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New England Grow

New England Grow

New England Grow

In New England and New York, we don’t recommend trying this outside of hoophouses or under other cover. After the last frost, or in early to mid-June, when hoophouse soil temps are above 60°, dig a 6"-deep trench down the center of a 4'-wide bed. Fertilize well with the nutrients your soil demands—ginger and turmeric are hungry crops, so you may need to sidedress. Plant out sprouted seed 5" apart and cover with several inches of soil. Water in.

Grow

Ginger loves humidity: If you have problems with dry air then regular spraying and misting might help. Dry air can cause problems with spider mites. But that’s not a problem for people who try to grow ginger out of its range and indoors. A sheltered, moist spot in a warm climate will provide enough humidity. Towards the end of summer, as the weather starts cooling down, your ginger will start to die back. Reduce the water, even let the ground dry out. This encourages the ginger to form rhizomes. Once all the leaves have died down your ginger is ready for harvest.If you are growing ginger in good, rich soil it shouldn’t need anything extra. I grow mine in tubs. I put in fresh compost mix every year and never add any extra fertilizer. If you don’t have good soil, or if you are growing ginger in some standard bought potting mix, then you have to feed it regularly. You will also have to feed it if you are growing ginger in an area that gets torrential summer rains (many tropical regions do). Such rains leach all the goodness from the soil. Work in some organic slow release fertilizer at planting time. After that you can use some liquid fertilizer like seaweed extract or fish fertilizer every few weeks.

With ever-growing competition in the marketplace, standing out to consumers with farm-fresh, local produce is becoming increasingly challenging. Offering a “niche” crop that separates you from the competition and stands out visually and in culinary excellence will draw customers to your other products. “Baby ginger speaks for itself on the farmers’ market table because the beautiful pink and cream colored rhizomes sell themselves,” says Susan Anderson, owner of East Branch Ginger. And it isn’t something customers see often, if at all.Harvest goals drive seed quantities; deciding what you hope to harvest will determine how much seed you’ll need to order. According to Anderson, if you are looking for 160 pounds of harvestable baby ginger, you will need to order and plant about 20 pounds of seed. Although farmers can attempt to save their own seed from season to season, they risk replanting diseased seed to grow next year’s baby ginger crop. For many farmers, it may be more cost effective to invest in new certified organic ginger seed than attempt to save their own seed for replanting. Saving seed comes with the financial burden of keeping the soil above 50 degrees F during the off season in addition to the risk of passing along disease to the next season’s crop, making it unsaleable. “Buying clean ginger seed is like buying an insurance policy,” says Anderson. (Source: rodaleinstitute.org)

 

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