How to Grow Ginger in Containers

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And today we're talking about the almighty ginger, one of the most widely cultivated crops and used crops in the world. It's one of the first crops that was exported from Asia. Here we have the root.

We'll get to why it's not actually a root in a second, but here is a plant, the ginger plant. This is actually not the classic species. This is Alpinia galanga, which is a Thai ginger. But for all intents and purposes, it grows the same way.

Now, ginger used in spices, you can candy it, you can dry it. There's 1,000,001 things to do. So in this video we're going to learn how to grow it in a container, the exact way to get EPIC amounts of ginger.

And at the very end for a little bonus, I'm going to show you how I turn my homegrown ginger into a ginger powder. So if you want some Epic ginger harvest, make sure to cultivate that light button.

And let's get into the video. One of the most important things to know when you are growing ginger is we call it the ginger root, but we're actually harvesting the rhizome, which is a modified underground stem.

So it's technically a stem, it's the main stem of the ginger plant. And what we're doing is we are planting a rhizome when we're growing it in a container. So here's one that I have.

I got it at a grocery store. And here's a pro tip. When you're buying it at a grocery store. So when you're going to the store to find ginger, you want to look for eyes, right? So look for these little eyes.

You can sometimes see them sprouting, sometimes not, and just grab a couple of big chunks like this. See you can see this is where the new growth is going to come out right there, right there, and right there.

Now another thing you should know when you're planting your ginger is that the larger the rhizome chunk that you plant, the faster you're going to get ginger. And the reason why is because you're going to get more sprouts.

So if we have a plant like this, you can see we have one, two, three, four, five, six shoots coming up, and that's only going to happen if there are enough areas for the shoots to come up. So if we took this little toe off right here, there might be two points.

You get two shots. If we plant this entire ginger piece though, we’re going to get a lot more, which means more shoot development up top and more root growth down below quicker, which means more photosynthesis, which means more energy, which means more growth, which means you get the ginger faster.

Now that we know how ginger grows, we have to think about the container we're going to put it in, right? That's what the video is about. Now what you'll notice is as you plant it and the stalks start to come up, they creep in one direction, so they grow horizontally, the rhizome expands horizontally.

So that means it makes a little bit more sense in my opinion, to grow it in a wide shallow pot rather than a narrow deep pot. So this pot, for example, I may transplant into a wider shallow pot. That's why I've chosen this one right here for soil.

We’re going to use a really high-quality potting mix. It wants something that is somewhat loose so that rhizome can creep and expand, but also really rich in organic matter. Now while you can pre sprout your ginger in a little bowl of water and just place it in a bowl of water, wait till you see some root and shoot development.

If you so choose, you can just go ahead and plant it straight in and then hit it with a little bit of water. It's gonna start anyways. That's just kind of way to speed up the process, but certainly not necessary.

Anything that would be happening in that bowl will also be happening in this soil. So we have our mix here, a really nice high quality potting mix with ginger. It's kind of not like a standard root crop, like a potato, potatoes you would put down pretty deep in the soil, maybe at least six inches or so I would say.

Although I plant my potatoes even deeper, but what I'll do is I'll just barely cover it up. So we've got our nice piece here, nice healthy chunk of ginger rhizome and we're going to pop it in, give it a nice little firm press, we'll cover it up maybe half inch, three quarter inch, nothing too wild.

And now we are ready to water it in. Don't go crazy with watering it in here because remember there's no roots, no shoots, so we just need to give it enough water so that it knows it's time to start throwing out those roots and shoots.

And besides that, we're pretty much good to go and remember it's in a container, so you can definitely over-water it a little bit. One thing I like to do is just check, let's see how much we watered that right now.

It looks like we got it moist to about, oh, I don't know, maybe about two inches or so. I might give it a tiny bit more, and that's pretty much it until it starts to sprout up. So after you planted it, where do we place it? To understand that, we have to understand again, where did it come from? It came from Southeast Asia.

That’s a tropical climate. The tropical climate means lots of rainfall, lots of humidity, lots of heat, and the soil is moist for quite some time. So if we’re thinking about that and we’re thinking, how do we place our containers so that we get some nice sprouting and some good growth, good early growth, that means probably you’re gonna want to start it in the spring.

Probably you're gonna want to start it indoors. If you're in a specifically cold area, you know, if you get a true frost in the winter, start it indoors, wait till you see some sprouts start to come up, and then you can think about moving it outdoors.

Because again, heat, humidity, and water-loving plant, when these are cultivated in en masse, right? In a commercial farming application, these are all planted in spring. The rhizomes are all planted in spring, timed to right up to that monsoon or rainy season where they're cultivated.

And that's because then you're just letting mother nature do the work. Of course, we're growing it in a container. So after it sprouts, you're gonna have to do a little bit as far as its care.

