If you're living in an area where growing ginger outdoors isn't feasible, growing it in a pot is a great way to get some fresh ginger without having to spend too much time outside.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a very important spice. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities. It's cooling and medicinal powers are well known.
Growing Ginger in Pots
Ginger is a herbaceous perennial. In subtropical and tropical regions of the world, ginger can be grown year-round, both on the ground and in containers.
You can grow ginger any time, but the best time is early May with the receipt of pre-monsoon showers.
Ginger is propagated by portions of the rhizome, known as seed rhizomes. Seed rhizomes must have at least one small green bud or eye on them.
- Cut each ginger into 1 to 2 inch segments. These segments must contain the growing bud. Each segment should contain just one bud. These buds are the which puts forth new growth.
- Fill the pot with a rich and warm soil mixture, and plant the rhizomes one inch deep with their eyes(buds) facing up and set them five inches apart. Cover it with soil and water till the soil is moist.
- Keep the container in a warm place, that gets at least five hours of sunlight per day.
Choosing a Pot
To grow gingers, choose a container that is at least 8-12 inches deep. The width should be sufficient to encourage the spreading of rhizomes. Rectangular containers or window boxes can also be used.
Place the container in partial sun. A place that receives morning sun and is shady in the afternoon is ideal.
Ginger requires sandy loam soil with good drainage. The soil must be rich in organic matter. You can add cow dung or other manure to enrich the soil.
Ginger plants require slightly moist soil. Regular deep watering is preferred. Overwatering is a huge concern in ginger. It causes root rot and death of the plant. In the winter season watering must be reduced.
Ginger prefers warm temperatures. So it is good to take your ginger plants indoors in winter.
Ginger is a heavy feeder. Therefore compost or organic manure should be added to the soil. You can also use liquid fertilizer to encourage good growth.
Pests and Diseases
Rhizome scale and shoot borers are the major pests and bacterial wilt, soft rot are some of the diseases. If you use healthy planting material and good potting you can keep these pests and diseases at bay.
In case your plants get infested, use organic concoctions to save your plant.
Once the leaves start to turn yellow and the plant reaches at least 3-4 feet tall, you can harvest the ginger. It takes 7-10 months from planting for the ginger to get ready to harvest.
You can harvest fresh ginger by tapping the soil lightly or by removing the topsoil with a small shovel.
Dr. Vandana K.