Can you grow ginger in Melbourne? Based on my experiences this year, the answer to that is a very qualified yes. The picture below shows some of my ginger grown in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne. YAY!!!!
I love ginger – its my favourite spice, its hot, pungent and works well with both sweet and savoury dishes. I love it so much I decided to attempt to grow it. Madness possibly but I think its always worth giving something a try. I bought some ginger roots online from Green Harvest and planted them in September, some in the garden and some in pots.
The rhizomes in the garden were in a very shaded area that has an ag pipe running through it directing water off the house and into the bed. This area does however have large eucalypts growing next to it so the ginger did need to compete a bit for food and water. The other roots I planted in pots. Most germinated and all produced at least slightly more ginger than I initially planted. This is where the qualified nature of my success comes in – in some cases that increase in size of the rhizomes was pretty miniscule. In other cases I doubled or even trebled the size of the original root.
I have harvested some of the ginger and left some (both in pots and in the ground) to grow on for next year. I think this year I will fertilise more regularly – possibly even weekly, and water more thoroughly as ginger likes both lots of water and lots of food. It also likes shade but I may try giving at least one of the pots a bit more sun and see if that helps at all. Finally I am going to hope our summer is a bit warmer as that would surely help. I have ordered some more roots in case the ones I have in the ground rot over winter as it may have been better to lift them and then replant in Spring. The plants have died down now so its a matter of waiting to see what emerges. Exciting!!!!
Oh and it tasted good too!