A comprehensive guide to growing one of the world's most important tropical roots in a non-tropical environment. I'll show you how you can grow your own healthy, organic and pungent ginger even if you live in colder regions. I grow ginger in Canada!
Ginger, or Zingiber officinale, needs no introduction. This flowering plant originated in Maritime Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines) and is widely used throughout the world for its culinary and medicinal properties. Most people know it for its rhizomes (or roots) which are commonly available at supermarkets worldwide. It is also related to Turmeric, another important tropical plant (make sure to check out my Turmeric growing guide as well).
Ginger rhizomes can be consumed cooked or raw, dried or juiced. Dried and powdered ginger root is a spice shelf staple and has many uses, including the ever popular "pumpkin spice". Yes, you're favorite autumnal beverage has ginger in it!
Why grow your own? Chances are, your grocery store is carrying imported ginger. Is it organic? Was it irradiated? Sprayed? Treated? I personally don't trust grocery store labels and would prefer to grow my own fruits and vegetables when possible. As an urban gardener with a small garden, I'll never be able to grow all the food needed to feed myself and my family, but I can certainly do what I can to grow as much as possible. By growing ginger I can guarantee that it is organic, pesticide free and as healthy as can be. It also didn't have to cross an ocean to get to my dinner table.
Selecting ginger rhizomes for propagation
The easiest way to start ginger plants is to source high quality, fresh and organic roots from your local health food store. Choose firm, fresh and good looking roots. You don't want soft, flimsy or bruised roots.