Growing your own Ginger and Turmeric is actually quite easy. We’ve been growing and replanting “child” sprouts from our ONE original Ginger root for about 7 years now and a couple of years ago decided to give Turmeric a try. Ginger and Turmeric have such a wide array of uses, both medicinal and culinary, we felt like they were something we didn’t want to have to do without or depend on the grocery store for. It’s so easy that I’ve just laid out the quick and dirty for you below, nothing fancy. There are probably a billion other methods, but this is the way we do it, and with very good success.
Unlike what the online sellers would like you to believe, most of the time you can start with just one ginger (or turmeric) root from the supermarket and harvest from it for years. From what I understand, some are sprayed with a growth retardant, so browse the organic sections and pick through them until you find one that looks healthy (nice and plump). Sometimes you can even find one that has already started a little new growth nub. These are nice since you have verification that they will sprout! Simply plant it and let it grow until it sends up a second shoot, then dig it up, gently remove the new sprout nodule and replant that little sprout. Save the large, original root to use in cooking, medicine, etc. Next year what you use for cooking will be the small sprout, all grown up, and you’ll replant the new nodules that will have grown from it. Once you get it going, it’s easy to maintain a continuous supply. In the beginning, with the original root, I kept the root on the kitchen window sill and ran it under luke-warm water every now and then until it began to show a little sprout nub. In hindsight, I’m not sure this is necessary, but since it was just an experiment, I liked being able to see where the little sprout nub was coming out so that I knew which way to plant it in the pot. Once it began to break through with a little green sprout, I planted it in a pot, about a pinky finger knuckle deep, with the green sprout just barely sticking out of the dirt. I kept the pot inside, in a window in the kitchen, so I could “tend” to it. The key is to keep it warm and water it with warm water. It will take several months for the root to sprout and many more before it will be ready to harvest a portion and replant the rest, but stick with it.
Once the root starts growing and shoots up some above ground greenery, keep it watered and in a sunny location. A window that offers filtered sunlight is perfect. As the roots grow, more greenery will sprout. Those second and third shoots of greenery are what will tell you that you have a nodule developing that you can snip off and plant to start a new root growing. Simply dig up the whole thing, remove the new sprout and replant it. Save the large part to use. We now have several pots going so that we have plenty when we need it and have settled in with a routine of separating and replanting each year when the greenery dies back.
You can see in the picture below where this root has grown a sprout nodule with a tap root of it’s own. This is the part we remove and replant. The larger section can be used fresh or it can be dried and powdered for longer preservation.
Note the new bud sprouts on the top above where it has sent out new tap roots.
Gently remove the new section making a clean cut with a knife.
Replant the new section just under the surface with the tap root pointed down and the sprout nub pointing up. Unless I actually have an actual green stem coming out, I cover the nub with dirt so that it doesn’t dry out. Sometimes the new rootlet sprouts in both places, the nub and the old growth that has died back. Either way is fine.
Once you have the process down, it’s extremely easy just to put the pot outside during the summer as long as you remember to water it if you have a dry spell. There’s nothing like rainwater to make plants happy and healthy!