it again, no matter what the climate.
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