Source: Xizhen et al. (2001)

Source: Xizhen et al. (2001)

No matter which mode of shading or covering is used, it should be done in the first 10 days of May, and it should be removed during the last days of July or during the first 10 days of August, because at that time, the weather becomes cooler, the light intensity gradually reduces, and the plants enter into the vigorous growing stage in which the tillers expand rapidly and begin to shade each other. If mulch is not removed in time, it may cause sunlight deficiency and have an adverse effect on leaf area expansion, growth, and yield.

The frost-free period is shorter in the north of China. It is one of the important factors that limit ginger production. Film mulch used in ginger not only helps plants prolong the growing stage, and makes the assimilation organs grow in strength early, gain a bigger assimilation system, and increase yield, but also enhances soil temperature and conserves moisture, controls weed growth, and decreases tillage times, thereby saving labor and cost. The planting time when film mulch is used should be earlier—in April. Thus, the planting time can be advanced by 20 to 30 days and the yield could be increased by about 20 percent (Table 6.17). The actual method is: after planting, cover 1.2 or 2.4 mm wide film tightly on ridges or beds, and press it tightly with soil. Keep the bottom of the trench and film to about 15 cm. When buds break through the earth and push into the film, punch holes in the film to pull seedlings through. The temperature goes up by the end of June and the film mulch should be removed.

Table 6.17 Effect of film mulch on ginger growth and yield (1994)

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