I love the taste of fresh ginger! There’s nothing like it. I regularly purchase it from either the health food store or grocery store and love adding it directly to tea, stir-fries, soups, seafood, ferments and more!
However, have you tasted fresh picked ginger?
If you enjoy the flavour of store-bought ginger root, then you’ll love it fresh-picked!
Years ago, I planted a ginger rhizome that had spontaneously sprouted on my counter. It’s growth surprised and delighted me! I hadn’t expected much, but was rewarded with a tall, upright plant with shiny green narrow leaves, and a wonderful aroma each time I walked passed.
In this post, I show you how to plant ginger in a pot. Since turmeric is closely related and has a similar growth habit, I show you how to plant it as well.
Ginger or Zingiber officinale, is a perennial herbaceous herb, native to Southeast Asia. It prefers to grow in a hot and humid environment and is hardy in USDA zones 8 to 10. Here in my zone 5a/b garden, I grow my ginger in a medium to large size container during the cold months of the year and move it to either the kitchen garden or greenhouse for the summer months.
It takes at least 8 months for the plant to produce a harvest. However, when grown indoors, small sections of the rhizome can be removed after 4 months for a mini-harvest.
Young ginger is a light yellow colour and has no skin. The older it gets, the more skin it develops. If harvested young, you may simply wash and use without peeling.
In order for ginger to grow well, it requires a warm environment. Keep it in a south-facing window, in order to receive as much light and heat as possible. If your room is cold, consider placing it on a seedling heat mat.
Although people refer to ginger as a root, it is actually a rhizome. A rhizome is an extension of the main plant stem, growing and expanding horizontally underground. As it grows from the nodes of the rhizome, it sends out roots below and shoots above.
Turmeric or Curcuma longa, is a close relative of ginger, both sharing the same plant family, Zingiberaceae. As such, it has a similar growth habit to ginger, as well as growing requirements. Unlike it’s cousin ginger, it does not have a strong and spicy flavour and aroma. Turmeric has bright orange flesh and a mild and slightly bitter flavour. Its colour is familiar in curry dishes, as it is a main ingredient in curry powder. However, turmeric has excellent health benefits. I love adding it to stir-fries, rice (for added colour), stews, soups, lentils and more. I also appreciate the added health benefits and my picky children fail to notice its presence in meals.
From my research, fresh-picked turmeric also has little skin and a gorgeous colour. Their rhizomes are nice and plump. Since ginger is so easy to grow, I decided to give it a try.
For instructions on growing both ginger and turmeric in a pot, I filmed a video showing you how quick and easy the process can be. Please click the link below to watch it.
I hope you add ginger and turmeric to your growing plans. It couldn’t be easier and both will produce a beautiful houseplant, not sold in any nursery or garden centre.
*Note: I chose to plant both these rhizomes during the late fall, party because I miss gardening outside and also because both rhizomes had started to sprout. However, for optimal growing conditions, you can plant them in the early spring. Either way they will grow and neither way is incorrect.
Here are the tools that I mentioned in the post.