I harvested some more of my ginger today. One of the plants in the pot was dying back and I was dying to see what lay beneath the soil.
So I dug it out, leaving the remaining green plants in the pot.
This is what I got:
And this is what it looked like after I’d cleaned it up a bit:
Beautiful isn’t it?
The dark brown section on the right of the photo near the gloves is the original rhizome I planted. The rest is new growth. The new growth weighed just over 100g. At the moment ginger is $11.88kg at my local supermarket. So my bit of ginger is probably worth about $1.20, perhaps a bit more if you consider that its organic. I paid $6.95 for the original organic ‘seed’ rhizomes of which there were 6. So presuming I get similar results from the other plants in my pot I should just about break even this year (except of course if you factor in the cost of the potting mix and fertiliser in which case I’ve made a small loss). This loss is due in most part to the price of the seed ginger which going forward I wont have to pay. I have cut this section off, which as you can see is just starting to shoot and I have repotted it and I will keep the pot inside for the winter. Hopefully that way it will start its growth phase a lot earlier than if I stored the rhizome for planting in Spring. I will store some bits of the remaining crop for Spring planting though.
Another method of overcoming the cost of seed ginger would be sprouting some bought for culinary purposes but not having tried to before I am unsure of when the best time of the year to attempt it would be. My early Spring planted ginger has tended to appear in late Spring/early Summer so my feeling is that it would need to be started sometime in Spring. Has anyone done it successfully? And When?
All in all I do think its worth attempting growing ginger in Melbourne (the cost of seed ginger aside). Apart from anything else its fun.
Thus far my experiments have suggested that pot grown ginger; grown in potting mix fertilised with slow release fertiliser and then given liquid fish fertiliser fortnightly yields better results than ginger grown it straight in the garden. I think this is largely because you can more easily control the amount of food and water it gets and ginger likes lots of both. Where I previously planted it in the garden it has had a fair bit of competition for both water and nutrients and it hasn’t really appreciated it, if you could isolate it in the garden a bit it may fare better.