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How to Grow Ginger in a Pot?

It is known that ginger has a lot of health benefits. This is why eating it regularly can do good for your body. But not all of us do have decent access to gingers. This is why having your supply of ginger will be a good option. In this article, we will tackle the topic of how to grow ginger in a pot.

Find a decent living ginger root

To grow the best gingers, you’ll need to start with a quality root. This will give the ginger you are about to grow a good foundation. 

Our tip is you must get a root from fresh ginger so that you have higher chances of growing fresh gingers. There are lots of garden shops that sell high-quality ginger roots that are due for planting.

Use a sturdy and spacious pot

Before you even plant the ginger root, be sure you have the right pot. Choosing a pot can be tricky for beginners. But it is easier than you think. You just have to ensure that the pot is made of sturdy materials for stability. 

This will ensure that the roots will not have any chances of breaking the pot. Also, ensure that the pot has sufficient space so that your ginger’s growth will not be stunted.

Put the root in warm water before planting

Before you even decide to plant the root, be sure to put it on warm water for at least 8 hours. This will make the roots more responsive. As a result, you’ll have higher chances of making your ginger grow healthily. It is just like making the roots ready to absorb the nutrients on the soil.

Put a rich soil on the pot

You should put soil that is enriched with nutrients on the pot. Then you have to evenly spread the soil to ensure that the roots will have a good grip on it but before you plant the ginger double check if the soil is fertile. This is because you do not want to waste your time and effort if the ginger will not grow properly.

Plant the root

It’s now time to put the roots on the surface of the soil. Using your fingers push it downwards until it becomes stable. Then you have to put 2 to 3 more inches of soil, so be sure you have extra soil with you.  

Before anything else, be sure that the root has no damage and is still intact. It is always better if you use smooth gloves if you are not comfortable using your bare hands.

Put moisture on the soil

No root crops or plants that could grow on dry soil except for cactus. So after planting be sure to supply the soil with some water but make sure that you will not overdo it. 

You can use a water sprinkler mounted on garden hose reel or your mere fingers in putting a little bit of water on the soil. That little amount of water can be sip by the roots easily since ginger roots are good sippers.  

Find a warm spot

Be sure that your ginger pot will not receive too much sunlight. This is because ginger is pretty delicate when it comes to moisture that’s why you do not want the soil to be super dry daily. Just an ample amount of sunlight will do. 

One perfect place is a shaded backyard with a green net. However, if you do not have one, you can just place it on a plant box and put a half covering on, you can use any kind of roofing such as best weed barriers, old tarpaulins and the like.

Be patient at all times

When growing ginger is sure that you have lots of patience. This is because growing ginger is not a quick task. Sometimes it takes a month before you see progress, so be sure that you have the willingness to wait. The most important thing is you know how to grow ginger in a pot which gives you the assurance that everything will be fine.

Always remember the saying that good things come to those who wait. You cannot rush the process up, nothing will go wrong if you have done all the steps correctly.

Proper maintenance

When your ginger in a pot started to grow and you notice it, harvest some. This will give way to the new roots to grow. One trick that you can do is to move the soil on the sides of the pot and put some new soil on the middle part to promote growth. 

With the help of this step, you can prevent bad quality ginger from sprouting. It will also help you to make the ginger pot look better and cleaner.

Scale it up

Now you know how to grow ginger in a pot, you can start to scale it up. You might want to make more to give you a sufficient supply of ginger. It will also allow you to master the craft more which will result in better quality gingers.

You might not know, that a simple hobby of yours of growing ginger can be a business. Gingers sell well in the market and if you can have a sufficient supply of it, expect that you can have a decent profit from it.

Conclusion

Gingers bring a lot of good on our health and having a good supply for your home is a good idea. On this how to grow ginger in a pot article, you can make it happen. 

It will allow you to bring a sufficient supply of gingers that will be a good long-term investment for your health. It is cheap and very flexible to grow, so no reason for you not to have it.

Read more: Adventures in Growing Glass Gem Corn

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Adventures in Growing Glass Gem Corn

Please pardon me while I indulge in a blog post all about my recent obsession with Glass Gem corn. I was enchanted by photos of its shining, colorful kernels when they first made the rounds in 2012, but never seriously considered growing it until this year. And even that was a very last-minute decision–when I saw yet another online article referencing this unusual heirloom back in early May, I immediately went online and ordered a single seed packet from Native Seeds/SEARCH to sow as soon as possible. I’ve grown a lot of different heirlooms over the past six seasons, but this one has really swept me off my feet with its unique beauty.

What is Glass Gem Corn?

