Ginger(Zingiber officinale) is a perennial plant that has been grown for centuries all over the world. The plant is native to Asia and belongs to the family Zingiberaceae. Ginger is commonly used as an herbal supplement. Its spice comes from the roots of the plant. Moreover, ginger is used as medicine and food flavoring. Ginger contains chemicals that might reduce swelling and nausea. In this article, you will learn about how to easily grow ginger in Florida.
How to Grow Ginger in Florida?
Ginger is a tropical plant, and it is fairly hard to grow in regions that are less humid and warm. It is a perennial plant and can easily be grown in Florida. Ginger will continue to grow and thrive in the home and garden for many years. It is not grown from the seed but the pieces of the rhizome can sprout and expand. The high summer rainfall of Florida, along with the high humidity, creates the ideal condition for the rapid growth of ginger. For smaller plantings, you could even start with fresh ginger root purchased from the local store. Planting in early spring is better. If you live in a warmer place, you can plant any time
Prepare Ginger for Cultivation
Choose ginger rhizomes that are plump and free of the crease with visible eyes or bud at the end of the finger. Buds or eyes that have started to turn green are ideal, but not required. Take a sharp shear and knife and cut the ginger into pieces about 2-3 inches. Ginger pieces must contain two or more eyes that can grow into separate plants. After cutting, place the ginger pieces in a dry location for a few days to allow them to heal.
Choose a location for Ginger Plantation
Ginger prefers a partially shaded location to thrive well. The growing location should be sheltered from the wind and moist, but not swampy. Soil temperature should be 22- 25ºC for ideal growth.
Soil Preparation and Plantation of Ginger
Ginger can be grown directly in the ground or in pots. It prefers mildly acidic soils and thrives on high-quality, well-drained soil. Soil preparation is the main step to a productive ginger crop. Therefore, creates a bed of well-drained soil that has been prepared with organic compost. On Rock land soil, try growing ginger in a raised bed with a soil mixture at least 8 inches deep. Each piece of ginger requires 5 to 8 inches of space. Plant the ginger pieces below the soil line. Use larger pieces if you need to save space. If you are ginger in a pot then choose at least 12 inches deep pot. After the ginger is planted, keep the soil moist for a few weeks until sprouts emerge.
Care for Ginger Plants
Check your soil daily and water just before it dries out completely. Soggy soil will quickly rot the ginger plants, so reduce watering or improve drainage if water does not drain quickly. Once the ginger has sprouted, mulch will keep it warm and fight weeds, which can easily out-compete slow-growing ginger. Fertilization is not required if the ginger is in rich soil, especially if you’ve mixed in compost. Moreover, if the soil is poor or you should like to improve yield, fertilize with a small number of water-soluble fertilizers each month
Harvesting of Ginger
Ginger takes about eight to ten months to mature, although you can dig around the plant and cut off a piece of the root to use at any time. If you leave the rest of the root underground, the plant will continue to grow. Young ginger is sometimes harvested 3–4 months after planting, usually intended for pickling. Young ginger must be harvested carefully due to its thinner, easily bruised skin.
Unless you live in the tropics, bringing the ginger indoors for the winter is recommended. Store in a warm, dry location. If you leave the ginger outdoors, cover it with a thick layer of mulch as soon as the temperature drops below 10ºC.