Growing ginger at home is actually pretty easy, which is great news for those of us who adore the spicy/sour flavour of this tropical root. Ginger is an amazingly versatile food which can be used in savoury cooking or for making desserts. Ginger can be preserved in a variety of ways, including pickling and dehydrating (more on that below).
Here's how to grow ginger either indoors or outdoors, depending on your climate. If you're planning on growing it in your garden, check out more garden ideas at our dedicated page.
How to grow ginger
The really wonderful thing about growing ginger is that you don't need to mess with seeds or plug plants. Just buy a big chunk of ginger root, and that's what you'll be planting. Choose the largest, gnarliest piece you can find, with plenty of shoots going off in multiple directions – that's what the plant will be growing from.
1. Choose a container. Ginger grows outwards, so will do best in a wide, shallow pot rather than a deep and narrow one.
2. Choose open, well-draining soil. If needed, add vermiculite to improve drainage. Dig a hole about an inch and a half deep and plant the ginger root horizontally. Cover with soil, avoiding pressing down too hard.
3. Water well and position in a warm, well lit spot with plenty of humidity. A greenhouse is perfect, but if you're growing indoors, just make sure the conditions aren't too dry (move the plant away from radiators and any source of draughts or dry heat). If growing outdoors, you'll need to wait until all risk of frosts has passed before moving the plant outside.
4. Water regularly. Once shoots appear, feed with a granular fertiliser every couple of week during growing season.
5. The ginger will typically be ready for harvesting in about four to five months from planting. You can either harvest all of the ginger and replant some of the root again next year, or you can gently split the root, harvesting some and leaving some in the container.
How to make ginger powder
Many people like using ginger as a condiment, in much the same way as they use salt and pepper. It adds a delicious spiciness to cooking, or can be used to make tea.
1. Slice the root into thin, uniform slices; cutting lengthways is best.
2. Spread the slices on some paper and dry outdoors, in the sun. In a few days, the ginger will shrivel up and go brown. You can also do this much quicker in a dehydratror.
3. Grind the dry slices to a powder consistency in a food processor. Store in a glass jar or other airtight container.