Glass Gem corn is an heirloom flint corn variety recently introduced to the public by Native Seeds/SEARCH, a non-profit conservation organization based in Tuscon, Arizona. For over 30 years, the organization has been collecting, preserving, and distributing heirloom vegetable varieties that have played an important role in agriculture in the Southwestern United States.

The full history of Glass Gem corn can be found on the Native Seeds/SEARCH blog, but the Cliff Notes version is that Glass Gem was carefully grown and stewarded for many years by Carl Barnes, a part-Cherokee farmer from Oklahoma. In 2010, Barnes was nearing the end of his gardening career and decided to pass on his seed collection to his protégé, Greg Schoen. Schoen in turn passed some of the seeds along to Bill McDorman, who would later become the executive director of Native Seeds/SEARCH. McDorman was intrigued by the name Glass Gem and decided to grow some of it in his own garden. Naturally, he was just as taken by the results as the rest of us have been, and decided to introduce it to a wider audience.

What is Flint Corn?

Glass Gem Corn

There are three basic types of grain corn: flint, flour, and dent. Unlike sweet corn, grain corns are dried before processing rather than eaten fresh. Dent corn is a recent invention, dating back to the mid-1800s, and most of the corn now grown in the United States is of this type. It’s used for everything from tortilla chips to high fructose corn syrup to plastics. Flint and flour corn, on the other hand, were the types historically used as staple crops by Native Americans and adopted by early Americans.
Glass Gem is a flint corn variety. A corn kernel is composed of four primary parts: the pericarp, the aleurone, the endosperm, and the germ. The pericarp and aleurone are two thin outer layers which surround the endosperm and germ, and are where any colorful pigments reside. The endosperm is a large part of the kernel interior. In flint corns, the endosperm is primarily hard, or flinty, and is either white or yellow. So when flint corns are ground down or popped, they are primarily white or yellow, though some flecks of color from the pericarp and aleurone can remain in the meal. (Kind of like how red okra turns green when you cook it.)

Because the endosperm is so hard in flint corn, the kernels are tough and there will always be some grittiness in the resulting meal, no matter how finely ground. Flint corns are suitable for making into grits and cornmeal, and some can also be used as popcorn. (For a fine flour suitable for bread and cakes, flour corn is the way to go.)

So being a flint corn, Glass Gem corn can’t be eaten fresh like sweet corn. But it can be dried and ground into grits or meal, popped as popcorn, or simply used as decoration.

My Experience with Glass Gem Corn

Glass Gem corn seedling

As I mentioned above, I purchased my seeds a little later that I would like, but was able to get them in the ground on May 20th. I didn’t write down the exact number, but I recall that there were either 52 or 54 seeds total. Because I was working with a raised bed that was 32″ wide, I planted the rows really a little too close at only 8-9″ apart. The plants themselves were too close as well, at 6-7″. With relatively few seeds, I was worried about adequate pollination. I had originally planned on thinning the plants once they germinated, but couldn’t quite bring myself to do it when the time came. This turned out to be a bit of a problem later on, as air circulation between plants was poor.
The seeds had germinated and were putting on their first true leaves by May 25th. Corn is a heavy feeder, so I fertilized it several times over the summer with organic hydrolyzed fish fertilizer. Because I had such a small block of plants, I mulched between the plants with shredded cardboard and never had to weed them afterwards due to the mulch and the shade from the stalks. The plants grew rapidly at first, and then stalled out for a little while in late June.

corn tassel
cornsilk

When they started growing again, they did so rapidly. By mid-July I was getting worried because I was starting to see tassel development but no ears emerging. By the time the tassels were in full flower on July 22nd, however, there were plenty of little nascent ears with silks ready for pollination.
It was interesting to watch the veritable swarm of pollinators on the corn in late July. Bumblebees were most prominent, but there were a number of other native bees as well, and even a few honeybees. I could see the grains of pollen trickling down to the ears below as the industrious bees jostled the tassels. Between the breeze and the bees dislodging pollen, I got pretty good pollination on most of the ears.

This was my first time growing flint corn, so I was a little uncertain about harvesting. I checked in on the ears as they were developing and they seemed so thin that I was worried they hadn’t been properly pollinated. Upon harvesting I discovered that a lot of the ears are just naturally slim, and not nearly as thick as sweet corn, which is what I’m used to growing.

In the first half of August I noticed ants hanging around the tips of some of the ears. Though I couldn’t see it at the time because they were concealed by some of the husks, the ants were farming aphids on the corn. I’d read ahead of time that corn earworms were mostly a problem with sweet corn, not flint corn. But when I harvested the corn, many of the ears were damaged at the tips, as with earworms. I never once found an earworm, on any of the ears, but next year I think I’ll take precautions anyway.

