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“Ginger” from planting to harvest

The officinal ginger in brief :

Latin name: Zingiber officinale

Common name: common ginger, officinal ginger
Family: Zingiberaceae
Type: aromatic and medicinal perennial

Height: 6 pieds
Planting distance: 8 pouce
Exposure: sunny to half-shaded
Soil: light and well drained

Planting: spring – Harvest: end of October, beginning of November (9 months after planting)

Ginger is an aromatic plant used as a condiment, especially in Asian countries. Native to India and Malaysia, Zingiber officinale is a cold plant, which is grown in pots in our latitudes, protected from cold and dryness. It is appreciated for its tuberous rhizome, branched and fleshy, with an aromatic and burning flavor.

Ginger is also a superfood because of its numerous therapeutic virtues (digestive, aperitive, febrifuge and tonic).

Planting ginger

There are two ways to plant ginger at home.

In one case as in the other, proceed from a germinated rhizome provided with a bud.

Immerse the rhizome:

  • Place the rhizome in a bottom of water. Half of the rhizome should be kept in the open air.
  • Use temperate water and change it regularly.
  • As soon as the first roots appear, transplant in a pot filled with a substrate composed of 1/3 of river sand for 2/3 of compost. Provide a layer of clay ball or coarse gravel at the bottom of the pot.
  • Water copiously before placing the pot in a mini greenhouse.

Planting ginger in a pot:

The ginger rhizome can also be planted directly in a large, deep pot (minimum 12 pouce in diameter).

Prepare the pot with a layer of clay ball covered with a mixture of river sand and potting soil.
Place the rhizome on the surface without pushing it in completely, and wait for green shoots to develop.

Cultivation and maintenance of ginger

Ginger is a freeze-dried plant that needs heat, especially during the vegetation period. Minimum temperatures of 20 to 21°C are necessary for its development.

ingiber officinale also requires a humid and sunny atmosphere, recreating the tropical conditions of its natural environment. In fact, the substratum must be constantly kept humid as soon as the first leaves appear. Before that, water without excess to avoid any risk of rotting. Also, never let water stagnate in the saucer.

During the summer, install your pots outside in a bright space, but without direct sunlight.

In winter, install your ginger plants in a greenhouse, in a veranda, or indoors near a window.

Wintering ginger

  • Decrease the amount of water gradually starting in the fall.
  • Let the foliage dry.
  • Place the pot at a temperature of 18°C all winter long.
  • Resume watering gradually from March onwards.

Diseases and pests

The ginger fears mainly the excess of water and the substrates insufficiently draining which can then cause the rotting of the rhizome. The plant is also endowed with a good resistance to the diseases.

Harvesting and storing ginger

How I grow ginger in Quebec – Julie Brière
Harvest ginger rhizomes about 6 to 9 months after planting. This corresponds to the time when the ginger leaves begin to dry out.

The tuber can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. It is also possible to freeze it.

How to consume ginger?

Fresh ginger is used grated or chopped to flavor soups, as well as stir-fried dishes, fish and curries.

Once candied, the rhizome can be used in desserts, or can be eaten as is.

In powder form, it is used mainly in confectionery and pastries, or in breads.

The ginger infusion is used for its therapeutic virtues. It facilitates digestion, relieves nausea, reduces fatigue, strengthens the immune system and relieves inflammation.

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