Ginger Belongs to Zingiberaceae family and used as a spice in different types of foods in Asian countries. Ginger is such a favorable and healthful spice that we cannot deny its importance in our life. Its peppery flavor and unique fragrance distinguish it from other spices. Ginger makes the cooked foods more palatable. Some of famous foods that contain ginger include, ginger snaps, gingerbread, ginger cookies, ginger ale and a large variety of savory dishes. Fresh ginger is pickled in vinegar in many western countries. Ginger used in making different types of medicines from ancient times. Due to its numerous benefits to human health, we can say it one of the greatest gifts of God for the humankind and it is the essential part of every kitchen.
                                                              
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Ginger Root Plant


Ginger is a rhizome and perennial plant; it produce bunches of white and pink shoots that turn into yellow flowers.  It normally grows in mild, tropical and subtropical climate and grows up to 25 inches.


Areas of Production


Its origin is Southeast Asia where ancient Indians and Chinese used its root as a tonic for different types of ailments; historically it was cultivated in different parts of Asia and exported to western part of the world, where it was widely used in making different types of sweets and spices.
Today, ginger is grown in many parts of the world but mainly cultivated in Indian subcontinent, China, Jamaica, North Africa, West Africa, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Brazil, Indonesia and Japan. According to estimates in year 2016, the world’s total ginger production was 3.3 million tons and 34% of which produced by the India. Therefore, India holds a major share in world’s ginger production; While China and Indonesia also have substantial production.


Ginger Root Planting


Planting ginger root is not as difficult as it seems to be, it just requires adequate water and some patience to turn into a mature delicious and spicy component. The best time for ginger planting is mid spring season when temperature is moderate and soil is warm. For planting, organic ginger is preferable. Select rhizomes that are chubby with visible small growth points turning green at the end. These small growth points are its eyes. Soak the ginger in warm water overnight then cut the ginger rhizome into 11/2 inch piece with well-developed growth buds. Keep the piece at a dry place for a few days to let it heal. Then plant it in moist soil horizontally 3, 5 inches deep with the growth bud or an eye pointing upward.
 Fresh ginger rhizomes from another growing plant is consider best source of ginger for planting, but if ginger is bought from the market then first it should be prepared for planting by soaking it in a warm water for a few hours.
                                                                                                


 Suitable Climate for Ginger root


Ginger grows efficiently in warm and humid climate, extreme and dry weather conditions are not conducive for its cultivation. It should be cultivated in fruit orchards near the fruit tress under their partial shade or filtered sunlight; however, dense shade is not suitable for its cultivation.  
Well after the cultivation, moderate rainfall with some intervals is necessary for getting the best results. It grows well up to an altitude of 1500 meters from sea level.


Soil Quality for Ginger root


Ginger can grow in various types of soils, but well-drained and fertile soil, with adequate organic matter is consider ideal for its growth. Ginger should produce healthy and flavorsome rhizomes without the mixing of additional fertilizers. If soil is lacking of organic matter or you are using a market made potting mix then fertilize the soil regularly. Like most of other plants, ginger thieves well in mildly acidic soils. Alkaline soil is not considered good for ginger planting. So, in case of  Alkaline soil you need to adjust the pH level in between 6.1 to 6.5 by adding some acidic material like sulfur or peat moss etc. also improve water drainage by adding organic compost to wash away the chemicals and salts.


Fertilizing Ginger


As mentioned above, if the soil is organically poor, then fertilize it with regular intervals in order to get the best results, like other plants, ginger also needs high amount of macro nutrients like nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, so fertilizer that contains all these three macro nutrients with equal proportion considered best for ginger plant.
Apart from these macro nutrients, ginger also needs some micro nutrients for maintaining its health. These micro nutrients are Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese and copper. lacking of these micro nutrients result in weakening the overall health of the plant, affect its growth and may expose to illness, while use of organic fertilizer like organic compost also keeps ginger plant healthy, so add small quantities of organic fertilizer at planting with regular intervals.


Watering Ginger


Ginger plant requires a moderate amount of water during the growing stage in order to form underground rhizomes. Do not let your plants to dry out while they actively growing nor overwater them, as it affects their growth process. The soil with little moisture is ideal for growing it well.
Protecting Ginger plant against


Harvesting


For harvesting, dig up the whole plant. Matured plant can be harvested at any stage, but the newly mature green ginger has a less flavor, the right time is when the plant is about 8 to 10 months old and it dies down its leaves. Then Select from that plant, rhizomes for replanting after harvest and replant them promptly.
Normally ginger is available in two forms:
·         Young Ginger
·         Mature Ginger


Young Ginger.


Young ginger has a light ginger flavor and sweet floral fragrance with light cream semitransparent skin shoot. Its rhizomes are full of juice and have a slight taste. It does not need to be peeled and it is found in Asian countries only.
                                                           
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Mature Ginger.


Mature ginger has a brown and thick skin, which need to be peeled. We normally use this ginger as a spice in cooking.

Storing Instructions


Store unpeeled ginger in a plastic bag. It can be stored for up to 3 months in refrigerator while up to 6 months if frozen, While peeled ginger should be mixed with salt and make its paste, then stored in a tight plastic jar in refrigerator.

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