Glass Gem Corn

Quite a few ears had molded around the site of the damage and I had to discard them. I imagine this was due to a combination of the aforementioned poor air circulation, the high humidity, and the pest damage. I think I learned my lesson on plant spacing!
I started harvesting the corn on August 28th, and harvested small batches over the next few days until I had gathered all the formed ears. There were a few ears that developed too late to be pollinated, but overall the harvested ears were well-developed. Peeling the husks back to reveal the colors within was an exciting process, a little like opening presents on Christmas morning. Some of the ears were just breathtaking, and I got a good variety of colors from the single packet.

Glass Gem corn seeds

After harvesting, I trimmed the damaged ears, which resulted in a few really short and stubby ears. I don’t have a good place to hang the ears indoors so right now they’re spread out in a single layer on wire shelves for air circulation.
Since this year’s harvest was small, my two primary purposes are to save seed for next year and to use a few of the nicest ears as decoration. Beyond that, I hope to have enough to try grinding some and popping some. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve caught the flint corn bug. This winter I plan to revisit the section on flint and flour corns in Carol Deppe’s excellent book, The Resilient Gardener, and plan for an actual corn patch next year.

Have you ever grown flint corn? What was your experience?

Read more:

DEALING WITH GARDENING FAILURES

THE TRIALS & TRIUMPHS OF FALL GARDENING

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Dealing with Gardening Failures

If, this morning around 8:30 a.m. EDT you heard the distant echo of a frustrated scream…well, that was me. You see, I had just discovered that despite thinking that everything was perfectly all right, something had gone very wrong in my fall garden.

Something got to the brassicas I set out a week ago and I’m pretty sure it was cutworms. They live in the soil, so were undeterred by the floating row cover protecting the plants from aerial pests. I haven’t taken an exact count yet, but I’ve lost around three dozen broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts plants. And I’m really kicking myself because I’ve dealt with cutworms before. When I set the plants out I briefly considered putting toothpicks next to their tender stems–a precaution against cutworms I always take with my cabbage plants. But then I talked myself out of it, because I’ve never had cutworm trouble with other brassicas. Such a bad idea. I wish I could go back in time and throw a box of toothpicks at past me’s head. I imagine it connecting with a satisfying “thunk.”


Before this discovery I had a much different post in mind for today. Ironically, I had actually planned to write a post expanding on some of the issues I mentioned in my earlier post about the trials and triumphs of fall gardening: pests and high temperatures, to be precise. I was going to talk about row cover and hand-picking and organic controls. And I still will. Next week.

But right now I’m going to be talking about coping with gardening failures.

To be perfectly honest, I still struggle with embracing failure and learning from my mistakes. I was the quiet, anxious kid who did everything I possibly could to avoid mistakes and conflict. Paranoid about breaking the rules, terrified of getting an answer wrong on a test. I thought going into a creative field–graphic design–would help me loosen up, but in college it was just more of the same. No room for error. So I matured into an uptight, type-A, perfectionist, control freak.

Fortunately, I got into gardening just a few months after college graduation. Gardening has taught me–and continues to teach me–that life is messy. That I’m not at all in control. And that the best-laid plans of mice and men go oft awry. (Robert Burns knew what he was talking about; maybe that insight came from his own farming experience.)

Somewhere out there are some bad-ass Zen gardeners who can calmly survey the loss, nod their heads, and move on. I aspire to be join their ranks someday. That kind of objectivity and acceptance requires some serious perspective–and a lack of perspective is one of my biggest weaknesses. I’m really, really good at making mountains out of molehills in my mind and letting them overwhelm me.

So I’ll admit, the first step I took in dealing with today’s setback was to flip out about it. I raged at the loss of the beautiful plants I’d grown from seed and fumed at the frustration of having to start over. I felt stressed by the pressure of the changing seasons–despite a 10-day forecast full of highs in the mid-90s, I was keenly aware that my time for getting these fall crops established is quickly slipping away.

The next feeling that came up was insecurity. I thought about not writing a blog post for the week–who wants to read about my stupid mistakes, right? Then I thought: what if I and my family really were depending on this fall garden to get us through the winter? What if we suddenly didn’t have the luxury of buying food from the store? How would I ever feed myself and my family when I could even keep a bed full of brassicas alive in August? (And if that isn’t an excellent example of my personal neuroses, I don’t know what is.)

