Growing Ginger at Home

Ginger is a tropical plant, native to Southeast Asia. Many believe that it is not possible to grow ginger in colder climates. However, ginger is actually quite easy to grow in cold climates within the comfort of oneís own home. The plant itself is pleasantly scented and is decorative as well.

Getting Started
Ginger root is found in most supermarkets and health food stores. It is important to purchase the freshest roots possible for optimal growth. One should look for ginger root that is plump and has large growth buds.

Before planting the ginger root, fill a bowl with room temperature water and allow the root to soak overnight. This will allow the ginger root to absorb water and will also help to cleanse its skin from any chemicals

Planting the Root
Ginger can be planted indoors or outdoors, depending upon the climate of the area. In warm areas, ginger root can be planted directly in the soil. In colder areas, or in areas that have extreme weather shifts, the ginger root should be planted in a large pot.

Whether planting in ground or in a container, the soil should allow for draining. This is easily accomplished by mixing one part sand with the soil in which the ginger will be planted. The location for the ginger plant should have partial shade and be protected from wind.

Ideally, before planting the ginger root, the soil should be warm and moist. In warm climates, ginger should be planted in the ground in early spring. Those planting ginger indoors can choose any time of year to plant the root, but should take care to give the plant adequate sunlight. The size of the container will determine the amount of usable ginger that will grow. The larger the container is, the more ginger will grow.

Ginger root that is planted in active soil can grow significantly underground. If planting multiple ginger roots, they should be planted about eight inches apart. The ginger root should be planted about two to four inches deep in the soil. The buds of the root must face upwards.

Maintenance of the Ginger Plant
It is important to give ginger the appropriate amount of water. The soil surrounding the ginger root should remain moist at all times, though overwatering can prevent it from growing adequately. A layer of mulch can help to keep water trapped in the soil. Mulch is also important for preventing weeds.

Ginger grows very slowly. The plant will only show a few leaves at first, but eventually will reach a height of about three to four feet. Because ginger does grow slowly, those planting the root outdoors must take care to weed the area often.

It may be necessary to use fertilizer on a regular basis. This is particularly true in areas with a great deal of rain.

Harvesting
At the end of the growing cycle, the leaves of the ginger plant will begin to wilt. At this point, the soil no longer needs to remain moist. Ginger can be harvested as soon as all of the plantís leaves have wilted. This can take up to 10 months from the time the ginger was first planted.

To harvest the ginger, the entire plant must be extracted from the earth or the container. The roots can be broken easily, leaving some for replanting and the rest for use.



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