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Agriculture > Spices > Ginger

Crop Management

Cultivation practices

Season of planting

The best time for planting ginger in the West Coast of India is during the first fortnight of May with the receipt of pre-monsoon showers. Under irrigated conditions, it can be planted well in advance during the middle of February or early March.

Plant rhizome bits of 15 g weight in small pits at a spacing of 20 cm x 20 cm to 25 cm x 25 cm and at a depth of 4-5 cm with at least one viable healthy bud facing upwards

Seed rate – 1500 kg/ha

Land preparation

Burning the surface soil and early planting with the receipt of summer showers results in higher yield and reduces disease incidence. The land is to be ploughed 4 to 5 times or dug thoroughly with receipt of early summer showers to bring the soil to fine tilth. Beds of about 1 m width, 25 cm height and of convenient length are prepared with an inter-space of 50 cm in between beds. In the case of irrigated crop, ridges are formed 40 cm apart. In areas prone to rhizome rot disease and nematode infestations, solarization of beds for 40 days using transparent polythene sheets is recommended. Provide drainage channels, one for every 25 beds on flat lands.


The seed rhizomes are planted at a spacing of 20-25 cm along the rows and 20-25 cm between the rows. The seed rhizome bits are placed in shallow pits prepared with a hand hoe and covered with well rotten farmyard manure and a thin layer of soil and leveled. Plant rhizome bits at a depth of 4-5cm with atleast 1 viable healthy bud facing upwards. 

Weeding and mulching

Weeding is done just before fertilizer application and mulching; 2-3 weedings are required depending on the intensity of weed growth. Proper drainage channels are to be provided when there is stagnation of water. Earthing up is essential to prevent exposure of rhizomes and provide sufficient soil volume for free development of rhizomes. The first weeding is done just before the second mulching and repeated depending on the intensity of weed growth during the 5th and 6th month after planting. If necessary, weeding is to be repeated for a third time.

Mulching: Immediately after planting, mulch the beds thickly with green leaves @ 15 t ha-1. Repeat mulching with green leaves twice @ 7.5 t ha-1 first 44-60 days and second 90-120 days after planting. Grow green manure crops like daincha and sun hemp in the interspaces of beds, along with ginger and harvest the green manure crop during second mulching of ginger beds.

Application of dried coconut leaves as mulch in ginger beds after removing the petiole at the time of planting is also recommended. Dried coconut leaves after the removal of the petiole, split into two at the midrib @ 8 kg/ 3 x 1 m/ bed or 5400 kg/ha for effective weed control in ginger. Subsequent application of green leaf at 45 and 90 DAP is not required. Tis environment friendly technology recorded 87% weed control efficiently, less incidence of soft rot (8.7%) with the B:C ratio 1.97 compared to unweeded control with no mulching.

Rotation and inter-cropping of ginger

The crops most commonly rotated with ginger in Kerala are tapioca, chillies, dry paddy, gingelly etc. Ragi, groundnut, maize are other crops rotated with ginger.

Ginger is also grown as an inter-crop in coconut and arecanut gardens. The employment generated in inter-cropping has been estimated as 108 man and 24 woman days. This is in addition to the requirement of man women days required for the main crop of arecanut and coconut. The additional income was Rs. 5,000/ha.


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