With the feeling that we’re about to exit winter - mentally at least - we begin to contemplate what will make a grand entrance into the spring garden. On top of the list are rhizomes and tubers, that give us the first planting opportunity of the encroaching season. While they now lie in their dormant state, they will soon unleash their growing energy and provide the first true signs of spring growth. Rhizomes, if planted from mature stock, often provide the first harvests of the season too.
So before we enter spring in its physical sense it’s worth reviewing how best to plant and then harvest these varieties.
Rhizomes Asparagus, Ginger, Turmeric, Galangal, Horseradish, Rhubarb, Hops, Mint (yes, mint!)
Plants like ginger, asparagus and rhubarb are best grown from rhizomes. which are technically underground stem systems. They invade areas around the parent plant to extend horizontally and produce above ground shoots, in this way, new “clone” plants are created. In the case of ginger and turmeric, we eat the underground rhizome itself, whereas the above ground shoots are what interest us when it comes to asparagus and rhubarb. When it comes to hops, another famous rhizome, its flower cone is the object of our desire.