This is the right time for ginger cultivation according to the traditional cultivation calendar of Kerala. This njattuvela is called 'Karthika' and there is a saying..
"കാർത്തിക്കാലിൽ കാനൽപ്പാടിൽ കാലടി അകലത്തിൽ കാശോളം നട്ട് കരിമ്പടം പുതച്ച് കാഞ്ഞിരത്തോലിട്ട് മൂടിയാൽ ഇഞ്ചിക്കൃഷിയായി".
It means, in the first leg of Karthika njattuvela, and in the shade,at foot distance,with the size of a coin,and covered with cowdung and mulched with strychnos nux-vomica leaves (supposed to be very cool), completes ginger cultivation.
I had kept some seeds in soil from last January, but to my surprise it all had gone bad. On consultation with experts, they say, ginger seeds should be harvested in March or so, till that time it has to be kept at the cultivated space, and then can be kept in soil separately. Also one person was saying, it is best kept in the soil and only harvest at the time of planting. When the roots are cut, it starts damaging.
By around February 2nd week, I had sown sunhemp in this area and watered it so that they will produce enough nitrogen in the soil and also mulch. To avoid watering may be we can sow it with first summer rain and mulch reasonably well.
I had bought 1Kg seed at 80 rupees per kg and cut this into pieces, making sure there is a germinating part in each piece. I had made 67 pieces from this 1 Kg.
This was cut and kept aside and the soil looked to be very loose, so didn't make raised beds for planting. Made pits around 0.5 feet apart and put cowdung and home made compost and then covered with soil. Later sunhemp was mulched above this.
Seeds which was damaged after keeping in soil
New seed 1Kg, cut to 67 pieces