Source: Xianming (1961).

Source: Xianming (1961).

Figure 6.7 Configuration of ginger bud. 1. A healthy bud. 2. A weak bud.

Bud Position: The bud that grows in the upper part and toward the outer side is fat and strong, whereas those growing in the basal part and toward the inner side are usually small and weak.

Temperature and Humidity in the Course of Germination: Temperature and humidity are the important factors that affect bud quality. In the course of germination, a temperature at about 22 to 25°C can make buds fat and strong. If the temperature is higher than 28°C, in the longterm, buds are often thin and weak. At the same time, high humidity should be maintained. If the humidity is too low, the ginger epidermis may lose water and wrinkle, and the sprouting speed and bud quality may be affected seriously.

Method of Strong Bud Cultivation and Seed Selection

Sunning and Tiring of Seeds: Take seed-ginger from the storing cellar 20 to 30 days before planting, wash off mud, and spread on straw or clean ground and sun them for two to three days. This is called "sunned ginger." The seeds should be taken back into the house in the evening if the temperature becomes low. The action of sunning increases ginger temperature within, breaks up rhizome dormancy, speeds up sprouting, decreases the water content of seeds, prevents them from rotting, and is also convenient for seed selection. Then, pile up the seeds for two to three days inside the house and cover them with straw. This is called "tire ginger." Tiring promotes the breakdown of nutrition present in the seed rhizome and makes it available to the sprout well in time (Zhao and Xu, 1992).

In the course of sunning and tiring, seeds should be selected; strictly choose seed rhizomes that are big, fat, and fleshy; have a bright color and fresh flesh; are rigid, not shriveled, and not rotten or frozen; and have not been harmed by insects and disease. Eliminate the bad rhizomes that are thin and weak, shriveled, brown in flesh, or soft in quality.

Bud Enhancement or Bud Priming: This step induces young buds to sprout quickly, grow quickly and orderly, and prolong the growing time in order to increase yield. The ways of bud priming vary in different areas. But controlling temperature and humidity during germination is the key to strong bud cultivation. An experiment indicated that at 22 to 25°C, buds emerge in 25 to 30 days, and the young sprouts are strong. If the temperature is higher than 28°C, although germination is quicker, the sprouts are often thin and weak. If the temperature is lower than 20°C, propagules germinate slowly and affect the crop duration (Table 6.8).

During ginger s priming, humidity should be kept to 60 to 80 percent. If the seeds are covered too thinly with soil or mulch or the temperature is too high, they lose

Table 6.8 Effect of temperature on germinating time and bud size

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