Saturday, November 15, 2014

Thankful for An Adventurous Gardener

Whats this strange thing to be thankful for you ask? Well Ralph has a sense of adventure and lets me do some pretty strange things garden wise. Let me tell you the tale of the Ginger and a Blue Muck tub.

I love to use ginger in cooking, we both love the taste and it is an exceptionally good thing to eat for your digestive system, thats why your mother always gave you ginger-ale when you were sick!

I read an article on growing ginger online and it was interesting, the lady grew it in her solarium. I had just read this article when we went grocery shopping and as I was looking at hands of ginger Ralph noticed one had tiny sprouts on it...we both looked at each other and he grabbed it!

At the time we had a big blue muck tub that was empty, some good potting soil and a nice sunny window. Ginger is a tropical plant and need ages to grow. We really just wanted to see if it would sprout so we planted it in the tub...the hand broke into 11 segments which is what we planted.

It was the biggest pot for a house plant I had ever seen and it kind of filled up the space in front of the window.  This was October of 2012.

It was slow to times I almost told Ralph to throw it out but he carefully dug down and what to our wondering eyes appeared but a tiny but very healthy looking inch of new plant. We watched it grow and more come up,  by spring it looked like a jungle in the front window.

We let it grow outside all summer and but I couldn't stand it I asked Ralph to dig it in August.

The first tub of Ginger on Harvest day.

It was exciting to watch Ralph as he started to uncover the potential "hands".

You can see the faint purple tops of the bulbs.

They have amazing hairy roots!

It worked...we have Ginger!

Here is what the entire plant looks like...they have a long strange tap root below the actual hand of ginger.

Here is the main cluster of hands...they are beautiful.

Here is a good sized hand. I was both amazed and thankful at how it worked out, we actually successfully grew a tropical plant and an edible one at that!

We did have a number of small immature hands and we wondered if they would grow, they were only about the size of a quarter and the tops were very healthy so we thought we would give it a go. Ralph selected 15 of these and replanted the Blue Muck tub.

The Blue tub, refilled with fresh compost and potting soil.

 The harvested and re-potted ginger muck tub...three days after the transplanting the plants look good and they never looked back. 

Here is the final result of our first ginger experiment. We were pretty excited and yes 'Thankful' for the hands.

Now ginger is almost old hat....the replanted ginger spent the winter in the house again but it did something we had not went dormant and looked DEAD. Again I was about to throw it out when we spotted a tiny new sprout. By May when we started setting it out at night it was a healthy green mass of grassy plant life.

2014's Ginger adventure in August.

This year we did not really want a huge Tub in the front room so we let the plant die off as fall arrived.

Here is our sad houseplant at the end of October.

We harvested it and it just proved how lucky I am to have an adventurous garden and blue muck tubs...a wonderful second harvest is drying on the table!

2014 Ginger Harvest

Ralph holding one of the 2014 hands.

Yes there are so many things to be thankful for that are maybe non traditional things to think of as  something to be noted. Ralph and his sense  of adventure is just one think I have to be truly thankful else would I have ever had the gumption to try to grow a tropical plant?


  1. wow I'm impressed! If you let it alone would the hand grow bigger or do you have to dig it up at this size
    so interesting

    1. I am not sure about the hand growing bigger...they probably do if they are grown in a garden in a more tropical climate. This batch was getting root bound so next Ginger will be at least two tubs!

  2. Good for you, Fiona. Thank you for sharing your ginger experience. We did this once, but with a much smaller pot and a much smaller harvest. It's just fascinating to learn, isn't it?


    1. I think the learning is half the fun...well maybe 1/3rd as using this fresh ginger in a stir fry is a real delight! I wonder if Ginger could work outside where you are in a sheltered location?

    2. I don't think so, it gets too cold here. It was 23 degrees last night and tonight they are forecasting 18. It doesn't usually stay very cold here for long, but it does get cold. I planted some turmeric out in the garden bed and mulched it heavy, but it still didn't survive the winter.


  3. It looks wonderful. I love Ginger too, especially tea :)