Aeroponic cultivation of ginger (Zingiber officinale) rhizomes

Anita L. Hayden, Lindy A. Brigham, Gene A. Giacomelli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) rhizomes are popular as a spice and an herbal dietary supplement. The anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea qualities of ginger have applications in the pharmaceutical industry. Conventionally grown as a tropical field crop, ginger is plagued by soil-borne disease and nematode problems. Aeroponic cultivation of ginger can provide high-quality rhizomes that are free from pesticides and nematodes and can be produced in mild-winter greenhouses. An experiment involving 34 ginger plants grown in aeroponics was performed in a temperature controlled greenhouse in Tucson, Arizona. The unique aeroponic growing units incorporated a "rhizome compartment" separated and elevated above an aeroponic spray chamber. Bottom heat was supplied to one half of the plants. Accelerated growth was observed in plants receiving bottom heat. One third of the plants were grown in units where the rhizome compartment was filled with perlite, one third in sphagnum moss, and one third without any aggregate medium. Those plants grown in perlite matured faster than the other treatments. The aeroponic units without aggregate medium provided an opportunity to photograph the growth habit of rhizomes over a three month period. Those images were incorporated into a 60-second digital movie that dramatically illustrates how underground rhizomes develop and grow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVII International Symposium on Protected Cultivation in Mild Winter Climates
Subtitle of host publicationProduction, Pest Management and Global Competition
PublisherInternational Society for Horticultural Science
Pages397-402
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9789066052598
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
Volume659
ISSN (Print)0567-7572

Keywords

  • Bottom heat
  • Controlled environment
  • Greenhouse
  • Hydroponics
  • Rhizomes
  • Time-lapse photography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture

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