How to Grow Ginger (Luya)
Ginger can grow in sandy or loose soil, provided it is planted at a depth of about 30 cm, has enough water and which does not hold water when it folds or rains. It can grow in shady places together with tall trees or plants. It is most productive when it is 25% shaded.
Four Kinds that Grow Locally
- Our native ginger
- a. white ginger — small, very fibrous but most pungent of all kinds
- b. yellow ginger — like the white in kind except that it is orange in color, but the part above is dark green.
- Imugan improved native, bigger crop, with resistance to soil diseases, its leaves have deeper lines. It bears more crops than the original native, about 1/3 or 2/3 more.
- Jamaica “Oya” — pale and moderate in size. Dried “Oya” is leather-colored and aromatic, used in the manufacture of soft drinks.
- Hawaiian — bigger, stouter crops and yellowish brown flesh, sometimes pinkish not so pungent but liked by foreigners. This kind yields about 20-30 tons per hectare. It is good for making into powdered or dried ginger.
- One week before planting ginger, plow the field and remove all weeds and roots and make sure the place does not hold water when it rains.
- If planting will be in two rows, the plot must be about 30 cm high and less than two meters wide. The length depends on the farmer.
- If the soil has disease, sterilize it first by burning plenty of straw, or dried leaves of banana and coconut over it about 3 times.
- Plant only fresh ginger free from disease, about 20 grams in weight, and showing early germination. A hectare of land can accommodate about 800 seedlings.
- Before planting the ginger, wash them very well first in running water, and to make them free from disease, soak first for 10-15 minutes in chemical:
- a. dissolve 5-6 grms mercuric bichloride in a porcelain cup of hot water
- b. mix this in five (5) gallons of water
- c. add 189 cc strong hydrochloric acid
- Plant the ginger about 5 cm deep in every hill, about 25 cm apart from each other. Arrange the hills in pyramid shape, whether the place has good drainage or not. Plant the ginger sideways or lying down, and cover with about 10 cm thick soil. If the place is under the shade of coconut or other trees with good drainage, plant the ginger about 20-25 cm in a shallow hill, about 45 cm apart from each other.
- As in any plant, ginger needs fertilizer. If the soil is sandy, apply 400 kilograms complete fertilizer for every hectare (or 300 kilos if the soil is clayey sand).
- After planting, cover the ginger with plenty of leaves (ipil-ipil, straw or madre de cacao) to keep the soil from drying up, and to keep the soil from eroding when it rains. These also add to the fertilization of the soil when the leaves decompose.
- On the second and fourth month, apply fertilizer again, about 400 kilos complete fertilizer for every hectare.
- Always clean the plot from weeds.
- To overcome attacks of pests and aphid, spray malathion 5% active ingredient — 4-7 grams for every gallon of water.
- To overcome disease, spray Parzate or Dithane z – 78, 2 grams for every gallon of water.
- Diseases in the soil can be overcome only by sterilizing the soil before planting (as earlier mentioned) and in selecting varieties resistant to disease.
- The land must be plowed early to hasten its getting dry before planting time.
- Ginger is ready to harvest when the leaves turn yellow and begin to wilt, about 8 months after planting.
- Harvest ginger only when it is mature enough. In harvesting, dig every hill with the help of a fork, then pull up the plant, shake off the soil, and lay them on the ground. The branches and leaves may be cut off but take care not to hurt the crops.
- While harvesting, segregate the ginger according to variety and size. Put in containers so as not to hurt them.
Drying: Ginger rots easily, but this can last long if dried
- Soak and wash in water the fresh ginger. Scrape off gently all outer skin so as not to hurt the cells beneath this skin. Most of the cells that contain the oil and fragrance of ginger lie under the skin.
- Cut up the ginger about 1/8 inches thin.
- Dip in 2% sodium metabisulfite solution (1 ½ tbsp./1 water) for about 5-10 minutes, drain.
- Spread the sliced ginger on a wire tray or nylon. Dry in the sun or in the oven at 65°C until brittle.
- Store in containers safe from insects.
Harvesting and Preserving Ginger
When the leaves of the ginger plant turn yellow and begin to wilt, it is time to harvest the ginger. In a ginger plantation, three people should do the harvesting: one will dig up the crop with the help of a fork or spade another will pull up the plant, shake off the soil and stack them in rows.
The third will cut the stems and lay them for drying.
Care must be taken not to hurt the crops. Gather the harvest three (3) hours after, preferably late in the afternoon. Segregate them according to sizes. Wash well.
Storing: To make the ginger last even up to one year:
- Expose the baskets containing ginger to warm air (or blower) about 42°C. Do this 1-2 days in an open place.
- Air the ginger (normal temperature) about 5-10 days.
- Store the ginger in a place about 20.6°C at 80% humidity, or in a cool place if not refrigeration is available.
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