Growing ginger is a very rewarding journey. Let’s say that it is perfect for the more patient gardener and if you aren’t, then ginger will help you develop the patience needed! Ginger grows into a beautiful plant that not only has edible roots but the most fragrant edible leaves too.
It is a slow growing plant. Here in the UK, I have found that it is easier to start it indoors in January and February before moving it outdoors in the warm summer months.
How to Start Growing Ginger
I start with buying fresh root ginger. This is best done from a garden centre or shop where it is specifically sold for growing. It is tricky to source organically grown ginger, but I much prefer it for growing and eating so it is worth searching for.
I will first tell you about how I normally grow my ginger by sprouting it first, and then how I am trialling it by soaking it too this year.
Sprout your ginger
Once I have bought my fresh root ginger, I keep a few pieces on my kitchen counter top, a corner where no-one will disturb them. This is where patience begins! It may take a few weeks to sprout but these pale little knobbly growths are the first signs of life.
Plant your ginger
You can then plant them into pots with good drainage holes at the bottom. Fill the pots up to two thirds with your fresh new multipurpose compost. Give the filled pots a tap and firm it lightly down. Place your sprouted root ginger pieces on top of the compost.
Water the ginger
Cover these with about 5 cm of compost. I prefer to water from beneath. Take lukewarm water (slightly above room temperature) and fill the pot trays with them. You can also take one larger tray and fill it with lukewarm water and then place your pot or pots in them too. Leave them for about half an hour before taking them out of the tray. Place these in a warm part of your house, like a bright windowsill.
Ensure that you keep the compost moist but not dripping wet. Watering from below will help with this.
Again wait for the shoots to pop up .. more waiting on the cards! Growing ginger tests the most patient of us. All you have to do is ensure it has warmth, brightness and a moist compost to live in.
It will be excitement when you see it finally popping up and you are allowed a happy dance. Trust me, you will not be alone as I will definitely join you in the celebration!
Transplant your ginger
As your ginger grows, you can transplant it into bigger pots or containers. Again make sure they have good drainage with adequate holes at the bottom!
I use fresh multipurpose compost in the new pots. I prefer to grow these indoors where it is reliably warm till summer is well on its way.
Growing Ginger Outdoors
I plant my ginger outdoors in late July when summer temperatures are more assured. The part-shaded part of my patio is much preferred as my garden faces west and therefore receives hot sunshine all afternoon. Ginger however prefers not to be in the hot sun, so work with your outside space. You can move your pot or planter around till it’s happy.
Soaking Ginger Root
This year, I am also starting some ginger by soaking it first. I took ginger and soaked it in some tepid water overnight in an attempt to wake it up! After just one night’s soak, I have cut the root into pieces as I am hoping to get more plants growing from it. The pointed bits are where the ginger will sprout from so I have left one on each piece.
I have filled small pots with multipurpose compost and then planted my pieces. In one pot, I have planted the pieces sideways and in the other, they are facing upwards to see if it will make a difference!
I have then covered with some more fresh multipurpose compost and watered the pots with tepid water. These pots were then covered with a plastic bag to conserve the humidity before placing in a warm corner in my kitchen.
After about 3 weeks, it was so exciting to see one of the sprouts peeping up from the surface of the compost!
Happy to report that this first one was in the pot where I planted them facing upwards. Clearly helping the ginger sprout to reach the surface quicker. So if you are growing ginger by soaking and cutting, placing them upwards will be more beneficial!
Hope you will be giving ginger a go, whether it’s by leaving it to sprout before planting or by soaking it first. Follow me on Instagram, to join us growing ginger this year!