Baby Ginger is a rhizome with tender skin, bright pink scales at the nodes and creamy white internodes. Dig up a sample at about the 4 month stage to learn how your ginger grows through the season. You may want to harvest a small portion at this stage to get your market interested.
When to Harvest:
Baby Ginger can be harvested when the scales on the rhizomes turn pink – about 4, 5 and 6 months after presprouting. Harvest can be extended over 4, 5 and 6 months. Just be aware that the ginger harvested closer to the six month mark will be more mature at the base of the hands than the new growth at the top. You may see the skin starting to form.
Loosen and Lift:
Loosen the soil around the rhizomes with your hands or with a lifting tool like a broadfork. You can then either excavate by hand or pull plants up using the tops as a handle. Use a gently motion pulling when applying the latter method as hands can be broken apart easily if pulled too hard.
Trimming and Washing:
Trim the roots from the rhizomes using a sharp knife or floral shears. Use caution when trimming roots and stems from rhizomes so as not to cut nearby fingers of ginger or one's own fingers. Use a power nozzle on the end of a hose to wash soil/media from between the rhizomes. Rhizomes have no skin so they can scratched and blemished relatively easily. Be careful not to break hands apart if there is a necessity to leave them whole. Trim off foliage about a half inch above where it meets the rhizome. Longer stems can be left on. Rhizomes will dry out faster the more stem length left on. After trimming and washing, let rhizomes sit for an hour or two, depending upon how long it takes for them to dry, out of direct sunlight before packing for market or storage.