Our QLD Territory Manager, Andrew Woodford is a bit of a ginger (Zingiber officinale) expert after years of growing them commercially and now for his personal use. Here’s his simple growing guide to organic ginger:
Choose plump healthy looking pieces of ginger (called rhizomes) from an organic grocer. Don’t use non-organic pieces as they may be treated with chemicals to prevent growth. Or you can order rhizomes from Green Harvest or The Diggers Club.
Ideally plant in September as this gives the plants time to produce enough leaves to form a protective canopy before the severe summer heat arrives. Otherwise stems can burn and the yield suffers. In hot dry climates plant in bright shade. In humid subtropical and tropical regions ginger can handle more sunlight but need protection from the strong afternoon sun.
Plant into well prepared soil which has been enriched with plenty of compost and organic matter. Each piece should have 2-3 “eyes” or growing points and be planted 3-5cm deep. Mulch well to reducing drying out and soil temperature fluctuations. Expect to see shoots in about 3 weeks.
Water early in the day to avoid damp, wet soils overnight. Regularly apply eco-seaweed and eco-aminogro to encourage strong healthy growth. This keeps the plants growing longer and protects against cool weather at the end of the season.
As winter approaches reduce watering to let the plant die down before harvesting. In frost prone areas harvesting is usually done before the end of May. Harvesting can be left later in warmer regions.
Ginger will also grow well in pots but be sure to choose a large pot so there’s room for rhizomes to develop. Pots will need plenty of water during hot summer periods and a monthly application of eco-hydrate is very beneficial.