I'm growing Ruhi ginger, sourced from East Branch Ginger, through Puna Organics in Hawaii.
I'm in zone 5a, and I've met a farmer growing ginger in zone 4 who's had great results so I'm confident that climate isn't an issue for me. I'm just looking for tips on ginger growing, and how to take it from the conventional frame into a permaculture way of cultivation.
For example...East Branch Ginger company recommends:
"Ginger Yields Better with High Beneficial Soil Microbe Populations
Use products like Actinovate, Contans, and Trichoderma to build these populations in a soil that is not robust in beneficial micro organisms. These supplements are also helpful when growing ginger in containers with soiless media.
These beneficial bacteria and benecial fungi help ginger take up more nutrients; an important feature that boosts yields in your ginger harvest! These supplements are a very good investment, along with proper nutrition, to ensure a bountiful return."
So would adding pioneer deciduous forest soil into the planting trench have a similar effect? Since I'm already importing ginger rhizomes from Hawaii, I'd rather not buy actinovate and the like, especially if I can just dig up some forest soil from right here on the property.
I also am wondering about 'hilling' the ginger with hay instead of soil, as can be done with potatoes. I would compensate by adding extra manure to offset any nutrient tie-up from the hay decomposition. Maybe I should just hill with horse manure, I'm just thinking that hay would be quicker and easier to apply, and I have a lot more of it than I do horse manure.
Any other suggestions? Intercropping/polyculture ideas etc.?