Ginger and Turmeric: How to grow the perfect pair

Ginger - Turmeric
Ginger - Turmeric

Ginger and Turmeric: How to grow the perfect pair

Granny Mouse Country House & Spa, nestled in the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, is your home-away-from-home. Not only does is it offer breathtaking views, fabulous food and luxury accommodation, but their gardens leave guests inspired, ready to transform their own upon their arrival home. Not only are the gardens pristine, colourful and beautiful to look at, but they are also functional, especially their food gardens.

Introducing the perfect pair, G & T (and no we’re not talking about gin and tonic), the ancient spice and perennial herb that belongs to the Zingiberaceae family - Ginger and Turmeric.

Although each is great alone, they’re even better together. Their union has been flaunted and it’s no wonder as they prove to be a potent combination. Specifically in cold-pressed immunity shots that have gained extreme popularity since the COVID outbreak. A mere cough will have you adding one of these vitamin packed shots to your basket.

Ginger also goes by the name of Zingiber officinale. Ginger is the star ingredient in gingerbread, ginger ale and speculaas, plus an accompaniment to sushi. If the sheer enjoyment of it all isn’t enough there are also the medicinal benefits dear ginger offers. It has been known to boost the immune system, thus aiding seasonal coughs and colds. Come flu season, ginger will be infused in a variety of homemade concoctions due to its antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It is often used in detox diets as it aids in weight loss and reportedly helps with indigestion too.

Turmeric- Curcuma longa- has a long-standing history with Ayurveda and India, but it was long used by ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans as food, natural dye, and as a cosmetic ingredient. With an outstanding past, its current popularity is no surprise. Over and above being a staple spice in South African kitchens and in kitchens the world over, turmeric is a natural wonder and is being used in face masks, lattes and to dye fabrics sustainably. A powerful spice known for its vibrant colour, unique flavour, and for making one glow from the inside out.

Not only are turmeric and ginger healthy for you, but they also add beauty to the garden. Plus, they are really easy to grow and you’ll love harvesting these organic treasures from your own soil.

Ginger and turmeric are both rhizomes and require well-draining soil with plenty of sand and compost. This combination provides the perfect medium for them to grow in. You’ll want to grow your ginger in a semi-shade position and your turmeric in full sun, however afternoon shade is acceptable. These are also long-season crops and will take at least a full season to get going – plant in February/March to harvest the following year in February/March. More often, people leave their roots in the ground and only harvest in the second season. This will give you much sturdier plants and three times the roots than if you only waited one year. The choice, naturally, is yours.

Ginger and turmeric are tropical plants that will do well in any frost-free area. If you get frost, then planting them into a pot is highly recommended so that you can move it when winter arrives. If planted in pots (at least 30cm deep), they will require watering every two to three days. When planted in the ground, you should water every three to four days.

Grow your ginger 5-10cm beneath the soil and your turmeric 8cm beneath the soil. Space each rhizome 30cm apart to give them room to grow to their full potential. You can harvest your ginger once the leaves begin to yellow and wilt (usually 8 months after planting). Both G & T’s leaves, flowers and roots are edible so you can incorporate all parts of the plants into your meals.

You’ll need patience with your turmeric as it establishes itself. Once established, you can harvest pieces of root off the side of the plant throughout summer. Also, look out for the swoon-worthy flowers that turmeric offers at the base of the plant. Enjoy the flowers and know that as soon as they die down, you can harvest your own organic roots.

Make sure to save some to replant – this is one crop you can harvest and then replant immediately.

These plants are hungry and will repay you handsomely if you feed them well. For best results, mulch with compost. A handful of Talborne Vita Green in spring and then a handful of Vita Grow or Pokon Vegetable Garden Bio Fertiliser in early summer will set you up for a great harvest. Plant them in soil that has been thoroughly enriched with compost or other organic matter and mulch them deeply. Water stress will see the plants producing smaller, more fibrous roots. If you encounter any pests we recommend Biogrow Bioneem.

Once harvested, you can consume G & T fresh, or store it in the fridge or freezer. To make your own powders, cut the rhizomes into slices and leave them to dry before grinding in a spice or coffee grinder.

Turmeric is a natural dye, so you will want to handle it with care unless are keen to turn your world yellow.


Immunity Shot Recipe



·        Ginger and turmeric

·        Lemon and pepper

·        Apple juice (optional)



1. Clean your organically grown turmeric and ginger well. You can peel the skin off if you desire.

2. Juice the turmeric.

3. Juice the ginger.

4. Juice the lemon after peeling the skin off or use lemon juice.

5. Mix everything and add the black pepper, as it activates the benefits from the turmeric.

6. Store in little glass vials and keep refrigerated for up to 7 days.

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