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Tilde
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put me in the ginger bandwagon this year - i'll start soaking mine on boxing day
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rainbowgardener
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No one answered my question before. It's now been two weeks and no sign of any ginger sprouts. How long should it take?
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applestar
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What a let down, huh?

hmm... Not sure but I recommend keeping it in a warmest location you can. possibly even put the whole thing, container and all, in a plastic bag and putting it in a sunny window but away from direct sun (like behind some other plants to get dappled sunlight) for solar heated mini greenhouse effect. -- I'm thinking they want to be 70° or above.

May want to examine and make sure the roots are still OK... And make sure you didn't plant it too deep? (Memory's a bit vague on this but I think I planted my "hands" like iris...)

When I bring the mature plants inside in fall, I normally do it when temps fall in the 50's and the plant stays green and continues to grow in upstairs south-facing room somewhat farther inside (not near the window). This year, I waited too long and left the container outside until 40's and the foliage gradually yellowed and dried up when I brought it in but left it near the back door.

I've re-located it to its usual winter room and some shoots are starting to grow.

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rainbowgardener
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Thanks very much. It probably isn't warm enough for it, since we keep our house a bit chilly. Once the Christmas tree is out of the way, I will try the mini-greenhouse. Thanks!
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I'm all ears, or eyes (rhizome?!) on starting ginger. I figure next week to go on a more serious scout for ginger. What I have seen in the last 2 wks. Veg/fruit store has some looking pretty and fresh $2/#, US. Kroger had $5 ish/#, Peru, looked sad. Another grocery $5-6, sad looking, China. Next is to check Whole foods, and a couple of Asian markets not far. Dummy me, my son clued me into that connection!

I have scoured the How-to Grow Ginger, and not all consistent. Given this, how deep did you plant? what temps?
Have fun!
Susan

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rainbowgardener
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I have no idea if I did it right, but I just buried it a little below the surface, about half inch. The temp is just the temp of my house which is between 60 - 67. My best sunny spot has the Christmas tree in it right now. Once that is gone, I will move the ginger pot and try Applestar's mini-greenhouse idea.
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applestar wrote:I think you'll love it! See if you don't. :lol:

I accidentally let my pot of ginger go dormant and bunch of shoots/leaves turned brown(tan) and dried up. But even those smell wonderful. Not sure about using them in tea but I would definitely use them in an herbal bath sachet. (Lorax if you're listening in, let me know what you think)
I'm here, I'm here!

Absolutely in herbal sachets, and you can also easily use them in tea, no ill effects. They won't be quite as strong as fresh, though, and if I recall correctly they will have developed that slightly sweet dried-ginger flavour....

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lorax
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rainbowgardener wrote:No one answered my question before. It's now been two weeks and no sign of any ginger sprouts. How long should it take?
Up to a month before you can start worrying, RBG. How deep did you plant your rhizome? Ginger is by nature very shallow growing, and if it's more than 1" under the soil it will take quite a bit longer to get going.

I second Applestar's reccomendation for a warm place, and maybe try focussing a desk lamp with a full-spectrum CF bulb in it over the soil (to simulate tropical sunlight).

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lorax
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Susan W wrote:For those of you who have grown ginger, and had outside pots (summer) how cold did you let it go? frost? 40?
Technically hardy to 40 F, best kept above that temperature. Ginger doesn't particularly like cold tootsies, although it's fairly hardy as members of its family go.

What you're looking for in a starter chunk is that it be very plump and firm with no wrinkles, no squishy spots, and no mold on the break surfaces (rarely if ever do entire rhizomes make it to market in the US). It should have a pleasant and mild ginger scent when sniffed - if it's at all musty, it's been artificially plumped and should be avoided.

It will sprout anywhere from immediately to a month, no deeper than 1" and preferably about 3/4" under in frank soil with very fast drainage (cactus soil 50-50 with potting is a great blend for any ginger or relative). Sprouting range seems to be 60-75 degrees, and after it's up as long as you keep it watered and in good light it will keep growing.

Up pot after about a year (divide your rhizomes) to keep it happy - it will easily and effortlessly crowd itself out of the pot you've got it in, and division is key (as well as giving you a modest harvest of tasty ginger, of course :() ).

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lorax
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And when you do divide and up-pot, Apple - try this! It's dead easy and there's really nothing that comes close to it. Store-bought is stale and has been over-sugared.

Candied Ginger!

