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Presprouting Ginger

Increase Yields With Presprouting

Upon receipt, it is beneficial to place ginger seed pieces in flats or pots with cocopeat or soilless media and barely cover them.  Water them and put the flats or pots in a warm area.  They do not need light at this point but warmth is crucial (70-80F); inside the house is fine.  Keeping ginger in this stage for about 4-6 weeks allows the rhizomes to start growing.  Shoots will begin to form.  This step gains about a month on the growing season.  The seed pieces transplant easily into their final destination.  

It is an easy step that gets all the ginger going at the same pace.  It also allows the ginger to take advantage of the long days while it is in full leaf so that it yields the most rhizomes later at harvest.  Water the seed pieces only if the media dries out.  The rhizomes are not taking up a lot of water or food during this stage.  It is helpful to get all the seed pieces growing on at the same pace and presprouting helps to accomplish this.  

This presprout step is not necessary if you are growing ginger where the soil is warmer than 55-60F, day and night, when you receive your seed.

Do Not Overwater During Presprout  

This is an easy mistake to make when presprouting ginger, especially if the seed pieces are in the greenhouse with your seedling starts for the spring.  Keep the ginger pieces at 70-80F and water only when the media gets dry to the touch.  Some growers use cocopeat to presprout (and to actually grow their crop in in containers), others use their soil mix that they use for other seedlings.  No matter what media is used, be sure that it is not mucky and wet or the ginger will just sit there and not start to grow.  

Build it Into Your Crop Time  

Decide when you want to harvest your ginger and work back from there.  It will take about 4 months to get some harvestable yields from the time presprouting is started.  These intial harvests will be small.  At 5 and 6 months the rhizomes will have grown significantly and this is when you will get the most harvest weight for baby ginger.  Work back from this desired harvest time, keeping in mind that the earliest you can receive clean ginger seed is late February and latest is late March/early April.  Ginger is daylength sensitive so it is important to plant during this window.  Let's say, for example, that you want to begin harvesting baby ginger in mid September then you will want to receive your seed pieces in mid March to start the presprout process.

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