When a person asks me, “How long does it take to grow ginger?” I can honestly answer without giving the exact length of time it takes, but I will tell you that it is not as hard as you may think. It’s very easy to grow a healthy plant and produce beautiful ginger.

The first step is to purchase your own individual plant from a local nursery or grow shop. It does not take very much to setup your own herb garden at home. If you know how to do soil and fertilizer, it’s not that hard. If you don’t, a good pot and some lightweight plastic pots work just fine. Don’t forget the potting soil mix from the nursery or garden shop!

Next, you’ll need to prune your plant to keep the top of the root structure intact and growing upward. Ginger rhizomes are vining plants, so it is imperative that they have enough room to move. Remove any dead or damaged roots and take the ones with you that will grow best. If you plant your new plant in the same pot, it’s even easier to manage. If you transfer your plant to a larger container, you may need to add extra soil or fertilizer to get everything going properly.

After you’ve got all that organized, it’s time to put your newly picked crop into the pot. Keep in mind that fresh ginger takes approximately three weeks to mature. By the way, those long strings of ginger that appear to be shooting out of the ground may actually be new growth. They come in bunches, like flowers, and then they’re actually underground stems that were just too tall for your eye to see clearly. They usually bloom during spring, summer, and fall.

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Now that you have your ginger plant established, you should be able to harvest it easily at any time. If it’s going to be sold, you might want to wait until its foliage starts to turn color and show off a fresh smell. If you plan to use it straightly, cut off some of the sprouts and let them hang in a basket. They should get a little brown before they start to sprout leaves. It can take six months to mature for fresh ginger, but once it’s ready, you can harvest it whenever you feel like having a pick.

Once it’s ready to be harvested, you can spread the ginger rhizomes on the soil and let them settle. The mixture will settle deep enough that you can dig a hole in the dirt with the bottom of the compost shovel. Make sure you fill in the entire hole with the compost. Don’t forget to pack in the holes with your dirt, too, so that the next time you water your garden, the soil will be fully saturated. Compost and soil go well together when growing ginger.

Ginger will probably bloom during the late summer or early fall, depending on the climate where you live. Most people grow their own fresh ginger in their backyards. That way, if you have a cold wet winter, all you need to do is water the plants and in no time they’ll be glad to be indoors, blooming all throughout the season. If you’ve been storing your ginger at the grocery store for a while, you may find that the root ginger has begun to dry out and it starts to crumble away. That’s okay, too; if you put it in your compost pile right away, you’ll have a sustainable source of organic soil that will keep your plants healthy all year long.

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Once the weather warms up and the new shoots emerge from the ground, you’ll notice that they’re already beautiful and fragrant. Keep your garden soil clean and healthy by putting the ginger rhizomes into the compost pile. Make sure you also fertilize your new shoots and keep them watered. Your ginger plants will thank you for it!