3 C panela / raw sugar / turbinado / demerrerra / NOT WHITE
3 C water
1 lb of ginger, peeled and cut into small cubes (1/4" each side, +-)
White sugar for dusting

Make a simple syrup of the sugar and water (combine, bring to a boil). Once boiling, add the ginger and keep on a low boil until the syrup is the consistency of maple syrup or thin honey.

Remove the ginger chunks with a slotted spoon (to allow the syrup to drain away), and plop them onto a tray liberally filled with white sugar. Toss with a fork to cover. Allow to stand for 24 hours (to finish drying properly) then pack into glass jars. Does not go off.

The syrup, on the other hand, should be strained of any remaining chunks and put up in bottles. Enough to cover the bottom of a drinking glass, topped up with tonic water, makes the best ginger ale in the world. It's also faboo in place of sugar in hot toddies, and 1 oz of the syrup in hot water with 2 oz of brandy with the juice of a lime is Gran's cure for the flu.

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rainbowgardener
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I got impatient and so I dug it up to see what was going on. It was rotten at both ends and all the little root nubs it had when I planted it had disappeared, so I pitched it. I will try it again when the weather is warm enough to start it outside.
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Things happen! I got some ginger root at the store, looked OK, not super. Cut one root (rhizome) into several large pieces, potted in loose fairly rich soil, watered. 12" pot, inside. This was end of Feb. I watered now and again. Was checking a few days ago, mainly to move and dump pot. Lo and Behold! Green!! 8 wks after planting. I watered. A day or so later moved to an area with light shade, may move to more dappled as it adjusts to its new digs. A 2nd green is showing, close to 1st so I am sure same chunk of root.
Have fun!
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rainbowgardener
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Very nice! Interesting you brought this back. I had just decided it is warm enough to try again. So I now have a chunk of ginger soaking in water again.
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The shoot that I thought was going to grow in winter decided not to. My ginger stayed dormant all winter even when I flooded it by accident. They woke up after a couple of heat waves and now are going strong.

I really want to put them outside for better light, but we're expecting a couple of mid-40's this week. I'll send them outside when I plant peppers and harden off eggplants. That's when the last of the container plants go out (I wanted to put the Norfork Island Pine out yesterday but had to postpone that one as well.). Coffee and orchids get to stay out during spring but have to come back in when the really hot, dry weather arrives.

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I was visiting my Mom and saw this guy on the windowsill:

[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3552590/GingerShoot.jpg[/img]

I'm going to put it in some dirt sometime this week, if I can drag my lazy butt out of bed in the mornings. Otherwise it will go in this weekend.

I have a spot that's semi-shaded, and it gets sprinklered quite a bit. In fact, I probably need to turn the sprinklers down a bit.

What type of dirts does a ginger plant like?
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applestar
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Hey Waterbug, sorry you didn't get a reply. How is your little ginger doing?

Here's my ginger container after bringing it in for the fall. I trimmed the leaves to 12" - 18" of stems to make things more manageable and saved them to dry. Does that sound like a good idea?

[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/F13AD532-777E-4D4C-AB2B-2D69340A5D1F-132-0000001AF3F73343.jpg[/img]

I've been breaking off nubs as I need them rather than digging up the entire hand. :D

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Looks great, applestar! I'm a total failure at ginger. I did plant some in an outdoor container in May after it was warm. It also just sat there and died. I'm not going to try again for winter ginger, but I will try one more time next spring....
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Getting in on the ginger growing! I put ginger out about a week ago and I also put out turmeric to see what happens. Thanks for the info, I never thought of eating ginger greens.
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I think Ginger and Turmeric are better attempted in the Spring. From what I have read they need a good 8-10 months to mature.

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It seems like most tropicals need to stay above 60°F to keep from going dormant. Something like extended days at 50-55°F would shut them down.

But "cool" time of the year is when most plants put more effort into growing roots, so if you can keep them alive, I think they will get a head start and grow stronger shoots when it becomes warm enough for them to begin active top growth.

Partly, when to start this kind of experiment depends on when you can get the freshest roots.

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I can get fresh roots anytime but I feel it is better to start in Spring. But maybe not? I am planning to grow mine in the ground though. To be honest I have been trying to gather as much info about growing them as possible. If anyone knows, what is the procedure in harvesting ginger and turmeric? Do you wash them off or not, do they need some time to cure, what is the proper storage etc?

