Harvest Monday, January 7, 2013 – Ginger Update

As promised, some time ago, my growing ginger experiment update.

DSC02319weblarge copyOn January 17, 2012, I purchased a piece of ginger with eyes (the lighter color bumps in the above photo) from the healthfood store and placed it in a pot to root.

It not only rooted but grew, made me a happy person.

GingergroupLeft photo: this is what it looked like on March 24, 2012, after 2+ months
Center photo: this is what it looked like on April, 14, 2012
Right photo: decided to bump it up to a larger pot

DSC03436weblarge copyThis is what it looked like on July 31, 2012

Wondering if the ginger rhizome grew? Tempted to dig and see, but am afraid to disturb it. Also must decide whether I want to keep it through the winter as a houseplant to see if it survives. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

DSC04407weblarge copyThis is what it looked like on October 27, 2012
Should have brought it indoor early September while the leaves were still all green

Since the leaves started to die, decided to leave it outdoor until first frost, then brought it into the garage where it remained until yesterday.

DSC04692weblarge copyThis is what it looked like on January 6, 2013

DSC04694weblarge copyThis is what I harvested yesterday, 1/6/13, weighed slightly under 4 ounces
(the original starting piece, it broke off, weighed under 1 ounce)

The plant was growing in an 8-inch diameter container, the ginger rhizome probably would have grown bigger if the container was larger.

Am going to replant a small section to see if it will grow (may not, as the rhizome does not appear fully mature), will see. Using the remainder for cooking.

Conclusion to this year long experiment is: Yes, even with our short growing season,  ginger, a very slow growing tropical plant, can be grown successfully in the Hudson Valley both in the garden and in a container.

I will start rooting the ginger rhizomes for growing in the garden mid-February/early- March for transplanting early June when the soil is warm.

Must remember to bring the one in the container indoor early September to see if it will continue to grow through the winter.

DSC04691weblarge copyDespite the frigid weather, my heath is blooming through the snow
(wish I had removed the brown leaves and twigs before taking the photo)

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

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

Ginger update

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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63 Responses to Harvest Monday, January 7, 2013 – Ginger Update

  1. kitsapfg says:

    I also planted a ginger rhizome this past spring in a pot. It took it forever to surface and develop top growth, but it eventually did. It is still in my greenhouse and has recently died back. I am going to just leave it in the pot, remove the dead vegetation and give it a feed in the spring and see if I do better with it in a second year of growing.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Laura,
      Is your greenhouse heated during the winter? Yes, the ginger rhizome takes forever to surface and develop top growth, from your experiment it appears the plant will die back. Did you check to see if the rhizome developed new growth?

  2. Barbie says:

    Beautiful flowers! I love the ginger update. Glad it grew for you.

  3. Kristy says:

    Oh how fun! Don’t you love it when something is successful like this. And this looks like something I could even grow. We use a lot of ginger, so this might be a fun one for us. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kristy,
      I am sure you can grow ginger successfully. Tried for a few years but could not get the ginger rhizome from the food market to grow, decided to give the health food store ones a try and imagine my excitement when I saw top growth, now why did I not think of the health food store before?

  4. Annie says:

    Norma! I’m so encouraged to read your post today on your ginger experiment. I’ve done this in UK in the past, and I failed miserably:( but you showed me that I could try it once again, this time in Bulgaria! …Coudn’t wait for spring to arrive!!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Annie,
      Don’t know the length of your growing season, but ginger requires a very long growing season and takes forever to develop top growth, reason I start indoors in January/February.

  5. Daphne says:

    I would love to try to grow ginger. What I really want is the young ginger for pickling. I can’t find anywhere that sells young ginger even the huge Hmart that sells everything under the sun.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Daphne,
      Harvest while the leaves are still green to get young ginger. I did get a few young ginger from the pieces I planted in the garden, but I misplaced my notes and was unable to write a post. Will be trying again this year.
      Young ginger is very seasonal, may be if you try Hmart in the spring or early summer. Are you near Quincy? I understand there is a huge Asian market there.

  6. I would love to grow ginger too!

  7. How interesting your experiment was, Norma. I guess the old saying “the deeper the pot the stronger the crop” holds true for ginger, too. It is much more slow growing than I had imagined. No wonder it is expensive in the stores.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Betsy,
      Oh yes, took forever for a tiny shoot to break through the soil surface, I thought the rhizome had rotted. Other than the long growing season, it is really easys to grow. I am going to grow quite a bit this year as I also want to harvest pink (young) ginger.

  8. That is awesome Norma! I love that you are able to garden year-round.

  9. I was waiting to hear how your ginger experiment went. Thank you for sharing with us Norma
    I may attempt to plant one myself this year. Thank you for the inspiration

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Sawsan,
      You are welcome. Sorry you had to wait a whole year, but one cannot hurry a plant. Do grow some, really easy just remember it takes a long time to mature.

