Turmeric and Ginger Propagation

Above are our spring Ginger babies. We have 17 Ginger plants growing in a special bed during the summer of 2016.

UPDATE:January 30, 2017.  I needed to move two of the ginger plants who are now dormant. I was DELIGHTED by the 10 months of their growth! They are loaded with new buds. This beautiful harvest is pictured below.

When I first began growing ginger and turmeric in 2015, I bought a bag of organically grown Turmeric and Ginger from a store. I rinsed them gently under the faucet without worry because we have well water. If you don’t have your own well, use water with no chlorine. Those rhizomes that had potential buds were put in a light potting mixture (no fertilizer) and kept damp and warm (above 70)  in indirect light.

Just a note on the above mentioned rhizome versus “root”. Both turmeric and ginger have underground stems that are called rhizomes that we eat or grind into spice.  These rhizomes grow horizontally under the ground. There are nodes on these rhizomes from which grow both new stems and roots. The light colored growths pictured above on the ginger are the nodes. When planted, these nodes with nurturing and right temperature will sprout into plants and roots. The true roots of both the ginger and turmeric look like strings with finer hair-like roots growing from them- definitely not yummy looking!

Both the Turmeric and Ginger are understory plants, meaning they live to live partially shaded below a taller cover. We created special micro-climate gardens for them both so that they would feel “at home”.

Do you see the young Turmeric plant cozy and protected from the full sun between two large Comfrey plants?

Both Turmeric and Ginger really like warmth and moisture! If you live in USDA growing zone 8 or above you can transplant the young plants in the ground. There are two key factors of the micro-climate environment we built to assure their succes.  Notice the stone foundation behind the plants. These stones hold the sun’s warmth longer. This combined with a southeast exposure helps the Turmeric and Ginger to winter over here just fine.  “Winter over” by definition here is when the plants are harvested in the fall, some rhizomes are returned to the earth and these rhizomes remain dormant for the winter. They will sprout again in the late spring.

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