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

8 Starter Tips for Detox

You have been experiencing frequent headaches, weight gain, constipation and skin problems, amongst a whole host of health problems. And you are pretty convinced that some of these problems are due to a diet of high in saturated fats, environmental pollution, and a stressful lifestyle.

These factors have inadvertently contributed to a toxin build-up in your body and you would like to cleanse your body through a detox program.

But before you plunge right into just any cleansing technique, here are some general tips that you must first consider:

  1. Start with a cleansing technique that is not too drastic or extreme for your present condition.
  2. On the other hand, do not choose a technique that is too mild and would, therefore, be ineffective. You can always start with a gentle cleansing program but build it up gradually.
  3. If you are a female, do not detoxify when you are pregnant or having your period.
  4. Always budget enough time for the cleansing process to take place. For instance, in a bowel cleanse, you may have to allow about 4 hours for purging to take place.
  5. Do not rush into a cleansing technique. As in the above example, during the 4 hours, plan to take things slowly. No heavy tasks! Be near a toilet if necessary.
  6. Before starting on cleansing, make sure you go through all instructions and have all the foods necessary for your detoxification. You don’t want to have to rush out to the supermarket in the middle of a cleanse.
  7. Work closely with a trained health practitioner, giving him or her full details of the health problems that you are facing.
  8. Very importantly, decide with your health practitioner the order in which you should cleanse your body. Cleansing of the different parts of the body can include colon cleansing, liver cleansing, kidney cleansing, lung cleansing, and skin cleansing. The right order will result in more effective and complete detoxification for your body.

How to Prune Tomatoes for Maximum Yield and Plant Health

In the gardening world, tomatoes have the most strategies for pruning and they can be quite confusing. So in this video we're going to go deep into the world of the tomato to understand if you should prune and if you should, how you should do it.

And even how the way you decide to grow the tomato affects the pruning strategy. There's a lot of debate, I think in the tomato growing world about, oh, what's the best way? There really is not one singular best way for many varieties.

And so that's why I wanted to approach the video this way. Hopefully to give you a little bit more insight, a little deeper look. So without further ado, oh, by the way, at the end of the video, I'm going to show you something you should do at the end of the season for pruning as well.

So stay tuned for that. But without further ado, cultivate that Like button for incredible, amazing tomato harvests. And let's get into it. First of all, why should you even prune a tomato? What's the, what's the purpose? What are the benefits that you gain? Well, you don't have to technically, but I think myself and pretty much anyone else who has experienced growing tomatoes would say that you should.

The reason why is because it's multifaceted really. You have leaves, right? So the leaves of your plants are effectively just energy factories. Now, if you have a nice, crazy bushy tomato, well what happens to the leaves on the interior? They're basically just getting shaded out and so they're not really doing that much for the plant.

And you can almost think of them in the world of a factory or an office as like an unproductive worker. What happens to unproductive workers? They get fired, right? And so we're going to fire those by pruning those out and thinning that out.

That also increases air flow throughout the tomato plant. So tomatoes really are susceptible to a lot of different types of diseases – early blight, Septoria leaf spot – all things that can decimate a plant.

And they thrive in conditions that are humid, moist and there's not a lot of air circulation, so by pruning you actually open that up quite a bit. Another thing that you'll do is by pruning out the lower layer, you actually give yourself the ability to interplant down there without it being shaded out.

So as a tomato grows up, what a lot of people will do is they'll also prune off some of these bottom branches and that'll free it up, keep the disease off from the soil and also allow them to plant in.

Now let's talk about indeterminate and determinate tomatoes. The first thing we have to talk about are the categories of tomatoes and your main two are going to be your determinate and your indeterminate, right? And so just the names alone kind of give away some of the characteristics you might expect from these two types.

Determinate tomatoes are called that because their height and life span is determined. They get to about four to five feet tall and their final bud at the top is a flower bud, much like this one right here.

And so they don't have any more potential to grow. Now determinate tomatoes are great because they grow in a short defined growing season where the fruit often ripens at or near the exact same time.

And so if you have a short growing season and you want a consistent amount of fruit to come right out at one time, determinate can be a great idea. Also, they're much more compact. So if you're short on space, they're a great idea.

Now pruning them is different than pruning indeterminate. So indeterminate tomatoes, as the name implies, their terminal bud doesn't really exist. It just keeps growing until the season kills it off.