  10. Eva Taylor says:

    Gingerlicious success! I am so happy that ginger bulb grew for you. A year seems like a huge investment but so cool that you actually grew ginger. Does it taste any different than the store bought kind? It looks very fresh, and not nearly as woody as the kind we can buy here.
    The heath is gorgeous, is it some relative to heather?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      I was so excited when I found that clump of ginger. Requires a long growing season but really easy to grow. Going to plant quite a bit this year as I want to also harvest pink (young) ginger.
      The piece I harvested taste fresh and sharp, not at all woody because it did not have sufficient time to mature.
      Yes, heath and heather are in the same family, actually heath are sometimes mislabelled as heather.

      • Eva Taylor says:

        I tried growing heather in all my gardens throughout the years (Stouffville, the Upper Beach in Toronto and Bloor West Village) and I have not had much success, but then perhaps I’m choosing the wrong variety. And the plants are so expensive (in BWV they sell a small pot for around $10 in the fall). I’ll have to Google the varieties and see if one if more appropriate to my garden then the one’s I’ve been trying.

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Eva,
        I find the white flower variety is hardier than the pink. There is a pink next to the white, same age, same location but it is doing poorly, thought of getting rid of it but keep thinking it will do better next year.
        Your local nursery should be selling variety that is suitable for your enviroment.

  11. It’s always cool to see things growing through the snow!

  12. Phyllis A. Smith says:

    So cool Norma. You are an amazingly patient person to wait all this time for ginger to grow. It looks great. I am afraid I just go to Adams and buy their ginger!

  13. Diana says:

    Its fun to experiment plants that you think won’t do well in the climate that we are gardening in.

  14. Your ginger looks healthy and very well grown 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  15. Oh, look at that lovely, fresh ginger!!

  16. hotlyspiced says:

    I’m so surprised you were able to grow ginger with your climate! What a great experiment xx

  17. Congratulations! I live in a climate where ginger grows in the ground – tropical north Australia. I don’t harvest all of the ginger when the leaves start to die back, and you can harvest bits off the side without destroying the entire plant. Maybe if you kept some dormant in the pot it would be quicker to get started the following summer?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Africanaussie,
      I didn’t know if anything had form, so I dumped out the entire pot’s contents. This year I am going to use a larger pot and follow your suggestions, thanks.

  18. Juliana says:

    Oh Norma, I am so jealous of your ginger…I tried to plant a while ago, but the squirrels kelp digging my rhizome out and exposing it…at the end I gave up and just collected a small young piece of ginger.
    Happy 2013 and have a great week ahead!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Juliana,
      May be you can try again but put some chicken wire or some other protective covering over the pot so the squirrels cannot get to the rhizome. Happy 2013 to you too.

  19. Eha says:

    What a great lesson, both from you and so many of your readers who have had experience! Now I really have to try. Since the ginger plant is hardly the only thing growing in one’s garden, I don’t really mind patiently waiting for it to do its own thing 😉 ! Hmm, may try and grow out of season: once our wretched ‘catastrophic’ heatwave is over and one can think of other things than bushfires, methinks we’ll do a little experiment 😀 !

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eha,
      Glad you learn something from my post and my readers, I too learned from my readers, they are not only knowledgable but also generous with sharing their knowledge, bloggers sure a great bunch.

  20. It is interesting to learn that ginger is so slow growing Norma. Thanks for sharing the results of your experiment!

  21. ChgoJohn says:

    Success at last, Norma! I doubt that I would have kept trying after the initial setbacks you encountered. Good to see that your perseverance paid off.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      It was exciting to find the clump of ginger rhizome. Definitely growing a lot this year, thinking 12 plants.
      From what I remember of your cheese posts you are not one to give up, you will continue to try and try until you succeed.

  22. I love ginger in my tea and I always have a fresh one in my place. I buy it and I must say that I was never thinking about a growing process of this small fellow. Thank you for sharing Norma.

  23. very cool! never thought to try growing it – thanks!

  24. Sophie33 says:

    Waw! Your ginger plant did well! That is lovely fresh looking ginger! I am going to to that next spring or Summer too! 🙂 Yeah!!! Lovely pics too!

  25. Karen says:

    An interesting experiment. Our short growing season is a challenge. I tried growing lemon grass in the garden in Maine. I dug it up when we closed the cottage for the season and have it in my potting shed but I can’t imagine how long it would take to get thick stalks for cooking.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Karen,
      My lemongrass did not grow thick stalks either, then frost came and took care of the whole plant before I had a chance to harvest any.
      Yes, our short growing season is a challenge.

  26. Oh wow! I love seeing the progression of your ginger, and am so impressed with what you ended up with. Now I really want to try this too! Love!!

  27. I never seen a whole planted ginger before. Lots of love went into that. Looking forward to loving warming dishes from your kitchen using ginger. Take Care, BAM

  28. mac says:

    Great experiment, I have been eating/drinking ginger milk curd every night, soooooooo good! It warms the body and I sleep very well without waking up in the middle of the night.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mac,
      Thanks. Must go to your blog to check out your ginger milk curd.
      I am hoping to get pink (young) ginger like you. How long does it take for you to get ginger to that stage?

  29. Ginny says:

    Think I will try to root some ginger next week – thanks for sharing your methods. I’ll just hope that the local resident deer herd will leave it alone and it has a chance to mature outside come summertime.

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