Let's talk about three different problems that you can run into when you're growing ginger in containers. Honestly, it really is a simple plant provided you're matching it to the conditions, it expects the conditions it's used to, right where it evolved.

So if you're getting browning tips, yellowing tips. Browning tips is probably a good sign that the soil is not moist enough. You may want to throw some mulch on, you may want to water little bit more often.

Perhaps you want to use a container with worse drainage, right? As long as you're not over-watering. And if you're getting it to yellow a little bit, it's a nutrient loving plant. So you may want to give it some granular fertilizer, organic, granular fertilizer, or if you so choose a liquid fertilizer, just kind of watch out and pay attention.

It's the number one skill in the garden, pay attention and you will become a better gardener magically. If it's getting soggy and these are rotting out, that's of course too much water. And really besides that, what if it flowers? Well ginger flowers, that's what the plant does and you can actually eat the flowers too.

So I wouldn't stress out, I wouldn't worry about the flowers. And that's pretty much the number one, two and three problems you're going to run into. I would say if you have a specific problem, drop in the comments down below.

So let's pretend the ginger I just planted has now sprouted and we're looking at this, this is probably two months in at least we've got some nice growth up top and honestly you can both use the leaves and the leaves smell amazing as a fragrance.

Ginger's just a smell I really enjoy. But what should you do? Some things that you can do if you're in a particularly dry area is throw some mulch on top of the container, maybe an inch or two of a woodchip style mulch.

Something like that can really hold that moisture in. You may want to reapply. I know in commercial applications they'll do it at time of planting and then they'll kind of hill it up slightly to keep that moisture in a little bit more really protect the rhizomes and then they'll also throw some mulch on me 45-90 days after.

For harvesting, what you'll want to do is if you want to keep it growing, if you're in an area where you can overwinter your ginger and just keep growing, growing, growing, then what you may want to do is come through and just snap off the new chunks of the rhizome and let it continue to grow.

That way you're not disturbing the entire root system and shoot system. Right, but if you're in an area where it does get to that point where the frost is really starting to come in and the temperature is really starting to go, it's going to die back so you can harvest it before then.

I would say four to five months is about the time you want to wait before you do your first harvest. But if it's going to die back, you may as well harvest all of it. And then you can wash it, clean it off.

And after that, what you can do is you can use the stuff that you want to use and we're getting into that ginger powder in just a second here. But uh, you can store the rest of it in like a root cellar type of situation where then you can plant it again next spring.

So your ginger will always be producing new ginger, both for your garden and for your kitchen. Now that you know how to grow ginger, let's figure out how to turn it into a ginger powder. Our little bonus piece on using it in the kitchen.

Something that I'm really big on this year, taking from the garden, using the kitchen. Ginger powder, very versatile. So what we're going to do is slice it and dehydrate it. Let's get started.

If you've harvested this from the ginger, you grew in containers, make sure you give it a good wash and scrub. But this one's nice and clean. So let's chop it and we're slicing it into uniform slices because when we dehydrate it, we want it to dehydrate at the same rate and so the thickness of the slice should be uniform.

Let's do this. I'm going to go very, very cleanly through and this is just such a great way to use it because you're basically turning ginger into a raw ingredient, kind of like a salt or a pepper.

You're turning it into a dehydrated powder that you can mix into teas. You can use it as a seasoning or spice in baked goods. There's 1,000,001 different ways to use it to say nothing of the medicinal ways that you can use ginger.

So we're almost done slicing here, and you can dehydrate this in the sun if you wish, but I have a pretty budget dehydrator that I'm going to show you how to use. Here's the dehydrator we're using.

It's a Nesco. It's a very commonly found one and it basically works by these stackable trays. So these stackable trays have little sheetings that you can put on top, and that's what we'll do.

We're just going to lay our ginger out. I already have some loquats dehydrating in here. So let's lay it out and we're going to go three to four hours at around 115 degrees until the ginger snaps.

That's, that's completely dry cause it can't be turned into a powder. If there's really any water content left at all four hours later, we have our dehydrated ginger. Just look how small it ends up shrinking down to and you want it to be crispy.

So listen, that's what we're talking about. Let's take a spice grinder. You can use something else. You don't have to use a spice grinder. But I happen to have one. So we'll pop it on.

It just has these two blades there and there that make quick work of it. [inaudible] So we've gone from grabbing ginger, even at the grocery store, turning it into a beautiful ginger plant, cultivated in a container, and then all the way down to turning it back into ginger powder that I'm gonna use for my teas and my seasonings.

And of course I'm gonna need a whole lot more of this, so I better grow some more ginger. Guys, It's a super fun plant, so super easy. I really encourage you to grow this one, and even if you're in a climate that won't support it, really exploding.

So grow it as a nice ornamental. It’s fantastic plant. So till next time, good luck in the garden and keep on growing.

Source : Youtube

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