Grow it yourself: Ginger

Grow it yourself: Ginger

Little is known about how ginger first came to be cultivated. Historians think that the plant did not exist naturally in its current form, but was bred by humans. These days, most ginger still comes from Asia. India produces the largest quantity, followed by China and Indonesia. After reading this article you can grow ginger yourself.

How to grow ginger

Grow it yourself: GingerGinger is a tropical plant which you can easily grow yourself and which does not require much expert knowledge. You start with a piece of fresh root ginger (actually the rhizome of the plant), which you can buy at any supermarket. Choose a piece which has some well-developed ‘growth buds’. The shoots will develop from these buds.

The next step is to break the root into pieces with a growth bud on each piece, and to plant these pieces in a seed tray in moist potting compost, with enough nutrients and good drainage. The usual time of year to do this is around the end of winter or the beginning of spring. Keep the seed tray indoors, because most ginger is not winter hardy. Central heating can make the air a little too dry, so it’s a good idea to spray the plants with a mister once in a while.

Grow it yourself: Ginger

How long until ginger is fully grown

Ginger plants love light and warmth, but they can do just as well in strong sunlight. Avoid cold, wind or drafts at all costs. The growing tips at the end of each ‘finger’ of the rhizome will sprout quickly. Long, slim leaves will grow from the end, which look much like sprouting grass. Within eight to ten months, the ginger plant will be fully grown. The plant can grow up to a metre and a half tall so you should allow some space to accommodate it.

Ginger cooking

Grow it yourself: GingerGinger is the perfect way to spice up your cooking. The intensity of the flavour varies according to when the ginger is harvested. The older the plant, the hotter the root will taste. Young ginger roots are softer and more succulent, and have a milder flavour. These young tubers can be eaten fresh or preserved in vinegar, sugary water or sherry, for example. Young ginger is also perfectly suited for making ginger tea. Just add sugar and lemon to taste.

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