Ginger is used to produce ginger wine, ginger beer, cordials, pickles and pharmaceutical preparations. A daily intake of 5g of ginger is reported to protect against coronary artery disease (CAD) and normally afflicts individuals who habitually consume fatty foods. Ginger is also used for soft drinks and different medicine preparations.
The ginger rhizome is broken into smaller pieces and these are used as plant material. The pieces should be about 50 to 75 grams in size and are planted into the plant area at a depth of 15cm.
Ginger plants should be spaced 25cm apart in rows that are 30cm apart. This equates to approximately 100 000 to 120 000 plants per hectare. Paths for the tractors and other implements are left every few rows and this depends on the width of the tractors or implements that are used.
Ginger takes 8 – 10 months to produce a god – sized rhizome or tuber for the harvesting of mid – season ginger in April and May for the fresh market. Late ginger is harvested almost a year after planting in June and July. Late ginger is sold fresh but is also dried and ground or used to extract the oils.
It is a good practice to apply mulching along the plant rows. This keeps the soil from losing moisture and controls the growth of weeds. Ginger does well in high rainfall regions – so irrigation is important over the entire growing period. An irrigation schedule of between 45 and 50 millimeters per week is advised.
Fertilize the plant each six to eight weeks, using organic fertilizer like seaweed extract or fish emulsion. he necessary nutrition it needs to grow ginger are:
Nitrogen – Essential for chlorophyll, proteins, and amino acids.
Phosphorus – It performs a vital part of respiration. Phosphorus is also critical to the evolution of enzymes, phospholipads, and nucleic acids.
Potassium – Necessary for yeast activation, osmosis, transpiration, also the opening and closing of the stomates of the leaves.
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