Harvest Monday, April 16, 2012 – Growing Ginger Update

Eastern Redbud

Thought I lost the tree a couple of years ago. Then last year I decided to prune and reshape to see if I could save it. This spring, I am rewarded with a tree loaded with beautiful pink flowers. After flowering, I will do some more pruning and reshaping. The tree should be in gorgeous shape again.

Harvested more garlic greens to share with friends, about ¾ pounds. Did not take photo as it would look the same as last Monday’s photo.

Not much activity in the garden this past week, it is so dry, my peas suffered because I could not find time to water. Did bump up the Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, gai lan (Chinese broccoli) and choy sum. Sorry, again no photos.

On March 26 I posted a photo of the ginger rhizome (root) I started indoor on Januaary 17 (scroll down to end of post). It has grown quite a bit since.

Bump the ginger plant up into a larger pot.

Still could not decide whether to grow my ginger in a container or in the ground. Reason is ginger takes 8 – 10 months to mature and cannot tolerate frost. In Dutchess County, our last frost date is around early May and first frost date is around end of September, only about 4 months of frost free growing period. On the other hand, since the purpose of my growing ginger is to harvest young ginger, may be 4 months is OK. Think I will do an experiment and grow a few ginger rhizomes (roots) in conatiners and some in the ground to make comparison. Will bring the containers indoor before the first frost to continue growing as a houseplant. Not sure if they will continue to grow but worth a try.

Went to the healthfood store to buy more ginger and was happy to see 2 different varieties. This is going to make my experiment even more interesting as now I can also compare 2 different varieites to see which variety will produce better young ginger. In the above photo, the ginger rhiozomes (roots) on the left are much smaller than the ones on the right. I selected sections with well developed “eyes” (the light color areas).

Cut the rhizomes into smaller sections, with each section having 2 – 3 “eyes”. Will plant with the “eyes” facing up. The ones for the garden will be in a section that gets morning sun.

About young ginger
Young ginger has a mild ginger flavor and a fine fleshy texture that is tender (not fiberous like matured ginger). The skin is very thin and easy to peel, the base of the grasslike stem and maybe areas of the rhizome have a pinkish color.
Young ginger, when in season, is sliced thinly and used as a vegetable in stir-fry dishes. It is also pickled in vinegar. If you ate sushi at a restaurant, the pink pickled ginger (known as gari) that accompanied the sushi is made with young ginger.
I do not have a photo of young ginger, but Mac of highdesertgarden, posted a lovely photo of young ginger harvested from his garden. Click here for Mac’s photo.

Daffodils for a cheerful ending!

Copyright © by Norma Chang

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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74 Responses to Harvest Monday, April 16, 2012 – Growing Ginger Update

  1. Liz says:

    I grow ginger and find that after about 4 months it has grown a bit so you hopefully you should get soon sort of harvest – for me there isn’t much grown at that point but there is some. My climate is really marginal for ginger as it really likes it a lot hotter, wetter and humid than Melbourne gets so in a more favourable climate hopefully you would get more growth.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Liz,
      We are having such crazy weather, not sure what will grow and what will not. Going to be in the 80’s today, it is only mid-April, not July/August, what gives!

  2. throve says:

    Your ginger is growing fast in the pot! Look forward to hearing more as it gets bigger. I think I will give growing ginger a try too.

  3. Great looking daffodils!

  4. Daphne says:

    Good luck with your ginger. I’ve thought about growing it so many times, but since it ahs such a long growing season I have always decided not to. I don’t have a good south facing window either.

  5. maryhysong says:

    I do beleive you can eat those redbud flowers 😉 I’ve tossed a couple of ginger roots in a pot in the greenhouse; we’ll see what happens!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mary,
      Really, I didn’t know that. I would love to hear how well your ginger grows in your greenhouse. Are you keeping it in the greenhouse year round?

