Ginger plants are easy to grow once you know the right planting measures. You might have poor ginger rhizomes if you don’t follow the right steps. Learning the right depth and spacing is important to grow gingers successfully.
Ginger requires approximately 5-15 inches of space in between and should be planted 2-4 inches deep. Don’t plant ginger too deep or too shallow, as that will create problems in the plant’s growth. Also, don’t plant them close together as that can lead to a poor harvest.
You must follow the proper depth and distance to get healthy and big ginger rhizomes. Along with these steps, you need to know the growing conditions too. To learn everything in detail, read this article till the end.
Why does spacing matter for the ginger plants?
Along with the depth, spacing also has a great role in the life of ginger plants.
Proper spacing stops the rhizomes from fighting for moisture and nutrients and gives them enough space to grow well.
When the ginger pieces are placed too close, they don’t get enough space for the rhizomes to develop at their best size.
Though ginger rarely gets bothered by tight spacing due to their fewer roots and quick harvest, there has to be enough space.
How far apart should you plant ginger roots?
The amount of space required by the ginger rhizomes under the ground depends on two factors:
- The number of pieces you are planting
- The frequency of your harvest
Generally, the ideal space required is between 5-15 inches or 6-8 inches.
The roots can grow close to each other since ginger doesn’t have an extensive root system.
But adequate spacing ensures that the roots have enough space to grow and the rhizomes can reach a good height.
If you are harvesting ginger frequently, you can plant them close to each other, like 6-8 inches apart.
But, if you want to harvest them a little later, the rhizomes will continue growing bigger.
So, for that, they will require space for proper development.
Keep a little more space between the pieces if you plan to harvest them later.
There are several planting methods, and the spacing also depends on that.
- If you are planting ginger in flatbeds 4×4 meters, you can plant the ginger pieces 7-8 inches apart.
- If you use raised beds because your garden soil is heavy, prepare a bed around 7-12 inches in height and 29-39 inches broad. Plant the ginger rhizomes 12 inches apart.
Spacing followed in one research.
There was research where the horticulturists tried some planting methods and got good results.
That is what I will share here so you can try the same in your garden.
If you want to grow ginger in high tunnels, you can do that too. How? Read on to know.
It is not necessary to have a very big garden.
You can create your own according to the space of your garden.
There are two ways of planting ginger in high tunnels – in the ground or the pots.
In the ground
In the research, while growing ginger in the ground, the horticulturists made two rows and planted ginger at different depths:
- Single rows with 4 inches spacing and 75 rhizome pieces and 8 inches spacing and 37 rhizome spacing.
- Double rows with planting 150 rhizomes 4 inches apart and 75 rhizomes 8 inches apart.
For growing ginger in pots, the research workers used three 20-gallon pots and planted 1,2 and 4 ginger pieces in each pot.
In both methods, the horticulturists received a good amount of ginger rhizomes, and each whole rhizome was of good size.
It has also increased ginger yield. So, you can follow the same spacing for growing ginger in your garden.
What happens if I plant ginger too close to each other?
There are not many adverse effects of growing ginger close to each other. But you should at least maintain a 6-8 inches distance.
If you want to harvest them frequently, you can plant them close to each other, like 4-8 inches.
If you want to harvest a little late and keep the rhizomes under the ground to let them grow a little more, you should maintain 8-12 inches or 15 inches.
It will give them enough room to develop into an ideal size.
Otherwise, the rhizomes will be small and fight for space and nutrients.
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Why is the planting depth important for ginger plants?
Ginger will grow best when they are planted at the right depth.
It allows them to receive adequate moisture and nutrients in the soil, and they can sprout out easily when it is time.
Planting ginger pieces at a proper depth prevents the cold and the direct sunlight from reaching them and hurting them.
Sometimes, people plant ginger too deep to protect them from sunlight and cold or too shallow when they plant in filtered sunlight or shade.
Even if you mulch them after shallow planting, it won’t help.
Whatever the situation, it will affect the rhizomes at some point.
Planting at the right depth helps prevent the cold weather and sunlight from reaching the rhizomes and hurting them.
How deep should you plant ginger roots?
Plant ginger plants 2-4 inches deeper.
Depending on the climate, you can plant them a little deeper, about 1 inch deeper.
But, it would be best if you don’t bury them very deeply.
The depth doesn’t change much.
It always remains within 2-4 inches.
It doesn’t matter if you are from very hot or cold regions.
You can’t go too deep as that will create issues which I will share in the next section.
What happens if I plant the ginger pieces too deep?
Deep planting is not considered in any areas, whether cold or hot.
