Ginger is a staple for many Australian households and it’s easy to see why when fresh ginger elevates whatever you’re cooking, however they can be quiet expensive. What a lot of people don’t realise is just how easy it is to grow your own ginger at home in Western Australia. Ginger is a popular ingredient in south-east Asian cooking and if you want to take your home cooking to the next level fresh ginger is a must.
Growing ginger in the northern part of Western Australia where the climate is hotter and more humid is much easier. However, growing ginger in Perth or further south where the climate is cooler is a little bit trickier.
It’s worth noting that commercial ginger production is small and Australia’s contribution represents less than 1% of global production. According to one report the Australia industry yields an average of 8000 tonnes. Of this, 55% of production is supplied to the Australian processing sector and 45% is supplied to the domestic fresh market. From a commercial point of view the majority of this production is in Queensland.
Ginger originates in tropical and sub-tropical Asia and therefore likes warm weather, humidity and rich, moist soil. In the northern parts of Western Australia like Broome, it usually needs a part shade position, but in cooler areas, full sun is usually best. Ginger grown in pots can be moved around to make the most of sunlight availability. Additionally a green house will help to replicate the more humid climate in the cooler parts of Western Australia. Ginger should also be moved away from strong winds and frost which can kill the dormant rhizomes.
Types of ginger:
The most common variety of ginger grown for the fresh market in Australia is the ‘Canton’ variety. Small amounts of the ‘Japanese’ variety are also grown.
How to plant ginger in a garden:
Important steps on how to grow ginger from root are as follows:
1. Choose a sheltered spot in your garden with well drained soil. Enrich with dynamic lifter soil improver and plant fertiliser.
2. Cut the ginger by ‘eyes’ with a sharp knife, make sure the pieces are at least 3 cm wide.
3. Leave the piece to cure for a few days.
4. Plant the pieces out in 20 cm intervals, 5-10 cm deep. Water lightly and check daily to make sure soil doesn’t dry out. Once sprouts appear, feed weekly with thrive and herb liquid plant food.
How to grow ginger in a pot:
1. When planting ginger in pots choose a pot at least 300 mm wide and deep and position in sheltered spot. Fill with quality potting mix, such as potting mix with dynamic lifter.
2. Cut the ginger with a sharp knife, ensuring ‘bud eyes’ are included in pieces at least 3 cm wide.
3. Leave the pieces to cure for a few days.
4. Plant one piece per pot, 5-10 cm deep. Water lightly and check daily to make sure soil doesn’t dry out. Once sprouting, feed weekly with thrive vegie and herb liquid plant food.
When to harvest ginger:
It’s important to first consider how long does it take to grow ginger! You will want to dig up about 10 months after planting. This means you should be harvesting ginger by digging the roots out in late summer or early autumn.
In warmer areas, harvest when the leaves are yellow and the stems start to fall over.
It’s best to store ginger in the refrigerator intact, with the peel still on. You can store cut ginger in the refrigerator, but it won’t keep as long. To maximise the storage time, place your home grown ginger in a freezer bag; press out most of the air and place it in the crisper drawer in your refrigerator.
Ginger plant care and common problems:
Ginger encounters very few pest problems. However issues may result from rhizomes rotting if they are too wet. This can be avoided by planting in appropriate soil with good drainage conditions.
So now you know how easy it is you can get started growing your own ginger at home! Pop down and get a Bunnings ginger plant or one from a local nursery this weekend.
Check out our other how to grow in Perth guides: