Scientifically known as Zingiber Officinale, the ginger rhizome is common in the Ugandan market and is known locally as Entangawuzi.
On the market today, there are two common varieties which include the land race which is characterized by small rhizomes and also the hybrid which majorly has big rhizomes.
Traditionally, ginger is known for its medicinal benefits as it could heal nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness and most recently, it is known for the ability to limit on your chances of contracting the deadly coronavirus.
How to plant ginger.
While selecting soil in which to plant ginger, for best results loose, friable soil would be a good option. It would also be highly advantageous to plant in mildly acidic soils and if the soil is alkaline, experts advice an adjust in pH to either 6.1 or 6.5 with the help of a pH kit.
It can either be planted in pots at home or in fields especially for commercial farmers. Mix your soil with an equal amount of compost then solarize your land to do away with pests and disease causing organisms.
Since Uganda is a tropical country, farmers are adviced to plant either late in the dry season or early in the wet season.
A farmer could either plant in 3 × 1 m beds laid out in a distance of 30-45 cms for each or small shallow pit for planting at a reasonable distance with an addition of cattle manure to each pit. Or through ridges where manure and soil are applied as a 5cm thick ridge, in rows that are 20-25cm apart. Seed rhizomes are then put at necessitated distances in rows and grow to make ridges that are in between 15 to 20 cm high.
Soon after sowing, the field is then given alight irrigation meant to facilitate the growing of the rhizomes.
In case you are planting ginger on a small piece of land;
You use the dug up method to grow your ginger. In this situation, you dig up holes and fill them with both organic materials as well as animal waste. Thereafter, a time space is given to let the organic materials to decay and create a soft hole for the ginger to grow.
Ensure that your dug up holes are protected from water logging, direct sunlight and strong winds especially before the ginger has germinated and sprouted out from the hole where it has been planted.
Diseases that may attack your ginger garden.
Soft rot or rhizome rot is commom among ginger to try to avoid water logged areas as much as possible while you’re planting since they increase on the chances of your plants getting infected.
In order to control fungal infections, solarize your soil before planting and also, trichoderma which is a biological control agent against fungal diseases may also be of great help while controlling crops against fungal infections.
The harvesting process of ginger.
Usually, ginger takes 8-10 months to mature depending on the variety and once it has matured, leaves usually turn yellow, dry up and gradually strat dropping off the plant. It is at this level that clumps of ginger are harvested using either a spade or digging fork.
Thereafter, you should separate rhizomes from dried leaves and adhering soil, sometimes it is advisable to harvest the crop after two years as in that time period, the yields would have doubled from the initial amount.
At the end of it all, an acre is expected to yield in between 2 to 8 tones while a hectare could produce in between 15 to 25 tones through the conventual planting methods.
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Why you should plant ginger.
You are assured of at least 10,000 kilograms of gingers in case you plant ginger on approximately only one quarter of an acre of land.
There is high market for ginger in Uganda as well as in neighboring countries of Congo and South Sudan.
Additionally, ginger is highly medicinal and one of the most recommended foods to acquire during the wake of coronavirus.