The Q&A Archives: Herb

Question: How do you grow ginger. I have a patio herb garden and would like to try growing some. What do they like

Answer: Unless you live in the hottest part of the United States (USDA zone 10), you'll have to grow this tender herb in a pot and bring it indoors in cold weather.
Here's how:
Buy fresh ginger roots at a grocery store or an Asian market. Look for fat tubers with numerous buds. Plant ginger in spring when you can supply warm enough temperatures, whether indoors or out. The dormant tubers will sprout only when the mercury hits 75 to 85 degrees F. Use a container that's about 14 inches across and 12 inches deep and has excellent drainage. This size will hold three average-size tubers comfortably. Fill the container with potting soil enriched with plenty of compost. Soak the tubers in warm water overnight, then set them in the pot just below the soil surface, spacing them evenly, with the buds facing up. Set the container in light shade, indoors or out, depending on the temperature. Water lightly at first, then more heavily when growth starts. Keep plants dry in winter, when they're dormant. Move plants outside only when the temperatures have reached 50 degrees F. In cooler weather, growth can be stunted. Shield plants from high winds, and move them indoors at the first sign of cool temperatures. Expect plants to reach maturity, and a height of 2 to 4 feet, in 10 months to a year. Dig up new, young sprouts that appear in front of the main plants (they form their own tubers), use what you need, and freeze or replant the rest. You can clip young, tender stems anytime. Enjoy!

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