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

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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. :-()
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

Hurray, my first ginger sprout of the year has broken through at last. Hopefully the rest are close behind.
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

Interesting -- my indoor temp must be close to your outdoor temp :?
I wish I also had the scenery. 8)

Enjoy your ginger :D
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

Thanks Apple, unfortunately the scenery has not been that great the last few days. We have Kona weather. The vog was so thick, I could not even see the tops of the Waianae range. It burns the eyes and the plants really don't like it because the high sulfur content can make some plants burn. Can't wait for the return of the trades. :()

It has been around 66 degrees at night and lower 80's in the daytime. That is pretty normal for here. It feels hotter because Kona weather means the winds shift direction and it gets very muggy with no cooling breezes. Even if it does rain, it is usually brief and followed by steamy mugginess as the water evaporates off the land. Definitely better to play hookey and go to the beach instead of work in the garden. :-()
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

I discovered today that my ginger is trying to bloom! :-()
image.jpg
This is how the whole thing looks:
image.jpg
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

Mine started to send up flower stalks a few weeks ago and I see the remnants of the flowers on some of them. The flowers are small brown and short lived. I usually smell them before I see them. I think yours are taller than mine. Mine is mostly in the sun and I did not put a lot of nitrogen in the pot and that seems to keep the height down.
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

Oh, I didn't know ginger liked more sun. I always put it in tree dappled shade all summer. So these are light starved-looking?
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

Yours looks fine. Ginger can grow in the shade with good light, but will grow taller. Mine are in full sun and that will always keep the gingers short. If they are used to it, the leaves don't burn. The main thing is that they don't dry out.

I also have curcurma longa or turmeric (it is what gives curry its' yellow color). Hawaiians call it Olena, in the past the Hawaiians used it as a source of yellow dye for tapa. Turmeric also has has also been used in traditional medicine for 4000 years and there has been some research done on its antioxidant, and anti cancer properties. I have had turmeric tea. It is very earthy and not to my liking without some Earl Grey to go with it.

I am trying to grow galangal. I used to have it, but it pushed my garden wall, so I got rid of it. I have to find some good seed pieces.

https://www.agroforestry.net/scps/Ginger ... y_crop.pdf
https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/turmeric
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

I got a decent plant of Ginger now. I got lucky I found a small piece in a 5lb sack of Turmeric. It has lots of shoots right now and I can see that it has spread pretty good. It is growing in a pot right now, but if it grows well I will try it in the ground next season. My Turmeric didn't come up until late June/early July. Hoping I get a good haul of Turmeric as well. I keep my Ginger in partial shade. When it was small I had it in full sun and it looked like it was getting burned. I moved it and it is growing well. Shoots are short though, maybe like 1 1/2 to 2 feet tall. I was thinking of putting it back in full sun.

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

My ginger in full sun typically gets about 3 to 3 1/2 ft tall. If the rhizomes are planted in the ground or the pot and left in the sun to start with, they rarely burn. Most of the time brown leaves are from not getting enough water. They don't like to dry out.

If you do grow turmeric, separate it from the ginger. It typically comes up before the ginger and the roots take over the space, so they need some distance from each other.

The turmeric and ginger are both blooming now.
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

Super! I wonder if I could find fresh turmeric to try to grow.... When is the peak harvest? Shortly after that is probably my best chance to find them at the Asian market.

My tub of ginger had three flower stalks :D
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

Turmeric and ginger can be harvested pretty much anytime as long as the root is large enough. The leaves will go dormant on turmeric around November-December and the edible ginger usually goes down a little later in January. The rhizomes will stay dormant and start to grow again around March and April.

We usually see young ginger in Chinatown in January but turmeric is not that common. Occasionally the plants are for sale.
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

My plant has gotten taller and wider. I can't wait to see how much ginger root is growing. I haven't attempted to try and "steal" any knobs. I am wondering if it will have enough time to have mature ginger by harvest. When it goes dormant in Dec/Jan it will only have had about 6-7 months growing time. Same with the Turmeric.