  6. Hi Norma,

    I’m planning to go down to London at the weekend and will be visiting one of my favourite Asian stores whilst there and am hoping they will some different named varieties of ginger for me to buy and then experiment on back here in chilly South Wales where I will then grow them on in the greenhouse-fingers crossed…

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello GD,
      Love London. Spent a some days there a few years back, did all the tourist things. Then went to Cheltenham and Waterlooville to visits friends. Had gorgeous weather the whole time we were in England, did not rain at all.
      Looking forward to exchanging ginger growing experiment, this is going to be so much fun.

  7. I’m really looking forward to reading how the ginger growing goes. We have some in pots, but we’ve not tried them in the ground yet.

  8. Barbie says:

    MMMmmmm ginger. I love a fresh ginger root. But harvesting it is a bear! Well, if you leave it in the ground like I do anyway.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barbie,
      I cannot leave my ginger in the ground, we get first frost around end of September. Do you leave yours in the ground year round? I suppose where you are it is OK.

  9. ChgoJohn says:

    I can’t wait to see what your ginger experiments reveal, Norma. I may try growing some in a pot next year if your 4 month growing cycle is successful. Thanks of another interesting post!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      You are welcome. I am anxious to know the results but must wait. Perhaps the ones in the container will continue to grow when I bring them indoors in the fall, again must wait patiently. Gardening sure helps build character.

  10. Kate says:

    Hi Norma! I don’t know anything about ginger, but your redbud is beautiful! The flowers are just opening on ours too.

  11. I love fresh ginger. We use it a lot in Indian cooking. Your ginger is growing so fast and well. Lovely!

  12. I have been experimenting with young ginger recently as well. Your daffodils are beautiful Norma!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Alyssa,
      What did you do with the young ginger?
      Thanks, because of the deer population in my backyard, daffodils are one of the very few spring bulbs I can grow

  13. I live in the tropics so ginger is quite at home here – I just harvested over two kilos, and left the rest in the bed to harvest as needed. I suspect a pot might be best as you could move it into a warmer area over winter. Although if you left it in the ground and covered it with a cloche it might do ok. It does like lots of water. I love young ginger and keep mine in the freezer – so easy to grate as needed.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Africanaussie,
      That’s a lot of ginger, what do you do with 2 kilos of ginger? I will definitely keep the potted ginger plant I currently have in the pot and bring it indoor before frost in the fall. The ones I plan to put in the ground would not survive our winter. I will make sure they all get lots of water, thanks.

  14. Those daffodils are truly cheerful, and your redbud is beautiful.

  15. Dear Norma, your blog is very inspirational and practical, and I love it. You know so much about vegetables and gardening! This post is another example: now I am going to plant ginger too to try. I have a question for you: some time ago you shared a photo of lemon grass with rots. The very next Farmers Market I bought some lemon grass and put it in the water. Now it has roots too! I am so exited! So how much room it needs to grow and where do I plant it (sun or shade)? Thank you!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Marina,
      Thanks. I would put it in a pot for now, once established and hardened off, plant it in the garden in a sunny location. In the fall dig a piece and pot it up to bring indoor for the winter.

      • Do you think it need to harden off in above 70? I have a sunny location, I hope it really likes sun as in the summer we have above 100!

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Marina,
        I would harden it off. It is a tropical grass so I imagine it loves lots of sun. Did you root more than one stalk? If yes, put the stalks in different location and see where it is happiest.

  16. mac says:

    Beautiful flowers, hope your ginger grows well, our day temps are still in the 50s-60s and night temps go down to 20s-30s, can’t plant warm weather crops yet.

  17. Eva Taylor says:

    Growing your own ginger sounds challenging; our frost is about the same timing as yours, so I wouldn’t have a chance (no where to put it inside). The daffodils look lovely.
    I did plant garlic and green onions! I can hardly wait to dig them up.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      If I am able to harvest young ginger after 4 months that would be a success and I sure will continue doing the same next year. Glad your garlic and green onions are doing well. Yes my daffodils are doing well this year.

