fresh ginger just harvested laying on a sheet of paper showing how to grow ginger

How to Grow Ginger

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I love ginger’s warm spiciness, and it seems so exotic to grow, but my Aunt Chelle gave me a ginger plant once and I fell in love! It’s so easy to grow ginger (with a few secrets) and the flavor of super fresh ginger (and scent) is intoxicating! Even a beginning gardener can do it!

how to grow ginger

I’ll never go back to store-bought. And you can regrow it forever! And it’s so much fun to learn to grow your own spices!

Ginger is a popular spice used in many cuisines around the world. It is also used in traditional medicine for its numerous health benefits. Growing ginger at home is not only easy but also rewarding.

Ginger has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its numerous health benefits. Here are some of the most well-known health benefits of ginger:

  1. Ginger contains compounds that can help reduce inflammation in the body, which is a common cause of chronic diseases like arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.
  2. Ginger has been shown to help improve digestion and alleviate digestive issues like nausea, vomiting, and bloating. It can also help relieve constipation and improve overall gut health.
  3. Ginger has natural pain-relieving properties and has been shown to help reduce pain and inflammation in conditions like osteoarthritis, menstrual pain, and headaches.
  4. Ginger has immune-boosting properties and can help strengthen the immune system, making it more effective at fighting infections and diseases.
  5. Ginger has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, making it beneficial for people with diabetes or at risk of developing diabetes.
  6. Some studies have suggested that ginger may have anti-cancer properties and may help prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells.
  7. Ginger has been shown to help improve cardiovascular health by reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, and improving circulation.
  8. Ginger can help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi in the body.
ginger growing in a pot

Conditions for growing ginger

Ginger is a tropical plant that thrives in warm and humid climates. It requires a temperature range of 77-86°F and 60% humidity. Ginger can be grown in both tropical and subtropical regions, and it can also be grown as a houseplant in cooler climates.

It can tolerate temperatures as low as 64°F and as high as 95°F for short periods. However, prolonged exposure to temperatures outside the ideal range can affect its growth and yield.

Ginger also requires a high level of rainfall or irrigation to grow well. It needs 59 inches of rainfall annually, so if you are growing it, you need to water it regularly.

Ginger can also grow in a range of soil types, but it prefers loose, loamy soil that is rich in organic matter. The soil should have good drainage to prevent waterlogging, which can cause root rot. If the soil is heavy and has a lot of clay, it can be amended with compost or well-rotted manure to improve its texture and fertility.

ginger root being planted in a pot

Steps to growing ginger

Step 1: Choose the Right Ginger Variety

When it comes to growing ginger, there are many varieties to choose from. The most common variety is the culinary ginger (Zingiber officinale), which is widely used in cooking. Other varieties include the ornamental ginger (Alpinia species), which is grown for its attractive flowers, and the galangal ginger (Alpinia galanga), which is used in traditional medicine.

For growing ginger at home, you need to choose culinary ginger. It is readily available, easy to grow, and has a good flavor. Make sure to choose a fresh and plump ginger rhizome from your local market or grocery store. You can also order ginger roots online.

Step 2: Preparing the Soil

Ginger prefers loose, loamy soil that is rich in organic matter. It should also have good drainage. Before planting, prepare the soil by adding compost or well-rotted manure to enrich it. You can also add a slow-release fertilizer to provide the necessary nutrients for the plant.

If you are planting ginger in a pot, make sure to choose a container that is at least 12 inches deep and wide. Fill it with a good-quality potting mix and add some perlite or vermiculite to improve drainage.

Step 3: Planting Ginger

Once you have prepared the soil, it’s time to plant the ginger. Follow these steps:

  1. Soak the ginger rhizome in water overnight to soften it and remove any growth inhibitors.
  2. Fill the planting hole with some compost or well-rotted manure.
  3. Place the ginger rhizome in the soil with the buds facing up.
  4. Cover it with 2-3 inches of soil.
  5. Water it thoroughly.