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

Ginger can be harvested younger but the best yields are when they get the full 10 months of growth. Ginger should be planted around March and harvested after flowering and the tops have completely died down.

My ginger has flowered and the bracts re turning red. some of the tops are drying but haven't fallen over yet.

The farms hill their ginger to get them to grow vertically, otherwise ginger naturally grows laterally.

They like a clean soil, no nematodes, high in organic matter, they like a pH 5.5-6.5 and need a lot of calcium for good growth. They also like lots of sunshine and water but need good drainage.
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

Here's an update -- slowly yellowing foliage, but still green for the most part in an upstairs bedroom where it doesn't get a very bright location and the supplemental lights are turned on last and turned off first. (This room is relegated to my day length sensitive/warmer winter temp tropicals -- ginger, pineapple, poinsettia, thanksgiving cactus, and lemongrass which doesn't care but needs to be placed in a cat-free room -- they eat them and puke :roll:). The flower stalks shriveled and fell over a couple of weeks ago.
Ginger tub
Ginger tub
I think I WILL dump them out this winter after all the leaf stalks dry up. You can see how they are deforming this container on one side. I'll harvest and then re-plant later in fresh soil mix with better distribution in the container for future growth.
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

The tops of mine are yellowing too, and I will probably harvest some of them for use soon. Since they won't do much sprouting and this is the rainy season, I will wait until the tops completely dry out. It might not make it to January. Part of the turmeric is already falling down, but it does go faster than the ginger. I actually have some ginger pieces that have decided to start growing now, so I potted them up and will transfer them to the larger container once the current occupants are gone.
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Imafan, if it's rainy season now, should I be watering the ginger more right now? The stalks are slowly drying one by one right now. When do they get dried out?
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

If you are going to harvest the ginger you just have to keep the container from going completely dry. They are not taking up much water when they are dormant but will dessicate if they are too dry and rot if they are water logged. After I harvest the rhyzomes, I put them in a shallow tray on the bench. They will get hit by the sprinkler and stay moist and that keeps them from dessicating until I can plant them again.

My tops are almost completely dry now so I am planning to harvest them probably by Christmas.

The ones I harvest I have

frozen- ok for a couple of months but it will dessicate in the freezer too.
Moist sand- works great. They keep for eating and planting later
Preserved in sake or sherry. Since I don't do much preserving, this is a simple way to store ginger. Peel the ginger with a spoon. Cut into thumb sized pieces and pack them into a clean jar with a tight fitting lid. Fill the jar with sake or sherry (somebody said they used Vodka, I haven't tried that), make sure that all of the ginger is submerged. It will keep in the refrigerator for months. In Asian recipes that call for sherry, you can use some of the gingered sherry.
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

I harvested my plant like 2 weeks ago. I got a nice size rhizome too. At first there was really no brown skin. But over time the brown skin has been forming. I am going to be planting more Ginger the coming season. I plan on presprouting too so they have more time in the ground.

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

Image

Here is one of my several bins of ginger. Yes, I had lots of trouble getting mine started until it was really warm outside and then ZING! I intend to plant some of mine outside in the ground this year and mulch them heavily over the winter, but I will bring in a couple of bins for overwintering as well, just in case. A friend of mine is also in zone 7 and hers does fine outside in winters, right up against a sunny side of her house that stays warmer. Mine flowered the first year and go gang busters in a mix that includes my local acidic red clay mud. I shift them into dappled shade in the high heat of our summers.

I like to start five or so fans in a medium to large plastic storage bin that is 10 gallon or more. Seems to work pretty well - much better than in pots, and they reside on my deck most of the year. Don't forget to poke holes in the bottom of the bins for drainage. Mulch helps retain moisture.