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I planted ginger in a pot on my kitchen window sill- it took over a month, but then sprouted, and before i knew it, it had several nice green glossy leaves and it looked like it was happy.

I often put plants outside - hanging ones get put in low branches of the dogwood or red maple, and others in the middle of the patio table - it's relatively shady there.

The late Soring weather was warm and hazy, so several plants went outside for the day, they stayed out overnight, as it was supposed to rain early in the morning and I thought they'd all like a shower.

When I went to see how they were the next day, the ginger was completly missing - nothing was left but the overturned pot, and a few crumbs of potting soil.
Thpse darned squirrels must like ginger too!

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Last year, I didn't bring my ginger in until after temps fell into the 40's and the ginger foliage all died down and the roots refused to come back to life until after new years -- a little sign of life around Christmas time but no real growth for another month or so -- I think I mentioned before.

This year, I brought it in before dormancy kicked in so the leaves are still green and the plant is continuing to grow.

But I just take a sharp paring knife and cut into the soil to take off as much root as I need. If I happened to get too much -- you really don't need a whole lot in a recipe -- then I wrap the washed root with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge. I used to put them in the veg bin, but I found it to be overly humid and/or the little piece would get lost and mold. So I keep my bit of ginger where I can spot it easily. :wink:

--
Squirrels are curious and dig in newly planted containers to see if someone might have buried something edible in there. If it found the ginger root and bit into it, it must've gotten a big surprise!

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kimbledawn wrote:Getting in on the ginger growing! I put ginger out about a week ago and I also put out turmeric to see what happens. Thanks for the info, I never thought of eating ginger greens.
How did it go? Did anything sprout?

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Guess I missed this thread :?
I planted a small ginger root " organic" from a health food store abut 2 months ago. Its doing great !! about 10 or so sprouts of 10" shoots with about 12 sets of leaves. I keep it in the shade and really moist.

Currently in a shallow round 8" plastic pot with a good organic soil amended drainable mix(some turface and perlite and fur bark fines). Appears to love compost and diluted Neptunes Harvest fish/kelp occasionally.

I should take a picture.
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PunkRotten
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Do you have yours outside right now Tonio? Are you going to leave it out all winter? Just trying to gauge how cold tolerant the Ginger is. I'll probably start mine in January.

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applestar
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I think I had the best success when I planted ginger that started to sprout in my pantry. :lol:

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PR, yup , outside now. Not sure if I'll bring it in :?:

AS- yup a planned pantry sprout :wink:
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Growing ginger

Ginger grows well in large pots 5 gallons or more. If you put the ginger in a small pot the roots won't have anyplace to go and it will stay small. I plant 2 or 3 pieces of ginger in an 18 gallon pot. I usually wait to plant until I see the buds starting to erupt around Feb-Mar. Vermicast is added to the potting mix along with a slow release fertilizer. The soil needs to be kept moist, but free draining or the roots will rot. The tops of Jamaican ginger only get about 2-3 feet tall, it is not a pretty plant compared to other gingers. I pick off pieces of the root throughout the year whenever I need it. Around Nov-Dec the flower spikes will appear at the base of the plant. The flowers are small and brownish and they last only a few days. You will smell the flowers before you see it. Afterwards, the ginger leaves will wither and the plant will go dormant. That is when I harvest the ginger in the pot. I will store the ginger I don't give away in a tray of damp sand in the shade. I want to keep the ginger from drying out, but I don't want it to be so wet that the roots rot. I'll keep the roots in the tray until they start to sprout in the Spring, then I replant them in the pot with new potting soil. Ginger can also be grown in the ground. Some commercial farms make hills 2 ft high and plant the ginger in hills instead. The soil cannot have any root knot nematodes, or the ginger will be ruined.
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PunkRotten
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Thanks for those tips. I now have a better understanding about growing Ginger.

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applestar
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I'm glad to hear about the seasonal cycle of ginger in a "natural" climate. My ginger's greens browned and went dormant shortly before Christmas. The tops lasted longer than they did last year, but I was still wondering if I did something wrong.

I knew from last year's experience that they'll grow back again in late winter/early spring, and for now, it worked out because I was able to move the ginger tub away from the supplemental light and give that spot to a large pot of Poinsettias I received for Christmas. I'll just keep it here in the upstairs warmest bedroom along with my two biggest pineapples. 8)

When is your "Spring", imafan? It sounds like that would be the best time for people to start new roots.

