Want to add flavor to your cooking' Grow some ginger root on your patio and enjoy it fresh whenever you want. Ginger can be grown from roots purchased at grocery stores. In spring, select firm, healthy looking rhizomes. Divide the root into several pieces, each with 2-3 growth buds. To reduce risk of rotting allow the cut ends to dry for several hours before planting.
In most of Texas ginger is best grown in pots. Use a rich tropical potting soil. Plant rhizomes in a pot at least two feet in diameter. Space them about a foot apart with no more than half an inch of soil covering them. This exposes the root to surface heating which stimulates growth and imitates the hot soil of the tropics. Keep the soil moist but not water-logged until green shoots emerge from the soil, about ten days after planting the rhizome ' more if planted too deeply.
When growing ginger indoors avoid exposure to blasts from heating vents. Mist the ginger leaves regularly to compensate for the dry indoor air. Use a 'grow light' to supplement the natural light.
To grow ginger in the ground, use the same techniques you would with caladiums or dahlias. You'll need well-drained soil rich in organic matter and slightly on the acid side (pH 6.5-7.0). Select an area with partial shade. Growers find dappled sun under a tree canopy is ideal. Choose a spot with morning exposure to avoid the burning mid-afternoon sun. Avoid planting ginger in soggy soil or areas that flood during heavy rains. Ginger is killed more by excess water than anything else.
Nothing beats home grown for fresh, full flavor. So plant ginger this spring with your vegetables and herbs for tasty meals year round.