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Growing Organic Ginger in Containers, Pots, Backyards

Growing Organic Ginger in Containers

The botanical name of Ginger is Zingiber officinale and is a herbaceous perennial belonging to the family Zingiberaceae. The Ginger plant is grown for its aromatic, pungent, and spicy rhizomes, which are often referred to as Ginger roots. It is one of the world’s more well-known and useful plants, being used for centuries as a spice for flavoring food and as a medicinal plant.

A Step by Step Guide to Growing Ginger in Containers, Pots, and Backyard

Ginger can be grown in raised beds or trenches on the ground. It is also possible to grow Ginger in pots and containers in the backyard.

Making Organic Soil for Growing Ginger in Containers

Ginger plants can grow on a large variety of soils ranging from sandy and clayey loamy soils to red loamy soils. Though, it thrives best in deep, friable, and well-drained loamy soils that are also full of all the essential organic matters. Since they are not able to grow on alkaline soil, Ginger plantation must be avoided on such types of soil for better yield. The ideal pH level for growing Ginger is ranging from 5.3 to 6.8 which are almost neutral soils for the excellent growth of plants. The Ginger root grows in part to full shade and also likes rich, loose soil. If you’ll be planting Ginger in the ground, it’s a good idea to add lots of compost and rotted manure to the chosen spot. If you will be growing Ginger in containers, then using potting soil is a must.

The Ginger plant thrives in highly fertile, well-drained soil to feed the Ginger plant. Using a high quality commercial potting mix with organic matter is recommended. The soils can hold moisture and should have the free-draining capacity, so the Ginger roots don’t become waterlogged. If you are using garden soil, mix garden soil with well-rotted compost for better growth of Ginger roots. Don’t select poor in quality or high in clay soil. The Ginger plant needs loose well-drained soil if it has to develop big sized rhizomes. Add the good quality potting mix with plenty of extra added compost and Ginger loves organic manures like bio-compost or Vermicompost.

The best soil for the Ginger plant is loose, loamy, and rich in organic matter. Then, loamy soils allow water to drain freely, which will help prevent the rhizomes from becoming waterlogged. Thick mulch can provide nutrients, retain water, and help control weeds. Create a furrow about 12 to 18 inches deep and apply pre-plant, slow-release fertilizer and work it into the soil in the bottom of the furrow. Use a complete fertilizer that contains nitrogen, supplement with calcium and phosphorous and add compost to increase the organic matter in the soil, which will also improve the tilth of the soil and its ability to hold moisture.

For growing Ginger plant, soil rich in organic matter provides Ginger with the nutrients it needs to produce healthy rhizomes, without the need for additional fertilizers and amendments. If your soil is lacking in organic matter, or if you are using a store-bought potting mix, stick to a regular fertilization schedule for Ginger plant. Moist and well-draining soil is optimal for Ginger plants. The soil mixture must hold moisture; however, it is important that Ginger plants not be exposed to overly saturated or waterlogged soil. The best soils for draining and moisture retention include sandy and loamy mixtures. Then, create a soil mixture using one part sand and one part compost for optimal drainage, as well as the proper amount of organic matter for fertilization.

How to grow Organic Ginger in the Backyard

You may think that growing Ginger is hard, but it’s easy. As long as you know a few tips and tricks, you can grow Ginger whether it’s in the backyard or a container. Growing Ginger is easy if you live in a warm, humid location. It likes warm temperatures and humidity.

Ginger is a unique and beautiful addition to your backyard garden. You can plant the same Ginger root and rhizomes that you see at the grocery store. Just make sure that you pick a root that has green eye buds and the Ginger plant grows huge and spreads horizontally so choose a shallow, wide container. Whether you are planting Ginger in the backyard or a container make sure you plant your Ginger root with the green eye buds pointing up and plant them about 4 inches deep.

To get started you can use organic Ginger from the local grocery store or food market. Ginger is a rhizome is also called a creeping rootstalk. This means it has an underground plant stem which is capable of producing the shoot and root system of a new plant. When you choose your Ginger, you’ll want a piece that looks plump and has multiple bumps or nubs. These are where the new stems will grow.

