Ginger is one of the healthiest foods and can be found fresh year round in the produce section of your local super market. Good, organic ginger often comes with a hefty price tag. No surprise given its many health benefits. To save a bit of money you can grow your own ginger. It is a lot easier than you may expect and you can grow yourself an endless supply of this incredible superfood!
To start with, you need one or more ginger roots. Do pay a little more and start with an organic product, so you start your plantation off on the right food. This way it is full of essential oils which are required for the plant’s healing properties. They are the reason, why I choose to grow my own ginger. Among many other benefits, ginger improves digestion, reliefs motion sickness, pain, nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Ginger also reduces risk of high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, stroke and heart disease. It may even help you lose weight and has a slight aphrodisiac effect.
What we commonly call ginger roots are actually rhizomes, which in turn have roots themselves. You want to select ginger with a few well developed growth buds, or eyes that look like little horns. The best time is early spring, especially when you plant outdoors.
To start your ginger plantation, follow these steps:
- Let the rhizomes soak in a bowl of water for a night or two
- No matter whether you grow ginger in the ground or a pot, the key is really good soil. Good compost is of course ideal but you can always add a bit of fertilizer later on. Place the ginger about an inch deep with the buds facing up and cover it with soil. Choose a spot in your garden that gets plenty of light, but no direct sun light.
- Ginger needs a lot of moisture, make sure that the soil never dries out. On the flip side, be careful not to overwater. Best to use a spray bottle for this.
- Indoors you can create a little tent for your ginger to increase the humidity and help it grow. Just use some plastic wrap and small branches.
- Place your pot in a sheltered, warm spot that gets a lot of light but is not exposed to direct sun light.
- Spray your ginger plant daily to ensure that it gets enough moisture.
After a few weeks, you should notice the first leaves sprouting and after eight to ten months you should reduce watering to encouraging further growing of rhizomes. You can harvest little pieces of ginger all along, though the fresh ginger does not yet have the same nutritious value and healing powers as ripe ginger. The best time to harvest is once the leaves turn yellow. If you grow it in pots, you can just tip out everything, select rhizomes for replanting and keep the rest.
Replanted ginger should be kept in cold and dark rooms at about 10 degree Celsius. You don’t need to water it during the winter time, just get ready for the next growing season in late February or March.
Have you grown your own ginger before? Leave us a comment if you have further tips or special uses for this amazing superfood.
For inspiration what to do with ginger, have a look at this post or one of these super helpful books:
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