Ginger Spacing in High Tunnels for Maximum Yields

Project Overview

FNE21-980
Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2021: $8,048.00
Projected End Date: 01/31/2023
Grant Recipient: Rustic Roots Farm
Region: Northeast
State: Maine
Project Leader:
Erica Emery
Rustic Roots Farm

Commodities

  • Additional Plants: ginger

Practices

  • Crop Production: cropping systems, high tunnels or hoop houses
  • Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns

    Proposal summary:

    Rustic Roots Farm proposes to study ginger spacing in high tunnels to determine plant density for profitable yields. There has been an increase in Maine-grown ginger for fresh market sales over the past few years as witnessed by our ability to sell out at every farmers’ market when we have product available. The health benefits of ginger are widely known and the interesting sight of full-size ginger hands at the farmers’ market makes this product extremely marketable. Our objective is to gather data on bed spacing requirements for the highest yields of Maine-grown ginger for increased farm profitability. We will study ginger research plots for two years, both in the ground and in fabric pots, to determine how intensively ginger can be planted in a high tunnel. Our farm has grown ginger in a high tunnel for the past two years and those years had widely different yields which we believe is due to different rhizome seed stock quality and inconsistency in rhizome seed size. This project will study ginger for two seasons and we will control factors such as rhizome seed piece weight and fertilizer application while looking at spacing variables in the ground and fabric pot rhizome planting density. We will disseminate the research data and conclusions we draw widely with other farmers in the Northeast as this is a crop that is becoming increasingly valuable on many farms and information on best spacing compared to yields is lacking from research and information currently available. 

    Project objectives from proposal:

    This project seeks to determine the most appropriate spacing of ginger rhizomes for the highest yield of fresh baby ginger. We will conduct this study for two growing seasons to establish a thorough set of data so our farm and future growers can make informed decisions about the best high tunnel spacing for ginger production. 

    Objectives:

    1)Research high tunnel- grown ginger using four in-ground test plots with four different spacing setups.  This set of data will demonstrate the spacing that will be the most efficient to use in high tunnels. For farmers looking to maximize their yield per row foot or dollar value per square foot of their high tunnel, this information will be vital. 

    2)Research high tunnel grown ginger using three different fabric pot planting densities of ginger rhizomes. This set of data will determine yields based on the number of rhizomes present in each fabric pot. Other farmers can use this data to compare to the in-ground plots to determine if pots have the capacity to yield more net profit based on intensively planting in a controlled environment. 

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.