I’ve tried growing ginger a few times in a few places in my garden. I must confess that my success has been moderate. About half of my plants die off and about 1/2 produce a rhizome that is approximately double the size of the piece I originally planted. This is just a rough guess as I’ve never done a scientific study but my gut tells me that after a year or 2 I have exactly as much ginger as I bought to plant.
A saner gardener than I would be deterred by these observations but I really really really like ginger and use it in a lot of cooking and I make ginger beer every week which means growing my own would be fantastic. The fact that it can cost about $30 a kilo in off-season is another motivator.
Which means that when I recently saw some gardening program (forget which one) where they dropped chunks of ginger in a glass and let it grow roots and shoot before planting out, I was again on fire. Ginger was dirt cheap ($5 a kilo) and I bought a pile from the green grocer. No way could I eat it all and, rather than freeze it, I plunked some bits in glasses.
I tried adding honey to a 3 of the 6 glasses to see if that would stimulate growth like it does when shooting plants from cuttings – well it stimulated lots of growth, just not in the ginger. Those glasses started to stink and gunk was growing in the water and on the ginger. I dumped the water, rinsed the ginger, even cut off nasty bits but only one of those 3 chunks grew roots. This is NOT a good use of honey! Two of the non-honeyed 3 chunks of ginger took off really well, the other is kind of dormant as is the last honeyed chunk.
Which meant I had 3 rooting ginger chunks to go into the ground in yet another ginger experiment. (Which again is only a 50% strike rate – is it me?)
Here they are (hard to spot in amongst the existing ginger) in the ground. I sure hope something starts to work so I can actually harvest instead of just tend ginger.