I guess failure doesn’t feel like the right word when so much was learnt. There is certainly room for improvement though…
Ginger: I am unsure what I planted (size of rhizome wise) as I bought it in a pot with already small above ground growth. I did not want to disturb the root so I just popped it straight in the ground. First thing I will change is to try planting it earlier, I think I planted this one in December (first month of Summer) If I kept a proper garden diary I would know the date. A proper garden diary is on my list of things to do.
I chose my place based on it getting very little direct sun light, morning sun mostly. I think that was a good choice.
I then neglected it. I rarely watered it. Ginger likes moist soil. Very naughty gardener! Turns out if it is even remotely challenging to get to, I won’t tend to it diligently. This was at the back of the fenced off flower garden.
It was not a hot Summer, ginger being a tropical plant loves heat. Plus you are supposed to let the soil dry out near the end to encourage the plant to fatten up the rhizome. This soil did not dry out at all thanks to lots of rain.
I did not put enough effort into the soil. I should have added some sand or something similar to aid drainage. The soil is also too compact here for ginger growth.
I harvested before all the leaves had turned yellow as I was worried about it rotting in the soil. If the soil wasn’t so water retentive I would have left it longer.
I pushed back the soil covering the rhizome, I felt like an archaeologist. This is what I exposed.
I used a shovel and my hands to loosen underneath and break the roots. I was unaware that there would be roots. Makes sense that they are there but the ones in the shops look so clean and root free. I didn’t expect it. I am fairly certain they aren’t supposed to look like this though!
I have no idea what I have here. There are heaps of roots. I broke one off and it doesn’t smell intensely like ginger so I am assuming I don’t eat those. The rhizome itself looks thin and fairly pathetic. Not what I hoped for.
I rinsed it off.
I found this, who knows what it originally was but it is a piece of plastic, it is not mine, the roots grew through a hole in it. Nature is amazing!
My plans for next growing season:
-Trial of growing 2 pots indoors in Spring then moving one outside (still in its pot) for Summer and leaving the other inside.
-Plant some in the soil but with more attention paid to the soil. This means 3 different bits of ginger growing.
-Water more attentively.
-Apparently ginger needs fertilizing, I will apply worm tea next season.
-The internet suggests to harvest in the second year, with my pot system I could try this. It is too cold/wet to leave in the soil where I live.
-Wait til fully died back before harvesting.
-Don’t let the chickens help when cleaning away the dirt.
I am unsure what happened with this lot. But I trimmed it all up and it still doesn’t look like ginger, I will eat it and try again next season. Gardening is great like that, just try again next time!