When to Harvest
There are a few different times in the growth period during which the seed can be harvested. INSERT SHORT DESCRIPTION OF BABY GINGER VS MORE MATURE GINGER, WHICH IS MORE PREFERRED, WHICH IS BETTER FOR WHAT PURPOSES, ETC.
Now that you’ve decided what you want, it’s time to check on the growing rhizomes and see if they’re ready to be harvested.
Around the 4 month mark after presprouting, dig up a small sample – you should find a rhizome with tender skin, bright pink scales at the nodes, and white internodes. If this is what you see, then your Baby Ginger is ready to be harvested. Feel free to extend the harvest over the 5th 6th months, but keep in mind that the seed harvested later will be more mature at the base of the hands. You may also see the skin starting to form.
Harvesting, Trimming and Washing
First, loosen the soil around the rhizomes with your hands, or use a lifting tool like a broadfork to do so. Now, you can either excavate by hand, or pull the plants up using the tops as a handle. If doing the latter, use a gentler pulling motion so that you don’t break apart the hands.
Next, trim the roots from the rhizomes using a sharp knife or floral shears (INSERT A PICTURE?). While doing this, be careful not to nick any of the nearby fingers of ginger, as they don’t have any skin and can be scratched and blemished relatively easily. After that, use a power nozzle to wash the soil/media from the rhizomes, being careful not to break the hands apart if you need them to stay whole. After that, trim off foliage about half an inch above where it meets the rhizome. If you leave a longer stem, then the rhizomes will dry out faster, so we suggest cutting it fairly close.
Finally, lay the rhizomes out of direct sunlight for an hour or two to dry, and then pack them away for the market or storage.