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I have never grown culinary ginger. I have grown ornamental ginger - shell and butterfly. The growing requirements are basically the same. They don't care about the soil unless it is heavy clay. They will not bloom if the the plant dies back over winter (18 month for bloom) They are invasive and require TNT to get rid of them. My yard is not large enough to have ginger growing in the ground - HOWEVER - I do love culinary ginger and will plant some in 30 gallon nursery pots. Rainbow sent me some sun chokes. I let them dry a bit then planted them in huge pots. I will treat ginger the same way. In the south it does not take long for ginger to grow and spread. I can harvest a little the first year. A lot after that. In the northern regions it may take longer to have enough to harvest. Yes on the pots unless you have lots of space. I am not kidding when I tell you that ginger is a real BEAST plant!
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PunkRotten
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I am planning to grow ginger in the ground here. I just don't know much about growing it. Could you harvest the whole thing each year or should you only harvest some and always leave some to grow all the time?

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Oh, I forgot to mention that it is best after harvesting or breaking a large peice up to let the wound callus before planting so it won't rot.

In Hawaii, we do not have traditional seasons. We basically have two seasons. A wet season Oct-April and a dry season May-September.
Daylight year round varies by about 2 hours total 11-13 hours a day.
Temperatures: Days in the low 70's to high 90's but 100's is rare except in Hilo. Humidity 80% most of the time. Night temperatures in a really cold year 51 degrees, but there have been some areas that can get a little colder up to 80 degrees (August-September).
Most of our plants start to "Spring" when the gold tree blooms around March. El Nino and La Nina trends push the seasons forward and result in the gingers going dormant as late as January.
Most of the ginger and turmeric will sprout by March or April.
I like to plant my ginger with the eyes on the surface. The literature does not say to plant them that way, but it works for me.
As to harvesting, I break off pieces of ginger once they are big enough throughout the year. I have to avoid watering for a day or two after so the wound has time to heal. It is not a choice to grow ginger year round. If I planted Ginger in June or September, it would not matter. The ginger will still bloom and the foliage will wither around January. (I've actually done this). I dig up the roots for these reasons. 1. I have to add more compost to the bed. 2)Ginger in the ground is invasive. Old ginger in the ground doesn't taste very good and takes up space so the new ginger is knobbier and the pieces get stuck together more; making it very hard to dig out without damaging the rhizomes. 3) If we get flooding rains while the ginger is still dormant, it can rot 4) Why waste perfectly good ginger, especially at $2/lb?
Ginger can keep if it is washed; dried well (the skin turns brown), and kept in a ziploc with most of the air sucked out in the vegetable drawer. It can be frozen. Thawed ginger gets mushy, but you can squeeze out and use the ginger juice.
The last method is to preserve it by peeling and cutting ginger into usable pieces. It can be preserved in Sake or Sherry (the pieces do turn brown). Make sure the ginger is completely submerged. One site that did a spirits preservation said they liked vodka best (I think it is because it discolored it the least). The ginger will retain its' flavor preserved this way and at least the Sake and Sherry will pick up some of the ginger flavor and can be used in recipes. I never tried preserving in Vodka yet.
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applestar
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Thanks! maybe I'll try digging mine up then.
...not so invasive for me here -- usually more a question of getting them to multiply, but maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. :D

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Once again, thanks for the tips. I am going to give it a shot soon.

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applestar
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

How are everyone's gingers doing?
I never got around to digging mine up but let the pot go somewhat dry and continued to cut knobs as I needed.

Since we had the heat wave earlier, I started watering a little bit more, and they are starting to grow shoots now, so around now might be a good time to start growing them if you had planned to. :wink:
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

I did not have any luck getting ginger started last year. I've been waiting for the weather to warm a little more before trying again this year, but I will try again.
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

I have not got any Ginger plants yet. I had six pieces I cut and tried to sprout them in peat moss but they rotted. I have not got around to trying it again. I planted like 36 pieces of Turmeric over a month ago in the ground and don't see anything yet. Maybe I will dig one up and see if anything is going on. I got some new organic ginger from the store so I may try growing it again.

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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

I harvested my ginger in November. I had planted turmeric in the same pot and the turmeric took over most of the pot, so I got over 20 lbs of turmeric. The edible ginger was like an island in the turmeric. I got maybe 5 lbs. I replanted more ginger two weeks ago, sans turmeric. I am waiting for them to come up. The weather is finally warming up (the nights are no longer dipping into the low 60's), so I am hoping they will be poking up soon. :-()
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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