Containers Selection for Growing an Organic Ginger

The healthiest Ginger plants are grown from reputable nurseries or quality online gardening sources. But a Ginger root can be purchased from your local grocery store. Grocery store Ginger roots can be coated with a growth inhibitor, which prevents it from sprouting in the grocery store. Grocery Ginger root may also be treated with fungicides and pesticides. Therefore, to clean your Ginger, soak your new Ginger root for 24 hours before slicing it up to plant.

Select a wide, flat container to plant. Ginger’s roots grow horizontally, so width is important than depth. Containers that are small enough to easily be moved inside and out are the perfect choice for the Ginger plant. The ideal size of the container must be grown at a minimum 15-inch wide container with variable depth. The container must have a good draining system. Then, cover the draining holes with fine net and place a layer of small stones or cracked pottery to avoid waterlogging.  Then, fill your container with a rich potting soil that will drain well. Slice your Ginger knob, into thin pieces and select pieces of the knob that have “eyes” on them. Eyes are indentations in the surface of the root, where sprout will begin. Place the piece of Ginger with the eyes facing up into the soil, and then cover with about an inch and a half of soil.

Planting material for growing organic Ginger in containers;

High-quality seed rhizomes are used in the Organic Ginger plantation. The seed rhizomes must be free from all types of pests and diseases. And are collected from organically cultivated Ginger farms for healthy Ginger production. Though, after collecting high-quality seed rhizomes do not treat them with any chemical before planting on the main field. Select fast-growing and high yielding seed rhizomes for excellent Ginger production. While selection, make sure of, seed rhizomes should not be broken into pieces, each having 3 sprouted buds on each of these seed rhizomes.

The Process of Growing Organic Ginger in Containers

The ginger plant is a heavy feeder and an even heavier drinker that needs a lot of room to grow. Given space, a chunk the size of your thumb will easily grow to fill a 2-gallon pot over about 6 months. Select a pretty container with good drainage holes and a deep saucer.

Use well-draining and fertile soil with plenty of coir. Gently place the pre-sprouted rhizome on top of 4 inches of soil and bury all but the sprout tip. Then, soak the Ginger root in water overnight, before planting. Fill the container with a commercial potting mix with organic compost and place the Ginger root in the soil with eye bud pointing up. Cover it with 1 to 2 inches of soil. Water the Ginger plant with water can, water thoroughly till soil gets completely moist till the bottom. Place the container in a spot where it gets morning sunlight and complete shade during the day.

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The Process of Growing Organic Ginger.
The Process of Growing Organic Ginger.

Ginger plant is a slower growing plant, Ginger root starts sprouting after a couple of weeks. See the shoots popping up out of the soil and continue watering the plant regularly by misting it with a spray bottle and keep it warm. This plant needs morning sunlight to thrive. Ginger plants need 2 to 3 hours of direct sunlight. The container must be watered in the form of a shower using a watering can. The Ginger plant needs a lot of moisture to thrive; the soil should never dry during the growth of the plant. Keep the soil moist constantly and don’t overwater the plants, as Ginger is a root plant, overwatering will drain all the nutrients from the soil along with water. The Ginger plant loves humidity, in case of dry air, spraying and misting will maintain the humidity in the air. In the summer season, water the Ginger plants at regular intervals. In the winter season, water the plants when required, or even make the soil dry that promotes strong Ginger rhizome formation.

If you are growing Ginger in a good quality potting mix or high fertile soil, mixed with organic compost fertilization is not required. First, test the soil and then fertilize the Ginger plants. To get good yields, feed the Ginger plant with a small amount of balanced organic liquid fertilizers once in a month. Fertilize the plant for every 6 to 8 weeks, with fish emulsion or seaweed extract. Also, use some slow-release organic granular fertilizer every 3 weeks during the growing period.

Application of Organic Manure and Fertilizer for Growing Ginger in Containers

Mulching is important as it increases organic matter, and conserves soil moisture, and prevents washing soil during rains. Organic mulch keeps the soil warm and supplied with the necessary nutrients to the roots. Mulching controls the weeds. A thick layer of mulch is compulsory if the soil temperature level falls below 10°C.