But some words of wisdom from my mom–a Master Gardener for more than 20 years now–made me realize that it was important for me to sit down and put these thoughts to (digital) paper. Because at some point, all gardeners of all skill levels go through this same experience. Because in the internet age, it is way too easy for these feelings of failure to be magnified by all the perfectly styled photos on Pinterest and how-to blog posts. Because it’s too easy to start thinking that everyone else’s garden is perfect while you’re struggling to figure it out.

Gardening has taught me–and is still teaching me, over and over again, because I have a thick skull–that I’ll never have it all figured out. At best, I’ll become skilled at cultivating the tenuous relationship between human and earth. My feet will grow nimble enough to navigate the spider-silk tight rope that stretches between last and first frost, though I’ll still slip off and come crashing to the ground on a regular basis. There will always be something more to learn, a new plant to grow, an old technique to improve.

Gardening has also taught me that adaptation is the key to survival. Gardening failures are an invitation to step back and reconsider your approach.

In my case, I should have gone with my gut and used my toothpick trick to keep cutworms from shearing off my plants at ground level. I also should have used entirely new and pristine row cover over the plants, instead of reusing old pieces with a few small holes in them–just in case some of the damage was due to grasshoppers, which are largely impossible to control except by exclusion.

It’s also possible that I need to rethink my efforts to grow brassicas here in South Carolina. I’ve done it many times before and I’ll no doubt do it again (I can’t live without frost-sweetened kale in the winter), but they are so terribly attractive to so many pests.

I’ve only been on a horse once in my life, but I’ve gotten thrown by gardening plenty of times so I know deep down that the only remedy is to get back up and try again. I have a few replacement plants on hand, held back when I planted the rest out last week in case I lost a few. (Ha!) And even though most local stores don’t even have their shipments of fall plants in yet, I did manage to track down more replacements at a local nursery this afternoon.

4 Steps to Dealing with Gardening Failures

So to distill this experience into something you might find useful in your own gardening practice, here are my tips for recovering from gardening failures.

1. Allow yourself to feel frustration, anger, sadness, etc. as needed. Gardening failures represent the loss of your scarce time, resources, and plants; it is completely legitimate to feel strong emotions as a result.

2. Analyze the failure and isolate the causes, realizing that many times these causes lie outside of your control–especially when it comes to the weather. Take special note of factors you can control, however.

3. Create and implement solutions. These could range from the micro (mulch or fertilize plants, increase or decrease watering, etc.) to the macro (grow a different variety, grow an entirely different crop, move your garden to a new part of the yard, etc.) and from the short-term (today, tomorrow, next week) to the long-term (later this season, next year).

4. Make a record for future reference. Write down the problem, the causes, and steps taken to find a solution. Try to remember to come back later and make further notes once you find out how your solution worked.

What’s the worst gardening failure you’ve experienced? Let’s commiserate in the comments below!

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The Trials & Triumphs of Fall Gardening

Now that I’ve got you at least thinking about putting in a fall garden this year, it’s time to talk about the pros and cons. Don’t get me wrong: I am a huge fan of fall gardening. In fact, it’s probably my favorite gardening season of the year, and my favorite selection of vegetables. (Grass-fed lamb stew with home-grown carrots, turnips, and rutabagas served over a pile of steamed rice…be still my beating heart.)

But let’s get real for a second here. Although there are some huge advantages to fall gardening–which we’ll discuss momentarily–there are still the usual gardening challenges like pests and weather extremes. Fortunately, these challenges can be a little easier to deal with in the fall than at other times of the year. But the success of your fall garden hinges on being prepared for those challenges.

Before we launch into the trials, however, let’s hit some of the triumphs.

Triumph #1:

Eating fresh produce from the garden well past the first frost feels good and makes you more resilient.

Just when your summer veggies are biting the dust, your fall crops will be gearing up for production. You can enjoy fresh vegetables and herbs from your garden well into the fall and even early winter (depending on where you live and how well you practice season-extending techniques). Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have to come out of cans: it can come straight out of the garden. Just wash off the dirt and get cooking. If you’ve not yet had that experience, let me tell you that it is a distinctly empowering feeling.

Learning how to grow a great fall garden also makes you more resilient. If, heaven forbid, it became necessary for you to supplement (or even replace) your diet with home-grown food, fall gardening would be a vital piece of that puzzle. Lots of fall veggies are perfect for lacto-fermenting, and here in the South many root vegetables can be stored right in the ground through much of the winter.

Triumph #2:

Better-tasting vegetables will inspire you to eat more of them.

