Whether you want to slice it onto your sushi or steep it into tea, this super-nutritious root veggie is awesome to have on hand. It's also the perfect indoor potted herb : it’s very low-maintenance, loves partial sunlight and you can use parts of it at a time, leaving the rest in the soil to continue growing.
So rather than grab fresh ginger during your next grocery trip, here's how you can start growing this goodie at home.
1. Start With Some Actual Ginger
Similar to a potato, ginger plants are grown right out of another piece of ginger, so there are no actual seeds. That said, the best ginger to plant is purchased from a garden center or seed catalog. Ginger purchased from the produce department at your local grocery store can be used to grow a plant, but with spotty results, since the roots are often sprayed with a growth inhibitor to keep it from sprouting before it’s purchased (this also keeps it from sprouting when you stick it in a pot of soil).
There's also pesticides and fungicides to consider when opting for grocery store ginger. If you go that direction, be sure to soak it in water overnight to remove as much residue as you can.
2. Choose the Right Root
Once you have your ginger, choose a piece of it to plant that's plump with tight skin. It should have several eye buds on it (bumps that look like potato eyes), and if they’re already a little green, all the better.
3. Pick the Perfect Pot
Unlike most other houseplants , ginger loves shallow, wide pots. The roots grow horizontally, so be sure the vessel you choose will accommodate its growth.
4. Plant It Well
Once you're ready, fill your pot with rich but well-draining potting soil. Place the ginger root in the soil with the eye bud pointing up. Cover it with 1-2" of dirt. Water it well to start, and place the ginger in a spot that stays reasonably warm and doesn’t get too much bright sunlight.
5. Care for It Daily
Continue to care for the plant by misting it with a spray bottle and keeping it in a warm spot. Ginger is a slow grower. After a few weeks, you should see some shoots popping up out of the soil.
6. Harvest Your Crop
Small pieces of ginger can be harvested 3-4 months after growth begins. Pull aside some of the soil at the edges of the pot to find the rhizomes beneath the surface. Cut the needed amount off a finger at the edge of the pot and then return the soil.
Ginger can be harvested in this way endlessly, and as long as it is well cared for, it will continue to produce roots. If you need a larger harvest, you can uproot the entire plant and re-plant a few rhizomes to start the process over again.
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Grow better, stronger, healthier veggies in your garden with help from our class, Vegetable Gardening: Smart Techniques for Plentiful Results .