Fertilize the plant each 6 to 8 weeks, using organic fertilizer like seaweed extract, fish emulsion.  The timely application of suitable organic manure and fertilizers plays a vital role in Ginger production. Though, they can thrive their best in deep and loamy soil, rich in all the essential organic matter content. So, to increase the soil fertility and productivity, add about 30 tonnes of well-rotted FYM (farmyard manure) at the time of land preparation only. Work in some organic slow-release fertilizer at Ginger planting time. After that, you can use some liquid fertilizer such as seaweed extract or fish fertilizer every few weeks.

How Much Water Does Ginger Need?

The Ginger plant needs a lot of moisture while actively growing. The soil should never dry out and doesn’t overwater, though, because the water that drains away will take nutrients with it.

The Ginger plant loves humidity. If you have problems with dry air then regular spraying and also misting might help. Dry air can cause some problems with spider mites. A sheltered, moist spot in a warm climate will give enough humidity.

Organic Control for Ginger Plant Problems

Mites – Infestation generally happens in the early stages of Ginger growth. Insecticidal soap shower can fairly useful against Mites.

Nematodes – On-segmented roundworms attack the bulb tubers, producing lesions that cause them susceptive to fungal and bacterial attack resulting in the lower increase of plants. Cleanliness helps to destroy the hiding areas of pests.

Bacterial wilt – Ginger is susceptible to bacterial wilt and root rot. Bacterial wilt causes water-soaked spots and curled up leaves. The way to treat it is by removing damaged leaves and stems and carefully inspecting the entire plant for any signs or symptoms. Apply an organic fungicide or bactericide as needed.

Root rot – Root rot is a main destructive disease that can affect the Ginger plant. This disease can be managed by selecting well-drained soils. Choosing a healthy rhizome and good shade can prevent the plant from diseases like Soft rot, dry rot, leaf spot, and white grub shoot borer, and bacterial wilt. Then, using an organic herbicide for controlling diseases and bacteria in Ginger plants. Using neem oil spray or horticultural oil spray regularly will protect from Ginger plant pests.

Chinese rose beetles are a large, brown beetle that will eat all of your Ginger plant’s leaves. They’re nocturnal, so you won’t see them until dusk. You can go out and pick them off your plants with a headlamp, or spray with neem oil to reduce the appeal of the plant leaves.

Mealybugs and soft scales will settle on stems and under the plant leaves. Then, use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to remove these.

Armyworms, cutworms, and yellow woolly bear caterpillars do leaf damage much like the Chinese rose beetles do. A Bt (Bacillus thurigiensis) spray will eliminate these. Also, sucking pests like aphids, red spider mites, certain thrips, and fungus gnats can invade the leaves or the soil around Ginger plants. Neem seems to be the preferred treatment for these as well. If they persist, use an insecticidal soap with pyrethrin to eliminate these pests.

Organic Ginger Plant Care

  • Place the container in a warm room where the Ginger root is exposed to indirect sunlight. Outdoors, place the plant in a spot that receives morning sun but stays shady during hot afternoons.
  • Water as needed to keep the potting mix moist, but don’t water to the point of sogginess. Fertilize the Ginger plant every 6 to 8 weeks, using fish emulsion, seaweed extract or other organic fertilizer.
  • Harvest Ginger when the leaves begin turning yellow usually about 8 to 10 months. Bring container-grown Ginger plants indoors when temperatures drop to about 10°C.

When and How to Harvest Ginger

Freshly Harvested Ginger Root.
Freshly Harvested Ginger Root.

Harvest the Ginger plant when the leaves begin to turn yellow and then die down, it indicates that Ginger is ready to harvest. The approximately harvesting period of the Ginger plant is about 10 months. Ginger gets good flavor if it is completely developed in the ground and the stems of the starts to die after 7 to 8 months of planting then dig up the Ginger rhizome. Small pieces of ginger can be harvested 3 to 4 months after the growth begins. Pull some soil aside at the edges of the container to find some Ginger root and then cover back the soil. In this way, Ginger can be harvested endlessly, and as long as the Ginger plant is given proper care. Young Ginger roots should be harvested very carefully and use a sanitized knife to cut the plant.

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