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Instead of buying ginger in supermarkets, where you are never one hundred percent sure of its freshness, why not just grow it yourself – at home? If that is what you are thinking about, but not sure how exactly to do it, you are in the right place, because I will show you in this article everything you need to know about how to grow ginger.
- Planting Conditions: spring, well-drained soil
- Method of propagation: parts of the root
- Height: up to 40 inches
- Usage: as a spice and for medicinal purposes
Ginger (Lat. Zingiber officinale) is a permanent tuber plant whose subsoil has been used for thousands of years as food and medicine.
The ginger root is laid horizontally in the soil, thick and often branched. Stems with spear-shaped leaves emerge from the roots, which can be up to 40 inches long and resemble reeds. The spiked inflorescence is formed at the apex of the stem, composed of red funnel-shaped flowers. Ginger flowers have a purple-brown, freckled lip, and below the inflorescence are elongated, large leaves fringed with yellow.
Ginger saplings are used as a spice and for this purpose, corms are aged between 8 and 12 months. Ginger comes on the market in milled form or as a dry rhizome. Rhizome parts are first boiled to prevent fermentation and then dried in the sun. If the outer skin remains on the root then black ginger is obtained, and if the skin is removed, white ginger is obtained.
Ginger planting and propagation
Ginger is propagated by parts of the seedling, and planting is done in the spring. To grow ginger at home, you need to get a larger pot, fresh ginger root, some soil, and compost. Ginger can be grown indoors or in pots.
The best growing options are larger containers with good drainage that can be easily moved, depending on how much light and heat the ginger needs. Planting requires a firm and slightly thicker piece of fresh root that has smooth bark and visible small bulges as new shoots will emerge over time. Germination of an older piece of root can also be caused by placing the root in a bag and leaving it in a dark place for several weeks.
If you plan to plant ginger in the garden, the ideal time to plant it is April and May while growing it in pots can be planted any time between spring and fall. The root that is dry should be soaked in warm water the night before planting.
Ginger planting requires organic compost, good quality soil, and less sand. Two-thirds of the pot is filled with compost mixed with a little sand, then a piece of fresh ginger is inserted into the mixture. After that, a thin layer of soil should be added, just enough to gently cover the ginger root.
After planting, the ginger should be well watered and the container can be covered with a clean plastic bag or foil to retain as much moisture as possible. The ginger jar should be placed where it is partially reached by sunlight.
Ginger cultivation and maintenance
Ginger requires a lot of water, especially in the summer months, so care should be taken not to dry the soil during this period. If the ginger does not get enough water, the root will not grow well. It will be small and stunted. However, it is also important not to overdo it with water, because if the soil is too moist, root rot may occur.
It would be ideal to have a drip system. This will keep the soil constantly moist but not overly soaked.
Young green ginger shoots should appear within 30 days after planting and the plastic bag can then be removed from the pot. The pan is then moved to a warm room with lots of light. The ginger jar can also be kept outdoors if the temperature is appropriate (above 68 °F). Ginger root should be ready for consumption after about 8 months.
If you later realize that you have planted ginger in a small pot, you can transplant it after the plants have reached a height of 4 inches. Care should be taken when replanting to prevent root damage. Since several plants will grow from the same root, you can gently separate them with a knife or a slight tearing.
Plants are transplanted so that there are several inches of space between each, ideally 8 to 12 inches if the container is large enough.
To grow ginger in the garden, parts of the root are planted after the danger of frost and freezing has passed. Ginger is planted to a depth of about 2 inches, in a place that is protected from the wind. The soil should be well-drained and moist.
Diseases and pests of ginger
Ginger can get root rot so avoiding excessive soil soak and secure good drainage.
Ginger harvesting and storage
Ginger is harvested or removed when the green stem reaches a height of 40 inches. The taller the stem, the larger the root. One can extract the whole ginger root or just a portion, as much as you need for consumption. Ginger extracted directly from the ground is yellow with pink spots and if consumed shortly after extraction has a mild flavor and a crisp and light texture.
In order to preserve ginger for the next generation of young plants, it is possible to leave a few tubers in the ground in a pot. It should be left in a dark place and then returned to a warm and light place in the house in February and started watering. In this case, the shoots will sprout and begin a new life cycle.
Composition and use of ginger
Ginger owes its aromatic and pungent taste to essential oils. Fresh ginger contains 1 – 3% of essential oils whose main ingredient is gingerol.
The energy value of 100 g of fresh ginger root is 69 kcal. It contains 1,7 g of protein, 15.1 g of carbohydrates and 0.7 g of fat. Ginger Vitamine contains Vitamin C, Niacin, Thiamine and Riboflavin, and the minerals are phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, and iron.
