Garlic and ginger are very established food staples that are often regarded as herbs, although technically, they aren’t. Nonetheless, both give off so many health benefits that you simply cannot do without them. Thankfully, both garlic and ginger are easy to grow in a home herb garden and will produce abundantly. As an added bonus, both are easy to store, so once you get started growing them in your garden you will never have to buy either one of them again. Follow these tips for the growing of garlic and ginger so you can enjoy the tasty rewards all year round.
Garlic seeds are the cloves on the outside of the bulb. Purchase them at your local garden supply center or you can successfully use healthy seed cloves from garlic purchased at your local supermarket. Don’t remove seed cloves from garlic bulb until you are ready to plant them. Fall is the best time to plant them, but garlic can also be planted in the spring. In very mild climates, garlic can be grown all year round.
Select a planting location that is in full sun, and has well-draining soil that has been amended with plenty of compost. Snap off the outside cloves from the garlic bulb. Poke each clove 2-3 inches deep in the prepared soil, with the pointed tip facing upward. Plant cloves 3-5 inches apart.
Water cloves and cover with six inches of lightweight mulch, like straw. The garlic shoots will find their way up through the lightweight mulch. Keep soil moist and stop watering when the green above-ground shoots turn brown. Harvest anytime after shoots turn brown.
Ginger grows best in a sheltered location, filtered sunlight, warm weather, humidity, and rich, moist soil. Purchase rhizomes (ginger roots) that have ‘eyes’ (they look like tiny horns) and soak rhizomes over night in cool water the night before planting.
Plant in late winter or early spring in prepared soil. Plant 3 inches deep with eyes facing upwards. Each rhizome can be broken apart to create more plants as long as each piece has an eye. Space rhizomes 4 inches apart. Keep soil moist and mist plants with water during times of drought. As a rule, most species of ginger thrive in moist soil.
Ginger grows slow and won’t be ready to harvest until the end of summer. As the weather starts cooling down, your ginger will start to die back. Reduce the water, even let the ground dry out. This encourages the ginger to form rhizomes. Once all the leaves have died down, the ginger is ready for harvest.
In mild climates, both garlic and ginger can be left in the ground until needed. Both can be harvested and stored in a cool, dry place until needed. Do not wash after harvesting and place them in a single layer during storage.
Enjoy your garlic and ginger!
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