  18. kitsapfg says:

    I recently planted some ginger in a pot too but mine was not prestarted and as a consequence has not yet emerged. Never grown it before but have always wanted to.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kitsapfg,
      Ginger takes a long, long time to emerge. One of the 3 rhizomes I potted in January still has not emerged, may dig it up to see if it is still solid.

  19. Andrea says:

    Best of luck with your ginger …………………..will be watching its development with interest.
    I have often thought of growing it but we get heavy frosts too so have never given it a go, we do however have long hot summers so maybe a pot first and then outside.

  20. Lrong says:

    Tried planting ginger for the first time myself… I read that they need a lot of fertilizer… let’s see how it goes…

  21. I have a whole ginger root on my counter right now!

  22. hotlyspiced says:

    How great to be growing your own ginger! I should do the same but I don’t think our climate is warm enough. It’s grown in Queensland here and that’s a bit warmer than here. But I love to cook with ginger – it’s great in Thai stir-fries xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Hotlyspiced,
      I am experimenting, doen’t mean I will be successful, we only have about 4 month of frost free growing condition, some years even less. That’s why I am growing some in containers to bring indoor in the fall.

  23. Eva Taylor says:

    This is rather odd, as I thought I left a comment here yesterday…I wanted to mention that you’ve inspired me to plant garlic and green onions in pots up on the roof of my garage. I am envyous that you have somewhere to store your ginger as it requires a long growing season, sadly I have no space to do such a thing.
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      Yes, your comment yesterday arrived I just never got around to approving it, sorry. I am having one of those weeks and am questioning my sanity. Would love to see photos of your garlic and green onions in pots on the roof of your garage, perhpaps you would not mind doing a blog about them.

  24. Growing your own ginger sounds so interesting
    I would love to give this a try. Thank you for a very informative post Norma

  25. I’d love to plant ginger, but the growing season wouldn’t work here. It has been such a strange spring! Your redbud is spectacular — it reminds me a little of magnolias although there are some differences. Blossoms like these make it such a special time of year, don’t they?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello P and P,
      Sure is a strange spring indeed, yesterday we broke the record, 91F. Today is much cooler and may drop to the 40’s tonight, poor plants are so confused not to mention thirsty. We NEED rain badly and none in sight.
      If you start rooting your ginger indoor may be it will work.

  26. Juliana says:

    Hi Norma, I made another batch of lentil sprouts, this time the sprouts were longer since the weather is warmer 🙂
    I tried ginger and was not very successful since the squirrels kept digging into my pot…and the root were always exposed 😦
    Will try again and place the pot in different area…

  27. I look forward to hearing about the growth of your ginger tree – my grandparents have tried to grow it so many times but it has never worked so I will be keeping an eye for your awesome tips 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  28. Purely.. Kay says:

    Just look at all those wonderful flowers and your wonderful garden. You are definitely an inspiration Ms. Norma

  29. Sophie33 says:

    Waw, growing your own ginger! what a cool & neat idea! Your plant is growing bigger & stronger! I love ginger a lot!

  30. Kristy says:

    I never even heard of growing your own ginger. That’s amazing! I just love ginger. It’s so fresh and crisp. Can’t wait to see how it turns out. 🙂

  31. I’ve never tried growing ginger before, Norma! Look forward to seeing how it goes for you!

  32. Charles says:

    Hi Norma – I think my mother’s tried growing ginger once or twice, though never had luck with it. I’ll point her in the direction of your post here – great tips Norma!

  33. Lou Murray's Green World says:

    Norma, I grew ginger in a pot last year. I harvested and used some of it, but left the rest in the pot to grow more this year. So far it hasn’t re-sprouted, but you’re right, it is slow to sprout.

  34. Karen says:

    I think it will be a very interesting experiment to grow the ginger two ways.

  35. leduesorelle says:

    Another great thing to put on the to grow list, thanks for sharing your experiments!

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