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.
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 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.
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.