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The first time I planted ginger, I was living in Michigan and the plant never really took off. I thought it was because I had it in the wrong sun, or not enough water, but I never thought that Michigan was not quite warm enough for ginger. My first harvest, I got a few ginger roots, but nothing to rave about. Then we moved to Louisiana and when it came time to plant my garden, I thought why not give ginger another chance. And so, I placed a single root in a five gallon bucket of fresh garden soil. I then placed the bucket in the sunniest spot in the yard.
The last time I grew a ginger plant, I was very disappointed, so I then decided to do some research on the ginger root. I discovered that ginger was first domesticated in Southeast Asia. The general location of Korea and Vietnam, and the weather in Southeast Asia, are all very comparable to the weather in Southern Louisiana. I also learned that the only state in the United States that produces ginger on a commercial scale is Hawaii. It makes perfect sense as these plants require at least 10 months of a growing season. Depending on your location in the United States, not all places have an extended growing season of 10 months. However, growing ginger in your house is always an option.
After the first six weeks, I was surprised with the number of ginger shoots that were springing up all over the place. Ginger is a very fragrant plant and I placed that plant right near my front door. I get to smell that wonderful aroma every pass. I remember when I was pregnant and I used to buy a ginger root at the grocery store. I would cut the root into slices and when I would get nauseated, I would chew a slice of ginger and you would be amazed at how quickly it helps calm your stomach. I was so elated how quickly it would work that I would carry those ginger pieces around with me everywhere I would go.
Southern Louisiana summers are very hot and humid. It is common for every day rain showers to occur about mid-afternoon. The combination of the excessive heat and the swampy environment made this plant absolutely go crazy with new shoots every single day. The plant was hearty, green, and tropical in appearance. It made the planter look amazing sitting next to my Aloe plant, which also loves Southern Louisiana weather.
The plant grew for 10 months and the leaves started to turn brown at the tips. That is when you know your ginger plant is ready to harvest. The aroma is also very strong the closer it gets to harvest time. The shoots will also begin to droop, as if every bit of nourishment has been exhausted from the plant.
When my husband harvested the plant, he plucked the shoots from the planter, laying the roots on the table, and then sifted through the pot making sure every piece of ginger had been pulled. We chopped the shoots, and placed them into the compost pile. Then we washed the roots. They smelled so good that I immediately chopped a fresh root, and brewed up a pot of ginger-root green tea. Ginger is one of the very best natural remedies for nausea, indigestion, and reducing stomach acid.
Ginger also boasts a very powerful oil called gingerol, and this oil can be used to reduce pain and inflammation caused by arthritis and other such conditions involving pain. Ginger has very powerful antioxidant properties and consuming this root is never a bad idea.
The bottom line and end of this story is that growing ginger in your garden is good for your health.