Ginger is an important spice cash crop. It plays a vital role in ayurvedic medicines.

Climate and Soil
It is cultivated in tropical, sub-tropical and humid climate. It can be grown up at an altitude of 1500 meters with well distributed rainfall. In dry weather, a temperature ranging from 28-30 degree C for about a month before harvesting is ideal. It requires high humidity throughout the growth.
Soil should be rich in humus, light, loose, friable, well drained and at least 30 cm deep. Rhizome grows well in slightly acidic soil.

Land Preparation

Land preparation depends upon the soil and climate. Usually beds of 1 meter width, 15 cm height, and 6-7 meter in length with 30 cm wide channels between beds are made.

Propagation

Ginger is universally propagated from cutting of Rhizome known as bits. A direct relationship has been established between size of planting material and final yield. Bits should be 3-5cm in the length, 15- 20gm in weight and at least should have one sound bud.
Before bits are planted, it should be treated with fungicides like carbendazim andmancozeb by dissolving the 30 gm of powder in 15 liters of water as a safeguard against soft rot and to induce early sprouting.


Plantation

The plantation is done on the onset of monsoon. A seed rate of 15-20 quintals per hectare is considered to be optimum for planting. The spacing for planting of the ginger should be kept 25-45 cm between rows and 15-20 cm between plants.


Manures and Fertilizers

At the time of plantation, well rotten Farm Yard Manure (FYM) or compost manure is applied at the rate of 25-30 tons/hectare. The fertilizers may be used accordingly to the organic manure used ranging between 100-120 kg nitrogen, 75-80 kg of phosphorus and 100 -120 kg of Murat of potash. It is advisable to add 20-25 kg of elemental sulphur at the time of land preparation to correct the deficiency of sulphur. Half of nitrogen and entire quantity of phosphorus and Murat of potash should be given as basal. Rest of the nitrogen should be split in two doses as top dressing at the 45 and 90 days after planting.


Mulching

Mulching enhances sprouting, increase infiltration and organic matter. First mulching should be done at the time of planting with quick rotten of green leaves at the rate of 10-12 tons/hectare or with dry leaves at the rate 5-6 tons/hectare.


Irrigation

The crop grown in the month of April-May needs 2-4 initial watering at an interval of 7 days depending upon the soil types. After this, the crop receives monsoon rain and comes up well till the end of September. Subsequently, the crop has to be given watering commencing from middle of October and the end of December at 15 days intervals. In ginger cultivation sprouting, rhizome initiation and rhizome development are critical stages of irrigation.


Weeding

Weeding is done twice. Initially, it is done just before second mulching. It is repeated at an interval of 45-60 days according to intensity of weed growth. Rhizomes should not be disturbed, injured or exposed during weed.


Plant Protection

The mixture of 10 ml indoxacarb in 15 liter of water or 10 ml of novaluron in 15 liter of water is very much effective if sprayed at 15 days interval. It helps to control shoot borer and leaf roller. Rhizome scale insects can be controlled by dipping the seed rhizome in quinalphos by dissolving 1 ml in 1 liter of water. Bacterial wilt can be effectively controlled by treating the seed rhizome with dissolving 2 gm of streptocycln in 1 liter of water for 30 minutes.


Harvesting

Usually harvesting is done from the fifth months after plantation of fresh ginger. The crop should be harvested before attaining the full maturity, means when rhizomes are still tender, low in pungency and fiber content. And for preserved ginger, harvesting is done after 5-7 months of plantation. For dried spices and oil, the harvesting is done between 8-9 months when the crops are fully matured and leaves start yellowing.
Rhizomes that are to be used for plantation should be harvested until leaves become completely dry. After digging the rhizomes, it should be treated with fungicide like mancozebat, at the rate of 3-4 gm per liter of water, dried in shade, and stored in pits covered with 20 cm layer of sand alternating every 30 cm layer of rhizomes. These pits should be dug under a thatched roof to protect the rhizomes from rain, water and direct sun. Average yield varies from 12-15 tons per hectare. However, recovery of dry ginger varies from 20-22%.


Washing and Drying

The fibrous roots attached to the rhizome should be trimmed off. The soil should be removed by washing. Rhizomes should be kept under water overnight and then cleaned. The skin can be removed by scrapping. After scrapping, the rhizomes should be dried under sun for a week with frequent turning and well rubbed by hand to remove outer skin. This is called unbleached ginger. The rhizomes are repeatedly immersed in 2% lime solution for 6 hours and allowed to dry in the sun for 10 days while rhizome receive a uniform coating of lime and moisture content should be 8-10%. This is called bleached ginger which is light bright color in appearance.

GINGER CULTIVATION PRACTICES