lower. But it is not that bigger is better: if seeds are too big, more rhizomes are used, and the investment will be higher. So it is better to break rhizomes into about 75 g pieces (Table 6.10). One or two strong and short buds should be left on each piece and the rest removed, so as to pool the whole nutrition on the buds that are left.

Irrigation Before Planting: Ginger rhizomes sprout slowly, germinating time is long, and so sufficient water is required before planting. It is usually accomplished through irrigation after the basal fertilizers are applied, and about one hour before planting.

Planting Method: Immediately after irrigation, rhizome pieces are set in ditches at a certain spacing (Figure 6.10), paying attention that the buds are left upward. After that, the seeds need to be covered with soil immediately or else the buds may become damaged in open sun.

Seed Quantity: Ginger seed quantity is mainly decided by seed size and planting density. Generally, dense-seedling cultivars are planted 105,000 to 112,500 plants/ha; sparse seedlings cultivars are planted 82,500 to 90,000 plants/ha. Every piece of seed rhizome is 50 to 75 g in weight, thus the seed quantity is about 5,250 to 7,500 kg/ha.

Plant Density: Plant density has a decisive effect on the growth, clump, and canopy photosynthetic rates and yield of ginger (Table 6.11). With an increase of plant density, the indices such as plant height, branches, canopy photosynthetic rate, and yield are all increased to a different degree. But with a certain plant density, the indices mentioned above become stable, if the plant density is further increased, the photosynthetic rate and yield decrease.

The plant density of ginger is influenced by soil type, fertilizer and soil moisture condition, planting time, seed quantity, field management, and other factors. So the optimum plant density is not stable but changes. The quantity should be adjusted to local conditions and be determined according to types of cultivars and other conditions.

Figure 6.10 Sketch map of ginger planting method.

Table 6.11 Effect of plant density on growth, photosynthesis, and yield of ginger

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