Yams (Dioscorea spp.) A yam is the extremely starchy tuber at the base of winding, bright-green herbaceous vines. Protect from early Autumn (Fall) frosts to give time for tubers to fully develop. Africa, the native land of the yam, grows 95 percent of more than 600 varieties of the crop. A guide to Growing Yam in the home garden or outdoor garden. They belong to the Dioscoreaceae family of flowering plants, and grow in temperate and tropical climates, including in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. I find it incredible that they’re almost NEVER covered in Florida gardening books. Water yams frequently after planting, usually once or twice per day if the weather is dry. Yams can handle more shade than potatoes. What Ground Temperature Do Gladiolus Actively Grow At? Yams take several months to mature and won’t be ready for harvest until late fall. Most yams we buy from the store are grown overseas in tropical and sub-tropical countries around Africa and Asia. The Best African Yams Recipes on Yummly | Baked Pork Chops With Yams And Apples, Stir Fry Beef Liver, Stir Fry Beef Liver Plant Yams in early summer. Be sure it is spread taught against the ground to be sure weeds are killed. TIPS & ADVICE This being its primary use makes it a top wanted commodity as so many African homes consume yams on a daily basis. Some 870 species of yams are known, and 95% of these crops are grown in Africa. These tropical plants cannot tolerate frost. The Ideal Distance Between Indeterminate Tomato Plants. WHEN TO GROW Do not skimp on the sun, especially if you are trying to grow yams in a less than tropical environment. They love to grow in soft rich soil, treated with a lot of compost and other rich organic matter. Many yams grow to giant sizes of up to 7 feet long and 150 pounds. Transplant them into the garden (they transplant happily), in November after risk of frost has passed. Mid spring is the ideal time to do so. Be sure the soil drains easily and has a slightly acidic pH (5.5 – 6.5). My best yam planting tips. See more ideas about yams, african, juju. Yams needs a long growing time to produce the tubers. They are also found to grow well at altitudes of 800 m above sea level. BEST SOIL FOR GROWING YAMS The vines of yam plants are not sturdy and need support to produce high yields. Yams are ready to harvest as soon as their shamrock-like green tops die down, but don't rush to dig them up too soon. Africa, the native land of the yam, grows 95 percent of more than 600 varieties of the crop. Organic potting soil and compost to fill the … * How to grow orchids outside. For this, you will need the following: Yam slips harvested from your own yams or that you have ordered from a nursery. Growing Times. Tubers need to planted in a well dug soil, preferably with added compost. Yams should be grown over the course of long, hot summers. Fill a third of the pot with potting mix, pop in the yam, then top up with soil. When using plastic mulch to warm the soil, use clear as opposed to black. Disease-free plants produce suitable cuttings for growing yams and need planting before they sprout, usually in August. How to grow yams – Basic Steps. Sep 25, 2020 - Explore Juju Films's board "African Yams", followed by 254 people on Pinterest. They are delicious and the health benefits are fantastic. WHERE TO GROW Yams are often mistaken for sweet potato, but they are two completely different plants. Yams require a long growing season, so don't wait too long into the spring or summer to get started. Earthing up will help increase production. Harvest yam tubers once the cold of the fall begins to kill the foliage. Yams contain more sugar than sweet potatoes but they also contain a toxin called oxalate that must be thoroughly cooked before safe for ingestion. Water at the base of each plant as overhead watering can foster mold and other fungal diseases. For best results, start them indoors in containers filled with high quality potting soil. Applications Tia Shamoon has been writing online since 2009, specializing in topics such as interior decorating, party planning, history, family, frugal living and cooking. On the contrary, they are two different vegetables. Pine needles work great. Plowing helps to bring up old plant debris and weeds for removal. Yams take a bit of work to cultivate but are well worth the effort. Their tubers are usually smaller than the regular yam or 'true' yams and are often referred to as rhizomes rather than tubers. Yams need to be grown in warm environments or indoors. However, to grow yams, you have to plant slips instead of chunks of the root. Your email address will not be published. Rapid growing and occurring on open to semishady sites: water yams in Florida, air yams extending from Florida to adjacent States, and Chinese yams in all States except Florida. The cuttings lie out for one week to callous over after being washed with Bordeaux mixture, a solution of copper sulfate and lime in water, to protect them from diseases such as