We're a bit late on the ginger harvest front. Normally our Ginger harvests occur in May, but it was so wet last month I just didn't get a chance. We grow our ginger in pots here because our clay soil is just too heavy for it to really thrive. And it does so well in pots.
The Gingers we grow
Last year we didn't harvest our ginger completely (just cutting off chunks we needed). We always like to harvest our turmeric every second year as well to ensure bigger harvests (and have a few different plants on the go to keep up with our needs).
We have two varieties growing here at the moment. A regular culinary one that I would have just purchased from Northey Street Organic Markets and popped into the ground (We're probably up to year 10 of growing this one). And another one we got from a nursery called Jumbo ginger.
Check out the video below on the harvest of both along with some tips for storage.
Tips for growing ginger in pots
To be honest I didn't really give these a lot of love. They were put in spent (aka already used) potting mix and left to their own devices. I added a bit of extra mulch and that was it. The one thing they did get was a lot of 'gunk' from the aquaponics (old spent roots taken out of the grow media).
Position is probably the most important thing. You don't want full day blasting sun, but a few hours of direct or several hours of dappled light (which is what our ginger received). If you're not getting a lot of rainfall, extra water will help as well.
I think our climate does lend itself really well to the success of growing ginger. If you are in a cooler climate you will need to find a micro climate that is warm and humid for it to be any benefit for you to grow.
Storing ginger after harvest
Once harvested, we wash down our ginger, allow it to dry off. Once dry, we then pop into a pot filled with playground sand. This helps keep the ginger fresh and doesn't let it dry out, and then next year it will start to sprout when it's ready to replant (if we haven't eaten it). We use this method with turmeric as well.
There are so many ways to preserve ginger though for the kitchen. You could dehydrate - leave as slices or blend into powder. You could pickle it. Our favourite way is to freeze entire chunks and just grate what we need with a microplane when we need it. Popping your ginger in the bottom of your crisper drawer or even your pantry will just turn it into a shrivelled little thing though so I wouldn't recommend that for longer term storage.
I'd love to know how much ginger you harvested this year, leave a comment below. If you need more help growing food in the subtropics, head on over to Dirt Lovers.