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Growing ginger: How hard could it be?

This guide is brought to you by a new member of the IG team, Rajitha Yasarathna. 

My garden interests initially came out of a love for seeing things grow. Anything really – animals, plants, whatever – that will grow because of the nutrition and care I provide for it. Since our home already has three dogs and two cats, I thought it best to turn my attention to plants.

Our garden resembles an abandoned quarry; it’s impossible to grow anything out there because of the rocks, plates, ceramic items, slippers and shampoo bottles that the builders have left behind. Before you judge – it’s a rented house. We do, however, have 5 balconies. The two main balconies lead out from the livingroom and the master bedroom. I decided to divide the two in to flowering plants and vegetables. The livingroom balcony will be a make-shift veggie patch and the master bedroom will be a flower garden.

Before anyone gets discouraged, thinking that growing anything is hard work, let me tell you that it’s not. Plants are incredibly tough. If you have a garden to plant in instead of pots, it just becomes easier. Otherwise, put some soil in a jam jar and throw in some seeds – you will be amazed!

When I started I had no plan. Just potting mix and a few plants. There was also a piece of ginger in the fridge and I thought to myself “How hard could it be to make this grow”? It turns out that it’s not hard at all!

Supplies for growing gingergrowing ginger

A piece of ginger
soil/potting mix
a small container (any container 4-6 inches deep will do)

All of these items are probably available in your home right now. I had a small pot left over from re-potting another plant, and it was enough to get a few pieces of ginger in.

I started by cutting the ginger into 4 pieces. (When cutting, make sure to leave the edges intact). I then filled my pot about half way with left over potting mix that included all the nutritional goodies like compost, sand and manure.

I then poked my finger in the potting mix and dropped each piece of ginger in and lightly covered the top with a bit more potting mix. Not too deeply. Because the ginger had been in the refrigerator since we bought it, I sprinkled some water into the pot.

growing ginger“Sprinkled” is that important word here, because pouring water would unsettle the ginger and wash away the loose top soil.

And that was it! It was a 5 minute job. And now, 3-4 weeks later, I have 6 ginger saplings. All I did to maintain my young plants was water the pot once every 2-3 days.

Since then, I have managed to dig out the garden and make a small area where the soil is actually decent and free of trash. I’ll use home-made compost (more on that later) to increase the nutrition in the soil and re-plant the ginger.

The important point here is that I wasn’t too careful with anything I did. I paid a little attention to how I cut the ginger, but that was it. There was no babying, no ’round the clock monitoring, and no stress. If I forgot to water the pot, no problem – I did it the next day.

Because ginger is so forgiving, this could be a plant that you grow in the kitchen on top of the fridge or next to the sink.


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