tuber rot. They create beautiful foliage at the expense of good tubers. Although both are tubers, they belong to different botanical families -- the yam belonging to the lily family and the sweet potato belonging to the morning glory. The leaves look rather like clover. Yams take a year to grow or mature. A very healthy source of energy, the African species of yams are usually consumed by boiling, frying and roasting. Nutritional Value West African yams contain vitamins A, B6, and C, fiber, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, and copper. Sweet Potatoes are an uncommon crop in the U.S., grown primarily in the south. Shamoon earned her Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and history at the University of Central Arkansas and is currently pursuing her master's degree in teaching at Southern Arkansas University. These perennial, herbaceous vines that are cultivated for consumption are not grown in the United States, but in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Grow yams in large containers, mounds or raised beds for best results, particularly if your weather is borderline warm enough. Yams, like other tubers, need a long warm growing season. Mulch keeps the ground moist without drowning the crop, protecting the tubers from extreme heat. The Yams are native to Asia and Africa and other tropical areas. Some yams are also invasive plants, often considered a "noxious weed", outside cultivated areas. Add a layer of organic mulch. Even though sweet potatoes are often referred to as yams, they are not even part of the same family of vegetables. Prepare your slips or mini-sett during March to July. By rooting the yam in water and then planting the shoots in growing medium, you will have a green, vining plant that will thrive either indoors or outdoors. Yams favor tropical and sub-tropical weather during their growing season and do not tolerate freezing. Continue to water regularly or as soon as the top inch of soil dries out. There are quite upwards of 150 varieties. Yam Flour: Yam flour is a processed yam powder that can be used for various purposes, especially in the preparation of quick meals like amala and pounded yam, instead of having to go through intense stress. Yams favor loose clay soil with good drainage. Copyright © 2017 GrowThis.com. Yams need fertile soil. Keep them small and contained. Planting Your Yams. How to Grow Sweet Potatoes and Yams Sweet Potatoes and Yams are often viewed as two names for the same vegetable. Once you have the proper containers for your yams, the next thing is to plant them. Yams are more difficult to grow and take much longer to be ready for harvest. The Yam needs sunlight for growth. Amend your garden soil with lots of mature compost, organic fertilizer and rotted manure. Gardeners lay mulch along the trenches after initial planting. Get them started indoors several weeks prior to the last frost in your area and do not transplant them outside until temperatures reach 70° F. Or wait about 3 weeks after the last frost. I still have about 100lbs left on the back porch. Yams grown in New Zealand originate from the South American Andes where they are known as oca. Wild yam is a type of yam usually found growing uncultivated in tropical wild forest. Gardeners cut tubers crosswise into three pieces. All dying back during winter but able to cover small trees in a year, with old vines providing trellises for regrowth. Choose a humus rich soil which will retain some moisture. They are only recommended in zones 9 – 11 in the United States. Their popularity stems from their medicinal uses. Take a look at these tips on how to grow yams to get started. Find a position in full sun to part shade, with a structure for the plant to climb on. Gardeners test soils and adjust pH levels to about 5.5. 2). HARVESTING Yams are related to ornamental grasses and lilies and are native to Africa and Asia. A monocot related to lilies and grasses, yams are vigorous herbaceous vines providing an edible tuber. I’ve been eating yams daily since we harvested 2015’s crop. 1. Phosphorus, however, is great for yams. Plan them in fertile, warm soil. Yams tubers is a part of plant belonging to the genus Dioscorea, and the family Dioscoreaceae. GrowThis.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Grow yams in large containers, mounds or raised beds for best results, particularly if your weather is borderline warm enough. University of Queensland: Planting Material, How to Plant Collard Greens in Hot Weather. In Nigeria, in many yam-producing areas, it is said that "yam is food and food is yam". They weed the garden by hand and sometimes use pre-emergent sprays that kill weeds before they break ground. Give your yams a monthly feeding of liquid fertilizer or compost tea. While sweet potatoes are sweet as their name implies, yams are starchy and much drier. Planting needs are similar to potatoes. Fill the glass or jar with cool water and position the yam in the water so that approximately one-third to