Ginger or by its scientific name Zingiber officinale is a plant that can reach 90 cm in height, which produces a rhizome that has many medicinal and culinary uses. Its origin is in South Asia and it was one of the first species exported from the East to Europe. Its consumption dates back to the brilliant times of ancient Greece and Rome. In this post we will analyze everything about the ginger harvest, how and when to do it.
To grow ginger, the first thing to do is plant it. If you want to do it, you can buy a ginger in the market, wait for spring to start and plant this root directly in the ground (not very deep). I will be grateful if the soil is rich in organic matter and with good drainage. Then water whenever you see that the top layer of soil is dry, water moderately, never make puddles. It is a very easy plant to grow, even if you are a novice gardener you will not have any problems. 🙂
Important fact: in the United States there is a species known as wild ginger that although it is not related to true ginger, they are quite similar. The difference is that the original from North America should not be consumed, since it contains a substance called aristoloquine which is carcinogenic.
1. Health Benefits of Ginger
If you have not yet convinced yourself to grow and harvest ginger in your garden, it is good that you know that its consumption brings many benefits to your greeting. Some of the nutrients it contains are iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins C and B6. This combination of components brings the following benefits to your body:
- Good for treating nauceas.
- Used for cancer treatments.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Regulates blood sugar levels.
- Improves the functioning of the digestive system,
- Lowers cholesterol levels.
- It is good for treating bacterial infections.
These are just 7 of the most recognized benefits of ginger, we could list several more. If we add to this that it is super easy to grow, being able to do it even in a pot on a balcony, you have no excuse not to plant and harvest ginger.
2. Harvesting ginger root- How and when
To start talking about the ginger harvest we must bear in mind that there are two ways to do it. In this way you will be making sure you have ginger for your kitchen for many weeks. And best of all, it will be fresh and homemade. 🙂
2.1 Harvest in green
Ginger is characterized by growing quite fast so if you want you can start consuming it just a few weeks after sowing. If you take proper care of it just four weeks after planting, you can start harvesting ginger.
Harvesting is very easy, you just have to dig until you find the rhizome. Once you find it, take a knife and cut it.
You can collect as many rhizomes of your ginger as you need. Just be careful not to hurt the other rhizomes, in these first weeks the skin of the stem is very fragile. If you notice that you have damaged a rhizome, it is preferable that you harvest it.
2.2 Harvest when the plant matures
The second way to harvest ginger is to wait for the plant to finish its development cycle. Once you start to notice that the leaves and stems start to turn yellowish, it indicates that the plant is starting to dry out. From this point on, its rhizomes will stop growing, so it is the right time to harvest them.
As a tip to make the task of collecting ginger easier, I recommend that you water the plants a few days before harvest. This is not to add water to the plant, but to soften the soil and allow all the gingers to be easily removed from the soil.
With the ginger plants in the drying process and the soil well moist and soft, you can start harvesting. Grab a shovel to make digging into the dirt easier. When you find a rhizome, pull hard to dig it up.
If you delay this harvest long enough, when you do it, you will surely find some stems or rhizomes that have already begun to sprout. It would be a good idea to save these rhizomes or stems for replanting.
3. Harvesting ginger in a pot
Ginger is characterized by being able to grow very well without the need for a lot of direct sunlight. In other words, it’s great for growing indoors. Also, the size of the plant is more than adequate for a pot.
Although it can grow without much light, it enjoys getting a few hours of sunshine a day. So if you plant it in a pot, you can take it to a window or balcony. Your ginger plants will appreciate it.
When it comes to harvesting, there is no secret when it comes to growing them in pots. You have the possibility to collect the young rhizomes or wait for the plant to dry to collect them all.
More information for to consult:
- Ginger, Zingiber officinale – mastergardener.extension.wisc.edu.
- Ginger farming guide – fao.org.
- How to Plant and Grow Ginger – gardenerspath.com