Planting ginger is easy, but you have to do it properly and at the right time if you want to get a decent crop.
So in this post, I’m going to show you exactly when, where, and how to plant your ginger root, with complete step by step instructions.
When To Plant Ginger
It takes 8-10 months for ginger to reach full maturity. So you should plant the rhizomes in late winter or very early spring, depending on where you live.
If the temperature stays consistently above 50°F outside, then you can plant it in your garden in the spring, and grow it year round.
But northern gardeners need to start it indoors sometime in January or early February. Then you can either move it outdoors in the container, or transplant it into your garden after the risk of frost has passed in the spring.
It’s not beneficial to plant it early, because the cold could stunt the rhizomes or cause them to rot. So wait until the ground is at least 60°F, which you can test with a probe thermometer.
Where To Plant Ginger
You can plant your ginger in either a pot or the garden, as long as the soil is rich, fertile, and well draining.
Outdoors, choose a spot that gets morning or afternoon sun where the plant will be protected from high winds.
If you use a pot, make sure it has drainage holes in the bottom. Also, keep in mind that the plant can get 3-4′ tall. So choose a large container that’s at least 10″ wide and 10″ deep.
Related Post: How To Grow & Care For Ginger Plants
For the best results, space each rhizome 6-8” apart in the garden, or plant 1-2 pieces in a large pot.
It’s very important to give your ginger plenty of room so the plants won’t crowd each other out as they mature.
The rhizomes like to be fairly shallow, so you only need to bury them 2-3 inches deep with the buds (aka eyes) pointing up.
If they’re too far down, they won’t grow as well, and it could prevent them from sprouting all together.
How To Prepare Ginger Rhizomes For Planting
While you certainly could take the rhizomes and plant them straight into the soil, there are a few things you should do to prepare them first. Taking these steps will give you the best success and a larger harvest.
- Use a clean knife to cut the rhizome into 2-3″ long chunks – each piece should have at least two buds on it.
- To prevent rotting, let the pieces cure for 2-3 days, or until the cuts form calluses over the surface.
- Soak the pieces in water overnight to soften them up and help break their dormancy. I like to add a little bit of compost tea concentrate to the water to give mine an even better head start.
How To Plant Ginger Step-By-Step
After you’re done preparing the rhizomes, it’s easy to plant them, and doesn’t take much time. Here’s what you’ll need and the step by step instructions.
- Ginger root
- Compost and/or fertilizer pellets
- Hand trowel or shovel
- Pot (optional)
- Potting soil (if using a pot)
Step 1: Prepare the soil – If you’re planting your ginger in the ground, remove all the weeds, as well as any large rocks or sticks, and then loosen up the soil. Otherwise fill a container with a good quality potting mix, leaving 3-4″ of headspace on top.
Step 2: Plant your ginger root – Space the rhizome pieces approximately 6-8″ apart in the garden, or plant one to two fragments per 10″ pot. Dig a hole that’s 2-3” deep, then place them into it with the eye buds facing up.
Step 3: Cover with soil – Fill in the hole or the rest of the container to cover the pieces with 2-3″ of soil. Then gently pat it down so it comes in good contact with the rhizomes.
Step 4: Water lightly – Give your newly planted ginger root a drink, but don’t overdo it. The goal is to make the soil evenly moist, but not soggy.
Step 5: Patiently wait for growth – It can be a little slow to start, so be patient. You can expect to see sprouts in 2-3 weeks after you plant them, but sometimes it takes longer.
The best month to plant ginger depends on where you live. If you’re in a warm climate, then you can plant it in March, or as soon as it stays above 60°F in the spring. Otherwise, in colder regions, you need to start it indoors in late January or early February.
Yes, you can plant ginger root from the grocery store. Just make sure you buy it organic, otherwise it’s usually treated with chemicals that prevent the buds from sprouting.
You technically don’t need to soak ginger before planting, but I definitely recommend it. It will soften the rhizome pieces and help them sprout faster and more reliably.
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