If you are planting ginger in a pot, fill the pot with the soil mixture leaving some space at the top. Place the ginger rhizome on top of the soil and cover it with 2-3 inches of soil. Water it thoroughly.

Step 4: Watering and Fertilizing

Ginger requires regular watering to keep the soil moist. Water it deeply twice a week, depending on the weather conditions. Do not overwater as it can cause root rot. Make sure to water the soil and not the leaves to prevent fungal diseases.

Fertilize the ginger plant every month with a balanced fertilizer or a fertilizer high in potassium to promote root growth. Avoid using nitrogen-rich fertilizers as they can encourage leaf growth at the expense of the roots.

fresh ginger just harvested on the table

Step 5: Harvesting Ginger

Ginger takes about 8-10 months to mature. When the plant starts to yellow and the leaves start to die down, it’s time to harvest the ginger. Dig up the entire plant and remove the ginger rhizomes. You can also harvest some of the rhizomes earlier if you want to use them fresh.

Step 6: Storing Ginger

Once you have harvested the ginger, you can store it for later use. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Clean the ginger rhizomes and remove any soil or debris.
  2. Let it dry in the sun for a day or two.
  3. Store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Ginger can be stored for several months if kept in the right conditions. You can also freeze it.

a pot of ginger, removed from the pot and laying over on its side showing the root ball

How to freeze ginger

Freezing fresh ginger is a great way to extend its shelf life and make it easier to use in cooking. Here are the steps to follow to freeze fresh ginger:

  1. Choose fresh, plump ginger with no signs of mold or spoilage. Rinse the ginger under cool running water and pat it dry with a paper towel.
  2. Cut the ginger into small pieces or slices. This will make it easier to use in cooking and will also help it freeze faster.
  3. Place the ginger pieces/slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put it in the freezer. Make sure the ginger pieces/slices are not touching each other, so they don’t freeze together.
  4. Leave the ginger in the freezer until it is completely frozen, which should take about 2-3 hours.
  5. Once the ginger is frozen, transfer the pieces/slices to an airtight container or freezer bag. Label the container/bag with the date so you can keep track of how long it has been frozen.
  6. Place the container/bag in the freezer and store it for up to 6 months.

When you are ready to use the frozen ginger, there is no need to thaw it. Simply remove the amount you need from the container/bag and use it directly in your recipe. Frozen ginger can be grated, chopped, or sliced, just like fresh ginger.

You could also grate it and freeze it on a sheet tray the same way. Package it in an airtight container as well when fully frozen.

ginger fresh from the pot

Recipes that use ginger

Ginger is a versatile spice that can be used in a variety of ways. Here are some ideas:

  1. Cooking: Ginger can be used in many dishes, such as stir-fries, curries, soups, and stews. It adds a unique flavor and aroma that complements both sweet and savory dishes.
  2. Tea: Ginger tea is a popular way to consume ginger. Simply slice or grate fresh ginger into a pot of boiling water and let it steep for a few minutes. You can add honey, lemon, or other spices to enhance the flavor.
  3. Baking: Ginger can be used in baked goods like gingerbread, cookies, and cakes. It adds a warm and spicy flavor that pairs well with sweet ingredients.
  4. Smoothies and juices: Add a slice or two of ginger to your favorite smoothie or juice recipe for a boost of flavor and health benefits.
  5. Pickling: Pickled ginger is a common condiment in Japanese cuisine. Thinly slice fresh ginger and soak it in a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt for a few hours.
fresh ginger harvested and dirty

Ginger beef soup

This ginger beef soup is one of our favorites around here. The ginger makes the soup! It’s a Chinese style minced beef soup and you’re going to love it.

Ginger lemon infused water

This ginger lemon infused water is one of our favorite infused water recipes as well. You gotta try it for sure!

There are so many great ways you can use ginger. Learning how to grow ginger is going to be a game changer. This past year, I got to use home grown ginger in my gingerbread houses too! I felt like a superstar!

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