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Ginger is a fresh and spicy root vegetable that is used in many delicious recipes around the world. Its use goes back 5,000 years and it has since been utilised by countless civilisations. This is due to it having many health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and being a digestive aid.

Although this root is native to the tropical forests in South East Asia, you can still grow ginger in the UK. There is much to consider to do so, but what you’ll get in return is great tasting ginger and a sense of pride.

How big your ginger grows depends on how you plant, care for and harvest it. Within this guide, we’ll help you get the best results when growing ginger at home.

How to grow ginger at homeWhen to grow ginger

Ginger originated in the hot climates of tropical rainforests, so you won’t be surprised to know ginger can’t survive winter. When you grow ginger, you’ll most likely be doing it to harvest the rhizomes, which is the part of the ginger plant that can be chopped and grated for your food. The soil they grow in must have a balanced moisture level to match the tropical climates, which isn’t possible in winter without a helping hand from the likes of polytunnels or greenhouses.

Start growing your ginger in early spring to avoid the coldest temperatures and let it grow through the warmer months. This will allow your ginger plant to mature fully, ready to be harvested in 8-10 months.

How to plant ginger root

Knowing how to plant ginger is relatively straightforward. Simply follow these steps and learn how to grow ginger root plants.

Step one – Buy a rhizome of ginger

Visit your local supermarket and pick out a well-developed piece of ginger root. Try to find a piece with growth buds, which look like small nodules such as those that can be found on potatoes.

Step two – Soak them in water

Supermarkets prolong the life of ginger by preventing the nodules from developing using growth retardant. This must be washed away. The best method for that is soaking it in water for a day. This will ensure your ginger root can breathe and grow.

Step three – Break your ginger into pieces

Ensure each part contains a growth bud and then place the pieces in a seed tray filled with moist potting compost. It is vital that the growth bud is facing upwards so it has the freedom to grow.

Step four – Place in a pot or the ground

Now that they have been seeded, transport them to a pot or the ground. Ensure soil is of a high standard that is rich in nutrients for the most success. Ginger plants can grow up to around 1.5 metres, so you’ll need to leave enough room for them to mature. Choose a spot with partial shade that gets around two to five hours of sunlight a day for the best results.  

How long does it take to grow ginger?

Following your sowing, it will take between 8-10 months for your ginger plant to fully mature. This means you may need to move it indoors as the colder weather approaches.

Caring for your growing ginger root

Your ginger needs plenty of love and attention during its growing period. Here are some of the things you can do and the issues you may face:

Top tips

  1. Keep it warm
  2. Water regularly to keep the soil moist
  3. Top up with extra compost as the ginger plant grows
  4. Move the plant indoors as the autumn temperatures begin to drop

Common problems you may face

  1. Soft rot
  2. Bacterial wilt
  3. Leaf spot
  4. Storage rot
  5. Yellow disease
  6. Dry rot

How do you harvest ginger?

Begin by checking if the ginger is ready. A good way to do this is to see if the leaves have died down – this is the best indication that it is time to harvest your ginger plant.

Next, dig up the entire plant. This is particularly straightforward for those growing indoors. Simply tip the entire contents within the pot out and retrieve the crop.

Finally, break up your rhizomes into chunks and carefully separate them. Keep some for your kitchen and use the ones with good growing buds for your next planting.

How to grow ginger root at home successfully

Once you know how to grow fresh ginger at home, you’ll never want to buy it from the shops again. However, you can take extra measures to keep the ginger you are growing in your garden safe from the cold weather. This can be done using a polytunnel or greenhouse.

Polytunnels

For optimum growth, we recommend using a polytunnel. During the colder months, ginger may struggle to get the warmth and humidity it requires. However, by using a polytunnel, you can control the environment your crop is grown in and guard it against frost and wind. Enjoy a more successful harvest with less inedible ginger.

Greenhouse

Ginger production in greenhouses also ensures a controlled environment for growth. The greenhouse system helps to create humidity and temperatures which will help your ginger grow.   

Start growing your ginger today with Premier Polytunnels

If you’ve been searching the internet for how to grow ginger and you’ve settled on doing it in a polytunnel, contact our team today on 01282 811250 or email us at info@premierpolytunnels.co.uk.

With over 30 years of experience in the horticulture industry, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have. Whether you want a chat about growing ginger root or just general advice about the benefits of polytunnels, our friendly team of experts will be on hand to help.   

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Post by: Deborah Wood

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