Omana Devasya, a 51-year-old farmer from Peruvannamuzhi, Kozhikode, has been using grow bags and sacks for her ginger cultivation for the past eight years. “Due to personal reasons, I have temporarily halted my farming activities for now but continue to distribute healthy ginger seeds for those who wish to start cultivating it. I also share tips with new farmers,” says the Kerala farmer.
She attained 4-4.5 kg of the produce from each bag. It all started when the farming enthusiast attended a training session by Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVK) Peruvannamuzhi eight years ago. But even the officers were surprised to see how Omana employed the technique of ginger cultivation in sacks and grow bags to get remarkable results.
Here’s the farmer’s step-by-step method of growing ginger:
1. Select big size grow bags or sacks for the process as ginger is to be grown in layers.
2. Provide a light layer of dry leaves or coconut fibre to ensure that the extra water is removed.
3.Mix soil, sand and powdered cow dung in a 1:1:1 ratio and transfer half of it to the bag.
4. Towards the middle of the grow bag, place 25-30 g of ginger seeds. You can either collect it from nurseries or local farmers.
5. Cover the seed with the soil mix and complete the sowing by placing another layer of dry leaves or coconut fibre.
6. According to the weather condition of Kerala, the second week of May, which is the period right before the monsoon, is the ideal time to start ginger farming. It doesn’t matter what the weather is if watering is properly done.
7. Water the mix at least once a week.
8. After 22 days of planting, you can spot small sprouts of ginger. Add a diluted mix of groundnut cake and cow dung in a 1:1 ratio. This is the only fertiliser we will use in this type of farming.
9. Cover the sprouts with this layer of fertiliser and extra dry leaves.
10. After another 22 days, take the remaining half part of the soil mix and repeat the process on top of the layer.
11. Based on the size of your grow bag, the process can be continued up to three layers. Remember to add the fertiliser after every 22-30 days.
12. January is the time for harvest. You can get up to 4-4.5 kg of ginger by planting this way.
Extra tips from the farmer:
- Ensure that the sprouts are not exposed to the atmosphere. Cover it with dry leaves or coconut fibre.
- Use the fertiliser four times during the process.
- Make sure that the sown seeds were grown organically. Otherwise, it won’t do well with the organic steps we follow.
- If there is no rainfall in your area, water the seeds twice a week.
- The grow bags can be placed anywhere with good sunlight.
- Following the method, a minimum of 500 g from each layer can be harvested.
Edited by Yoshita Rao