Unpack your new box and spread out the contents in a clean and well ventilated place. Remember that ginger is tropical and enjoys the same temperature roughly that us humans do. Never let your ginger freeze or go below 50 degrees as damage begins to occur.
If you ordered cut ginger seed you can skip the cutting process. Your cuts should have the minimum amount of surface area, so cut the seed at the narrowest portions of the hand. You will also want to cut either up 1/4" from the next piece. You do not want your cuts to be flush at the same height because the ginger will shrink back a little when the wound dries out and heals. Cutting your own seed gives you the maximum amount of control and buys you some time in case you are not ready to plant right away. After you cut the seed it will need to cure for 4-7 days.
This seems to be the thing to do while you are waiting for temperatures to increase in your growing environment. Use standard nursery trays and new good quality soilless media for this process. We prefer coir. Put a 1/2" of growing media on the bottom and arrange seeds on top of this layer with approximately a finger width between ginger pieces, making sure the ginger is laying down flat. Cover light with just enough media to barely cover. It is alright if a little bit protrudes from media but just a little. Water until flats are evenly moist, do not over water.
You may add a high quality biological innoculant at this stage. Keep temperature at an even 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit day and night, with 75F being ideal. Remember ginger enjoys the same temperatures we humans do. After 2-3 weeks you will see sprouts breaking through the media. It is time to plant.
Ginger is a heavy feeder and it is important to add enough fertilizer to sustain it. A reasonably balanced fertilizer like composted chicken manure is usually sufficient for the start of a crop, but any good fertilizing program should work well. Remember that ginger is a heavy feeder and it needs the fertilizer to be readily available in close vicinity to it's root zone. It is always a good idea to have your soil tested by your local soil lab or extension office and take their recommendation for inputs. Ginger should not be planted in cold soil because temperatures less than 55-60 degrees will slow growth and development way down.
A soil test will give you the best idea of inputs you need to add. Pre-plant fertilizer- thoroughly mix in a balanced organic fertilizer into your beds. Pelleted chicken manure or a 5-5-5 product seems to work well. I can recommenced in general about a 1/2 pound per square foot of bed to start.If your soil or media already has high fertility then less will be required. We often use more. It is important to let product mellow in soil for a week or two before planting to reduce the risk of fertilizer burn.
After shoots have emerged the plant will "get its footing" then slowly another shoot will emerge then another ect. Keep beds evenly moist but do not over water. The plants do not need it and they and you will only be washing away valuable fertilizer. Well fed healthy ginger grows exponentially once established.
Hilling is necessary when you see pink swelling at the base of the leaf stalks. You can add compost around the base of the plants or good quality clean soil. In field cultivation a high speed tiller throws soil from in between the rows on to the base of the plants covering up a few inches of the base of the leaf stalk. This is the ideal time to add fertilizer! By the time you see pink swelling the plant is feeding heavily. Burying the fertilizer puts it right where the plants can use it.
You may need to hill 2-3 times in a season. Always add at least a little fertilizer when you hill. Remember that the soil will settle after a little while.
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