Deep planting causes late sprouting.
The deeper you plant the rhizomes, the more difficult it becomes for the ginger pieces to come out of the soil and reach the sunlight.
The pieces will also face soil pressure if they go very deep.
It affects plant growth and results in a poor harvest.
So, never plant too deep. It should be only between 2-4 inches.
What happens if I plant ginger too shallowly?
Just like deep planting creates issues, shallow planting will also create problems.
Shallow planting means planting the pieces or seeds at a depth of only 1-1.5 inches.
If you plant them too shallowly, there is excessive over-the-ground growth.
It can be a problem if you live in the colder regions.
The root or the rhizomes will get exposed to the cold weather and badly injured.
The ginger rhizomes do not enjoy the sunlight.
If you plant them too shallow, you expose the pieces to sunlight and hot weather.
Excessive hot and sunlight can dry up the ginger rhizomes.
If the rhizomes are exposed to the direct sun and dry out, there won’t be any plant sprouting.
The effort you put in will go to waste.
So, the rule is to plant them only 2-4 inches deeper.
When and how to grow ginger roots?
Let’s talk about the best time and methods of growing ginger so that you can follow the right steps and don’t have to search much about them.
The best time to grow ginger is in the early spring or late winter when the danger of frost is over and the soil temperature is around 75°F.
Below are the steps of growing ginger and ways to care for them.
Find a good location.
Find a place in your garden where the sunlight is dappled or indirect, and the soil is well-drained and loamy with 5.5-6.5 pH levels.
The less sun it receives, the better it will grow.
Some ginger can also grow under full shade.
However, let the rhizomes have 2-5 hours of direct sunlight if you want the plant to grow flowers.
Prepare the bed
You have chosen ginger until the top 6 inches of the soil bed.
Add a layer of compost or slow-release fertilizer.
Adding compost improves drainage, retention, and nutrient level.
It can also correct the soil pH.
Create rows, single or double, as per your choice.
Separate the rhizomes
Separate the rhizomes into pieces, each measuring 1-2 inches and having one eye or node.
Soak the pieces overnight in water for 1-2 days before separation.
You will find that the rhizomes have grown some thin roots and green buds.
The areas where the green buds have appeared are the nodes.
That is the place from where the plant will sprout.
Soaking helps you notice the eyes and speeds up the sprouting process.
Plant the rhizome pieces
Once the separation is done, and green buds have appeared, it is time to plant them.
Keep a distance of around 4-6 inches between the rhizomes and plant them only 2-4 inches deep.
The nodes should be facing upwards.
You may change the distance according to the time of your harvest.
But don’t be too close.
Add a layer of mulch.
It prevents faster moisture evaporation and controls weed growth.
Water the soil
After planting, water the soil generously to moisten it and the rhizomes.
You must keep the soil consistently moist as ginger enjoys plenty of moisture.
Never allow the soil to dry out.
Fertilize the plant
When new shoots appear, fertilize the ginger plant with a liquid fertilizer having NPK 10-20-20 once a month.
Go low on nitrogen as excessive nitrogen makes the plant concentrate on flowers rather than rhizomes.
When the plant starts flowering, stop fertilizing and add some potassium.
If you don’t want to use commercial fertilizers, you can add fish emulsion every 6-8 weeks or rotted chicken manure.
Harvest at the right time
Ginger will take 8-10 months to reach maturity and prepare for harvest.
At the end of the growing season, when stems die, and plants lose leaves, stop watering the plant and let it mature to prepare for harvest.
You can take off the whole plant to harvest ginger or harvest it without digging up the plant.
If you wish to harvest without taking the plant out, let some ginger roots stay, and start growing the same plant by restarting watering in the next growing season.
Protect them during the cold
Ginger plants cannot tolerate cold weather below 50°F.
If you belong to colder climates, consider growing ginger in pots so that you can transfer them indoors.
But, if you are from hotter climates, you can easily grow ginger outdoors on the ground.
Just add a thick layer of mulch and stop watering and fertilizing.
Ginger should be planted properly at the right depth and distance to get good ginger rhizomes.
The depth should be only 2-4 inches. Deep planting makes it difficult for the plant to sprout and reach the sun. Shallow planting can dry up the rhizomes due to exposure to the sun.
You can follow the research part to plant the ginger at the right depth and distance by creating raised beds or using pots.
You must know the steps to grow ginger with depth and distance. Follow the steps I have shared to harvest and get healthy ginger at the right time.
Reference: Ginger Production, Texas AgriLife Extension, USDA, Wikipedia