Medicinal properties of ginger
Ginger has many medicinal properties. Preventively used against colds, strengthens immunity, improves circulation, soothes cough and helps with nausea. It has analgesic, diuretic, sedative, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects, so it relieves pain, soothes irritation, increases urination and expulsion of excess fluid, destroys pathogens and reduces inflammation and pain caused by arthritis.
Ginger contains gingerol, a substance that is responsible for proper bowel function and is therefore effective in gastric problems. In addition to facilitating and promoting digestion, it is an excellent blood purifier and has aphrodisiac properties.
In addition, the ginger root contains numerous antioxidants such as alkaloids, terpenoids, and polyphenols, while the leaves contain vitamin C and beta-carotene.
The flavonoids contained in ginger have a positive effect on reducing the development and mortality of heart disease and blood vessels. They prevent cholesterol buildup on the inner walls of blood vessels and the formation of atherosclerotic plaque that leads to decreased blood flow through the vessels.
Ginger also contains quercetin, a flavonoid that has strong antioxidant activity. Research has shown that quercetin can act to prevent the development of several cancers, especially ovarian, breast and prostate cancers.
Ginger is also used to prepare dressings that help with acute and chronic pain caused by arthritis and rheumatism, stiff neck, back pain, bronchitis, asthma, stomach cramps, and kidney and liver inflammation.
In traditional Arabic medicine, it is also used to improve memory, and research has shown that this use is justified and that ginger consumption can have a positive effect on memory and brain health.
So far, no adverse effects of ginger have been reported, and there is no information on its toxicity in the medical literature, so it is safe to use. But some studies have shown that it dilutes the blood.
Pregnant women should use ginger for morning sickness only with the advice of a doctor and should not take more than 1000 mg daily, this dose being proven safe in studies.
Ginger in culinary
Fresh ginger is used in the preparation of sweet and savory dishes, and except in fresh and dried form, it can also be found in sugar, pickled or preserved in syrup.
The fresh ginger root has a warm and delicate, almost floral taste. It is crunchy and texture-like to an apple so it can be consumed more like a vegetable. For longer standing, it dries and produces a distinctive crust, giving it a sharp and hot taste.
Ginger can be sliced on sticks, slices or grated and added to salads and dishes in wok. Salty and savory dishes will have a hot but refreshing aroma thanks to ginger that fits fried dishes, marinades, soups, fresh vegetables, and cereals. It gives a special note to seafood dishes and reduces fat in duck and pork meat.
Fresh ginger can be added to desserts with dried or fresh fruit, such as apple cakes, while dried ginger can be used in the preparation of plain puddings, muffins, pastries, and biscuits. When it comes to fruit, ginger can be combined with bananas, pineapples, pears, and oranges.
In addition to savory and sweet dishes, ginger can be added to beverages. You can add it to fruit and vegetable juices, lemonade with honey, as well as cooked wine. If you boil several slabs of the root in water, you will get the famous ginger tea.
The older ginger has a characteristic taste and is a bit like pepper. While consuming, there is a hot feeling, but also a sweet note that is reminiscent of lemon.
Ginger is a favorite spice in India and China, as well as in other Asian countries. They finely chop it, pour it with water and let stand for several hours. It is then added to the dishes just before serving. Ginger used in this way retains a fresh, aromatic and slightly hot taste.
It is an important ingredient of the spice blends of a barber, curry, jerk, and five Chinese spices. In Indonesia, it is used in conjunction with other spices to season meat that will be roasted or grilled. If the ginger is fried before use, it will have a much milder taste and aroma and is added to sauces and dishes of meat and vegetables.
For other spices, ginger goes well with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, nutmeg, and saffron.
The fresh ginger root in the refrigerator can be preserved for at least three weeks. Uncharged is placed in a plastic bag from which all the air is expelled and left in the lower radiator drawer.
Interesting facts about ginger
Ginger is thought to have originated in the Bismarck Islands and has been cultivated in India and China since ancient times. Europeans learned about ginger after Marco Polo’s trip to China and first arrived in Europe in the 9th century, after which it quickly became a favorite spice.
Ginger has been mentioned in the medical books since the 17th century as a medicinal plant. Today it is grown mostly in the provinces of Clarendon, Trelawny, and Manchester in Jamaica, then India and Nigeria, which are the largest exporters of this spice.
The positive properties of ginger have been proven by scientific research, so in the West, it has been accepted as a functional food and aid in classical medicine. It is less commonly used in the manufacture of medicines, alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, and sweets.