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

Thanks Ornery_Pony and welcome! :)

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

Ginger is back in the house. I had it under a floating cover on the brick patio for the past week or so.
It's sending up flowerstalks again. 8)

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

My ginger is starting to bloom as well. It will be time to harvest soon.
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

All of my tropicals are being so neglected this year. I had the ginger in the house for so long without taking the container outside to good light that it grew way too tall -- over 5 feet! :shock:

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

My ginger is way behind because of the ongoing war of the squirrels. I had to keep it in a tiny pot on a very shady screened porch so it was only last week that I transplanted it to a larger pot outside in better light. Stuck plastic forks and knives (pointy ends up) in all the available surface areas without damaging any tubers. It seems to work to discourage digging.

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

My ginger came up late this year, but so far it is doing fine. The harvest pieces were small last year so this time I am dividing the ginger into 4 pots and see if that will help.
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

I guess it depends on the species. Z. officinale seems to need a little room to spread those fingers, while awa puhi, Z. zerumbet, multiplied in a bucket to fill the entire depth. It didn't come out the holes I'd drilled in the bottom, but was getting close. My Hedychium coronarium, aka Hawaiian White Ginger (smells just like the Avon cologne of the same name), also double and triple depthed in their pots. I still managed to kill them for this year. I hadn't the heart to give the extra away, and also couldn't bring myself to paintball the squirrels who dug them out of the box to desiccate under the workbench.

Anyhow, I depend on the Z. officinale to make my annual attempt at ginger beer for Christmas.

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

I just break off pieces when I need it. I was looking at one of the pots today ad I think I may have to find a wider pot for it the side is being deformed by the root pushing against it.

I preserve the ginger by peeling and putting thumb sized pieces in a clean jar and cover the pieces with dry Sherry. It lasts all year as long as the ginger is submerged. If the pieces come out of the sherry, they will get moldy. I have also kept them in the freezer, but you end up with ginger juice when they are thawed and they desiccate in the freezer as well. Ginger can be dried and candied. Sometimes I just keep them in a bucket with a little sand or peat moss outside on the lanai and keep them moist. Eventually they will grow in the bucket and I have to plant them out again or use them.
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Re: Good thing I'm growing Ginger in a container this year

Sherry's a good idea for preserving ginger. I usually use vodka and a generous amount of salt. The alcohol should be enough, but what the heck... I do peel the pieces. Some are knuckle sized, some even smaller.

I should have kept the rhizomes in sand. Normally, I'd let them go dormant in the same pots, but everything was overgrown and I knew I'd be moving within a year, so I just knocked the soil off them and let them airdry in a paper bag in a cardboard box. Awa puhi survived that way, mostly, and had a few good sprouts, but not the Hedychium. I had edible ginger and a bit of tarragon left over from last year, but added small market purchased pieces.

I have to stop trying to grow any more stuff at least until after I move. That's all up in the air.

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

IMG_20170729_193330.jpg
I skimmed the responses and didn't see anyone growing ginger from near the 49th north parallel :wink:

Okay, I've cheated a bit. About as soon as the heat was turned on in the March greenhouse, some ginger root from the store went in the pots. Only about 10 days ago, this plant came outdoors. I tried to protect it from our blazing, summer sun but it seems that the leaf tips were burned a little.

Last year, some ginger was started but not quite so early. It stayed in the open greenhouse right through the summer. There were a couple of little rhizomes beside the original root by the fall. That was the harvest - they were nice, fresh and fragrant!

That original, store-bought root looked about the same as months earlier. We were curious. No, we didn't make it into candied ginger, or such ;). However, cut up and later discarded -- it added a nice flavor to stir-fry!

How's that for economics? No need to toss the original root after months in the pot and producing a couple of new rhizomes. Anyway, it worked last year.

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

This year is my first time succeeding in getting grocery store ginger root to sprout. It has been growing VERY slowly but now has a couple leaf pairs and a new little sprout starting. It is in a pretty shady spot. Would it do better with more sun? It's there because it is in a pot with a house plant, since both of them will have to come in for the winter.
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