Anyone can grow culinary ginger. It’s true, ginger prefers a subtropical to tropical climate, but even gardeners in cooler areas should have a go.
All you need is a healthy plump piece of ginger to get you started. Prepare a well-drained soil in a sunny spot – it will also grow in semi shade in warm areas – and add plenty of compost and well-rotted manure. Mound the soil to improve the drainage and bury a piece of ginger - any size – about 5cm below the surface. It will start to shoot late September/October – depending on where you live. Keep it moist and in 5-6 months (end of summer) you’ll be harvesting something 5 times the size – but you need to plant now to make the most of the warm growing season.
I’ve grown ginger very successfully in a pot – so you don’t even need a garden. This is a really good option for gardeners in temperate to cool areas, because you can place the pot on a concrete or paved surface in front of a north facing wall to help create the warm conditions this plant likes. If it gets too hot mid-summer, move it to where it will get shade for part of the day. You need a pot at least 30-40 cm diameter – a black pot would be best for absorbing heat – and enrich the mix with compost, and a well-balance organic fertiliser. Give it a go!
First published: August 2011