Ginger requires a warm and humid climate. The plant thrives well from sea level to an altitude of 1,500 m in the Himalayas, the optimum elevation being between 300 and 900 m (Pruthy, 1993). A well-distributed rainfall (150 to 300 cm) during the growing season and dry spells during land preparation as well as before harvest are required for large-scale cultivation of the crop. In areas receiving less rainfall, the crop needs regular irrigation.
Ginger can be grown in a wide range of well-drained soils of at least 30 cm depth, ranging from heavy laterite loams to clayey loam. Laterite loams containing not more than 30 percent sand or 20 percent clay and free from gravel have given higher yields (Pruthy, 1993). Panigrahi and Patro (1985) studied the performance of five ginger cultivars in three soil types in Orissa, India, and reported that in a sandy loam red soil, the cultivar Thingpuri gave the highest yield of 22 t/ha. Cho et al. (1987) recorded higher ginger yield in an alluvial plain area than in hilly or mountain foothill areas. Yield was high in soils having more than 1 m depth and with good drainage, and was negatively correlated with ploughing depth and soil moisture content. Liu and Gao (1987) studied the arsenic content in red soils and its effects on growth and yield of ginger. The total arsenic content varied between 76 and 1970 ppm. When arsenic was supplied to soils, the dry matter yield of ginger was decreased by 3.5 to 32 percent. Lee et al. (1990) reported that soils that were suppressive to rhizome rot had a higher clay content and lower pH than those conducive to the disease. The most favorable soil pH is 6.0 to 6.5 (Cho et al. 1987). Hackett and Carolane (1982) reported that soil with uniform loamy texture is more suitable than other soil types. Sahu and Mitra (1992) got the highest yield in sandy loam soil having the minimum bulk density (1.20 g/cc), moderate acidic reaction (pH 5.7), and high organic matter (organic carbon 1.1 percent) and available potassium (351 kg/ha). The yield decreased with increase in soil clay content and decrease in pH.
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