Ginger - Zingiber officinale
– it is a very easy herb to grow and the best thing is that, to start with, you just have to take a trip to the greengrocer and buy a root. This is not the tropical ginger that gives flowers full of color, but with it you can make infusions, cakes, dress your salads or stews, or make a fruit smoothie more interesting, while taking advantage of all its benefits.
To grow your own ginger, the ideal is to buy an organic root - or rhizome - since the non-organic ones may have been treated with growth inhibitors and this would slow down the process. Choose a young root, the ones with the softest skin. You should make sure that it has those typical ginger knots as green as possible since the shoots will come from there. You have to keep in mind that ginger root likes:
- A warm environment (it is a tropical plant)
- partial shade
- rich and moist soil
- Plastic pot, roots sometimes get stuck in the terra cotta
Soak your ginger root overnight. If you buy a large rhizome with several shoots, you can break it into different pieces as long as each one has a node. Then plant the pieces in a pot of at least 15 cm in diameter almost filled with soil, about 2,5 cm from the surface and with the shoots facing up. Cover them and water. Make sure to keep the ginger rhizomes always moist and away from direct sun and wind, indoors to start with, and outdoors when temperatures rise.
Compared to other herbs, ginger grows slowly and eventually its stems can reach a height of 60 to 90 cm. You can harvest your own ginger at any time once the plant has grown, though you can always wait a few more days for a bigger harvest. When you are ready, cut a piece of the rhizome and use it. You can also re-plant those pieces where you see new shoots-node, repeating the whole process. The Zingiber officinale
It is planted in early spring and allowed to grow all summer for harvest in the fall. If you take care of it and leave it as a decorative plant over the years, you may be lucky enough to see it bloom. You choose, cake or recreation for your eyes?