So if you're in a climate like mine and you have some space, indeterminate can be a really good idea. And when I say climate like mine, I mean San Diego is zone 10b. Some people in our climate, myself included, can grow tomatoes well into November.

And I've even seen some people overwinter their tomatoes, which is really crazy and it's just not something you think that you could do, but certainly it happens. Now, when it comes to other random types, you have things like dwarf indeterminate tomatoes, which have been bred to have a compact growing habit, but technically are still indeterminate.

For the purposes of this pruning video, I'll put them in the category of determinate as far as the pruning strategy. And let's get into that pruning strategy right now. Understanding the basics of tomato anatomy is essential for pruning.

So first of all, we have the main main stem, and you'll know why I'm calling that in a second. This is the main main stem. Now, what's coming off right here? Well, this is just your basic sun leaf.

This is just a leaf that's here to produce a bunch of energy to send into the next piece that we can identify right here, which is a flower bud. You've got a bunch of them right here. Of course, this is what produces our tomato fruits.

Now you'll notice this keeps going up, right? Our main leader as we'll call it, keeps going up, but what's this? This is coming out at a roughly 45 degree angle between the main stem and a leaf node and it looks like it kind of is producing a lot of the other pieces we've already seen.

There's another leaf, there's another leaf, and it even seems like we might have the beginning of a little flower bud forming right about there. Well, this is called a sucker and on indeterminate tomatoes and determinate alike, you'll see these.

Now the pruning strategy changes, but this is really what you want to keep your eye on when it comes to pruning tomatoes because these are the guys that can really hamper and/or enhance the growth of your plant.

Now you know this is a sucker because if we follow the plant upwards, we see another leaf node, we see another young flower node, which you can barely see right here. I'll bend it down just slightly.

You can see it right there. So we know that this is a sucker. The danger would be to cut this off without confirming and then maybe you've cut off the main one and you've hampered the growth of the plant completely.

I've swapped out our honking indeterminate tomato for this determinate variety that grows really well in a grow bag, provided you support it a bit. Let's talk about how to prune these because it's much easier than pruning an indeterminate.

On a determinate variety tomato the pruning is very simple. Just locate the first flower bud, which is right about here on this plant, it's just not open yet. And you'll want to remove the suckers anywhere below that and that's it.

You don't really have to do anything else. I suppose if you have some leaves that are touching the ground down here, you may want to chop those off. Now the thing about it, and you can see one of the suckers right here, is if it's young like this you can just snap it off.

And I'm going to get a little closer so you can see it. So the sucker is right here. Now I could come through with my pruning snips and snip it, but it's so young that I can just pinch it off with my fingers.

And that actually will cause a little bit less damage. If it's bigger, you do want to come through and slice it with your shears. I'm just going to remove this sun leaf right here because it is touching the ground and it's seeming like it's suffering a little bit, so we don't want to introduce disease.

And finally, here's an example of the last sucker below the first flower node. This is larger, so I'm going to come through with sterilized shears and clip that off. That's it for a determinate variety guys.

You don't want to hamper it by cutting anything off above the first flower node. At that point, you're just deleting fruit from your plant and you don't want to do that. We're just cleaning up the undercanopy just slightly, letting this grow.

Just remember to support this and now let's move on to indeterminate. With indeterminate tomatoes, you have a lot more options because it is up to how you decide to grow the plant. If you wanted, you could just let it sprawl all over the ground and grow.

Of course, that's going to probably introduce a little more disease and it's going to take up a lot more horizontal space, so I don't recommend it. But it's a thing that you could do. Now, the first thing I'm going to do is a basic cleanup.

Before we get into talking about some of the more detailed strategies, I'm just going to take off some of this low growth that isn't really serving the plant. This leaf is just smashing right into the soil.

It's not looking that good, and in fact, it does show a little bit of sign of disease, so I'll take that off. Now, the thing about indeterminates is every sucker has the ability to become a piece of the plant that produces every other piece of the plant.

It's kind of like Medusa. You cut off one head and you get two more. That's kind of how suckers work in the world of tomatoes. It's kind of hard to see on this plant because it's a very large plant that is a little unruly.

I purposely didn't prune it just to do it for this video. But we do have our main stem right here. Now with indeterminates you can prune every sucker off so you have what's called a single leader.