As I mentioned in my last post on fall gardening, it’s a biological fact that fall-grown greens and root crops taste better than their spring-grown counterparts. Think you can’t stand the bitter taste of kale? Try it in the fall and you might change your tune! It’s not so much of a chore to eat your dark leafy greens on the regular when they taste downright delicious.

One of my most eye-opening gustatory experiences came in late December 2009, when I visited a friend who was taking care of a farm outside of Portland, Maine. One night, she prepared a ridiculously simple snack: carrot sticks and home-made hummus. But when I took a bite, my eyes nearly bugged out of my head. I was eating the best carrot of my life. It was sweeter than any carrot I’d ever tasted, with a crisp and juicy crunch. I expressed my delight and my friend told me that the carrots came from the farm’s fall garden. I knew right then that fall carrots were the only way to go for me.

Triumph #3:

Growing cool-weather crops in the fall saves space in the spring and summer garden.

Here in the South, a lot of cool-weather vegetables are just not an option for late spring and summer gardening. And even if spinach in July was an option, let’s face it: summer is all about the hot-weather crops like tomatoes, corn, and peppers. Why take up space in the summer garden with root crops and greens when you’d be better off devoting that prime real estate to the fruit crops?

We’ve gotten to the point where our spring garden is getting smaller and smaller as we shift the majority of our cool-weather veggies to the fall garden, leaving more space in late spring for cool-weather herbs and in early summer for planting hot-weather fruits and veggies. (We even had enough space for melons this year!)

Triumph #4:

You won’t have to spend nearly as much time weeding your fall garden.

In addition to saving space, fall gardening has the potential for saving you a lot of time in the weeding department, particularly if you’re up to speed on good mulching practices. Even if you’re not, the shortening days that work against your maturing vegetables will also work in your favor by hampering the growth of weeds. And tender summer weeds will disappear entirely not too long after the first frost. There are still some cool-season weeds you’ll need to deal with, but they don’t grow nearly as quickly and some of them, like chickweed and dandelion, are actually wild edibles. Jackpot!

It all sounds great, right? You’re totally sold on fall gardening and are ready to get your hands dirty. But forewarned is forearmed, so before we get too far ahead of ourselves let’s talk about the cons of fall gardening…the dirty little secrets you need to know about in order to have your best chance at success.

Trial #1: Late summer heat can cook tiny little transplants.

By August, when you’ll want to start setting out a lot of your fall crops–like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and chard–as transplants, uncovered soil temperatures can soar into the 100-110° F range. That’s more than a little challenging for those wee cool-weather transplants! So for the best transplant success rate, you’ll want to do something to modify the soil temperature before planting. You’ll also need to give your newly-planted seedlings some protection from the intense sunlight of late summer days until they get acclimated to the garden.

Trial #2: Insect pests are at their worst in late summer.

Insect predation can be a huge challenge in the late summer when you’re trying to get your fall garden up and running. Those tender baby plants are irresistible to the grasshoppers, aphids, and cabbage worms that run rampant this time of year. Grasshoppers are a special menace to those of us who do a lot of seed starting in the late summer; I can’t tell you how many mornings I’ve headed down to the hoop house to check on the newly-potted kale, chard, and cabbage only to find little gnawed-off stubs of stems where the day before there were pretty little leaves.

Trial #3: If you don’t start early enough, your plants won’t mature.

I talked about this in my last post on planning your fall garden. Now that we’re past the summer solstice, which occurs in late June, the days are getting shorter by a few minutes each day. By the autumnal equinox in late September, there will be equal hours of daylight and nighttime, and then past that point there are more nighttime hours than daylight. Plants rely on photosynthesis–converting sunlight to food, essentially–for their growth, so when there’s less sunlight there’s less food for them to use and they slow their growth. This is why it’s important to get your plants in the ground early enough that they’ll have plenty of sunlight and energy to reach maturity before the decreasing daylight and increasing cold really slows them down.

Trial #4: Even the hardiest plants will eventually succumb to cold weather.

While many fall crops are very hardy, some of them–like cabbage, lettuce, and cauliflower–are only somewhat hardy. Your gardening microclimate also affects how quickly even your hardiest plants may succumb to cold. If your garden is in a low-lying area–a frost pocket where the coldest air settles–you may not have as much fall gardening time on your clock as someone whose garden is on the top of a small hill or has a south-facing exposure. But we aren’t completely helpless in the face of hard freezes: there are lots of season-extending techniques you can practice in your fall garden to prolong your harvest.

Clochesfloating row cover, and cold frames are some of the most popular season extension techniques. Stay tuned for a thorough discussion of each in a future blog post, along with posts about how to deal with high soil and air temperatures and insect pests!