Its a fine sunny weather in Adelaide today. We spent the whole morning outside doing different kind of activities. The galangal rhizome sets that I bought from Green Harvest needed to be planted immediately. According to the leaflet they provide to us is that for short term storage- fridge in the crisper (not applicable to us we have a long time to go through until warm weather comes) or heel in (what I did today).
Heeling-in Dormant plants>
Heeling-in is a method for temporary storage of plants, Some plants prefer to be heeled-in if you cannot plant them out immediately. Choose a shaded position in the garden and either plant directly into the soil or use a styrofoam box as a temporary planting container and cover the plants with either potting mix or coco peat. Keep the plant moist but not saturated, When you are ready to plant the heeled-in plants in thein final position, be careful to not disturb any roots that may have grown. In frost prone areas always wait until after the last frost before planting out.
Galangal’s native habitat is the Malay Peninsula. The name ‘galangal’ is derived from the Arabic Khalanjan, perhaps a perversion of a chinese word meaning “mild ginger’. It is perennial herb, between one and two metres in height, depending on variety. The leaves are 25-35 cm long, rather narrow blades. The flowers are borne at the top of the plant and are small, white and streaked with a deep-red veining. The rhizome resembles ginger in shape and has a distinctive reddish colouring. The rhizomes are tough and difficult to break. It prefers rich, moist soil in a protected, shady position- such as under trees-and is drought and frost tender. In permaculture system it is a useful understorey plant. suitable for warm temperate to tropical areas.
When you divide the galangal rhizomes for planting make sure they are one or two buds on every rhizome sets (refer above picture if you are not sure). I can only divide 4 sets with the purchased galangal. Last year I planted four galangal sets as well.It still growing well expose to Adelaide winter now. It does not grow as fast or big like galangal planted in the tropics. My mother galangal plant is taller than 2metre back home in Malaysia. Galangal that I planted in Adelaide the tallest growing now is just my knee high (I am only 157cm). However in my experience growing galangal, ginger and turmeric in Adelaide, among these three tropical roots herbs- galangal is the most hardy growing in Adelaide compare with the other two.
This is one of the galangal I grown last summer. I was constantly worried that the honeydew that I grown vertically won’t fall on top of my galangal plant. I still have not harvested any of the galangal plants that were planted last spring.
It is a pity in Malaysia many young generation cannot recognise our root herb plant on site such as turmeric, galangal and ginger. My siblings too won’t get some of it right. When mama asked them to harvest some from her garden sometimes they bring back different thing…hahaha…But I myself don’t like to go fishing around galangal root when my mama give that task to me. The galangal root is so hard to cut through.
I noticed some of our carrots plant roots are pushed out from the soil because they grow to close from each other . Carrot seeds are small and not easy to sow them.I don’t thin them when the carrot top are small. I let them grow until we could get small baby carrots. Ilhan helped thinning the carrots. Ilhan got his hand dirty from finger painting in front of me while I planted those galangal sets.