So one main stem that's producing all of the flower buds that are producing all the fruit. You can let one sucker go and that is a secondary main stem. So a double leader, you can go three, four. I wouldn't go probably past four cause at that point there's not really a point to pruning at all.

And so what I could do here is I can say, okay, here's my main leader right here and now I need to identify where the rest of the suckers are. So I need to come through and probably do a decent cleanup here.

By the way, when you cut, that was way too close to my eye. When you cut the suckers off, you can save them because at the end I'll also show you how you can propagate from those very easily and have yourself a little backup tomato crop.

It's going to be a little hard to see guys, but we have our main leader right here. So already I'm seeing this sucker I really don't need, so we'll take that guy off right there. We have another large sucker right here, so I have the option to let this stay.

You can see there's a sun leaf I took off right there because it was hitting the ground. So I have the option to let this stay or take that off. There's a really low one right here. I'm going to remove this one because it's just simply not necessary.

So we'll take that guy off. Remember, this is a sun leaf. This is a sun leaf. We're going to leave that. Another sun leaf, another sun leaf. If it's accessing sun, you want to leave those guys.

So we have another sucker that's a little lower right here. I'm also going to remove this one. So it's starting to clean up a little bit. Now remember, it's easier to see our main stem here now.

So we have our main stem. We have another sucker here, another sucker here, and another one here. Now I'm going to select for a double leader. So I'm going to have my main stem right here and I'm going to choose one more to produce.

And so I'm going to take off, let's see, I'm going to take off something that doesn't already have fruit on it or buds. So I'll take this guy off right here. And I'm also going to take off, I think probably this, this one because this one is less developed.

So we'll take that off. So now I have one, two. And there's just one more sucker up here that I need to remove. So we're going to take that guy off. And I'm doing this way too late. So don't wait as long as I've waited.

Actually you can see, look, we have our main stem, there's another one and there's another one. So I'm going to leave this as a triple leader I guess because we have one, two, three, but that's it.

Anything else I'm going to take off. Suckers can create suckers, by the way. It's like a sucker-ception. So if you let it go crazy, and sometimes these things grow really fast, you can miss some and then your tomato plant can get unruly.

So really get in there and inspect. Here's the final sucker I can see on this plant. So we'll just chop this guy off and now we have a clean indeterminate tomato. Now that we've cleaned off a lot of these suckers, this is actually my favorite part of pruning tomatoes is cloning them and making more.

So if they're diseased or damaged or anything, you certainly don't want to do this. But if you're in a warm climate that can have two seasons worth of tomatoes, then you just got a free plant right here.

So what you might want to do, if you're going to propagate this in soil, is you could take this leaf off, for example, bury this in soil right to there, and you have a free plant. Because remember the tomato stem has totipotency or the ability to produce the roots around the entire main stem.

So when you bury this in soil, boom. I have another heirloom Costoluto Genovese plant right here, ready to go. So I'll just prepare these really quick and we'll talk in a second about the final thing you'll want to do when pruning an indeterminate at the end of the season.

Now that our indeterminate tomato is looking a lot cleaner, it's off to a great start. We've taken out a lot of those leaves and those suckers that were going to take a bunch of energy away from the three main leaders that we're going to use to grow this plant.

I'm just going to add this in. And let's talk about the final pruning you'll need to do. And this is probably the most painful one because at the end of the season, remember indeterminates, their season ends when the weather kills them.

So when you sense that's coming for your region, what you want to do is something called topping. Now it's exactly what you avoided doing throughout the growing season. Topping is taking off that top tip of growth so the plant has no ability to put on any more vegetative growth.

What that's doing is that's saying, hey, it's time for you to put all your energy into those delicious fruits, the reason that we're growing this, and sayonara. So you're going to decapitate your tomato at the top and then you're going to let those fruits mature.

But guys, tomatoes, there are probably dozens of little micro tips that I didn't cover in this video, but I hope this was an informative look to kind of demystify the magical tomato. It's a fantastic plant.

It's probably the most popular plant, like I've mentioned. But there's just a lot of confusion about it. And of course for myself as well, as I continue to learn. So if you have a particular tip, drop it down in the Comments.

Remember, it's the Epic Gardening community. We're all learning together. But until next time, I'm going to take this alien-looking tomato trellis, go out in the front yard and put it back in the sun.

Source : Youtube