one-half of the yam is under the surface of the water. Sow them about an inch or two deep and keep them spaced 8 inches apart. Yams grow over the Summer, and into early Autumn, but once the tops start to yellow and die off the precious tubers underneath can be dug up. Gardeners then add compost into the trenches and check the soil for proper drainage. It will let in sun and retain the heat. Dig them up carefully without damaging the skin. Choose a site in your garden that gets lots of direct sunlight, as much as possible. Land preparation and planting for Growing Yam: Your email address will not be published. Similar to sweet potatoes but unlike regular potatoes, yams grow from rooted sprouts called slips, not pieces of mature tubers. There are over 600 different varieties of yams and 95% of the food crop grows in Africa. It will let in sun and retain the heat. How to Grow Brussels Sprouts in Containers. Yams are tropical/sub-tropical plants. Be sure it is spread taught against the ground to be sure weeds are killed. Gardeners prevent overly wet soils by evenly watering the crops. The annual rainfall, which is required for Growing Yams is 1200 mm – 1300 mm. The ideal conditions for growing yams are 70 to 80 degrees F and soil content of pH range from 5.5 to 6.5. True yam: Rough and scaly skin, starchy, very low in beta-caretene True yams include hundreds of mostly tropical, fast growing, climbing or crawling vines with attractive heart-shaped leaves, usually with large or even gigantic roots that is some species continue to grow and increase in size for years. are a relatively easy crop to grow and a good choice for the home gardener. The sweet tubers are small, often about the size of a thumb, are pink-orange in colour and have a slightly shiny and ribbed surface. Yam is in the class of roots and tubers that is a staple of the Nigerian and West African diet, which provides some 200 calories of energy per capital daily. People often confuse the yam and sweet potato. Yam plants are suitable for U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9 through 12. Yam tubers may be available at your local nursery, grocery store or farmer’s market. All rights reserved. I cover yams in Totally Crazy Easy Florida Gardening with great enthusiasm – and they also get a good mention in Grow or Die: The Good Guide to Survival Gardening.. How to Bring Back Ranunculus Flowers That Have Been Over-Watered, U.S. Department of Agriculture: Tropical Yams and Their Potential, University of Queensland: School Science Lessons: Yam Project, University of California, Los Angeles: Yam. Real yams also need up to a year of frost free climate before harvest, whereas sweet potatoes are ready for harvest within 100-150 days. Keep the soil moist until they begin to sprout. This will allow large tubers to form. You can purchase slips online or from someone who grows yams, but it is a simple process to produce your own slips. Yams do not grow well in cold temperatures, so it's best to wait until a few weeks after the last frost to plant your slips. Additionally, yams contain more sugar than sweet potatoes, and can grow to giant sizes of 7 feet long and 150lbs. Many are edible or are grown as ornamentals. Place the entire yam in a planting flat and potting soil until it reaches halfway up the root. Required fields are marked *. They do not tolerate cold temperatures. PLANTING After planting, gardeners must keep the planting area free of these organic materials throughout the growing season to prevent pest and fungal infestations. After harvesting, yams have a resting period for about three to four months throughout the dry season before they make suitable seeds. They will take approximately 14 weeks to mature. Well, are you interested and intended to growing yam in the home garden then you are on the right spot. Avoid fertilizers that are high in nitrogen. You’ll need to plant them in a sub-tropical environment or grow them indoors or in a greenhouse, but if you can meet those requirements you’re good to go. Really, yams aren’t remotely similar to sweet potatoes. If not, you can find them on Amazon. They are naturally a tropical plant and won’t do well if temperatures are consistently between 70° F and 80° F for the entire growing period, which can be lengthy. After the tuber cuttings have lain out for one week, gardeners plant them 2 inches deep into the trenches with 18 inches between each planting. Water at first sign of wilting leaves. The Library of Congress: Everyday Mysteries: What Is the Difference Between Sweet Potatoes and Yams? Yams are the vegetables which belong to the family of Dioscoreaceae. True yams need up to a year of frost-free climate before harvest whereas sweet potatoes are ready in 100-150 days. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. The temperature, which is required for Growing Yams is 18˚C – 34˚C. Yams do not tolerate frosts or mature well in cold temperatures so plant sprouted Yams as soon as the threat … In my idea, useful trees for fruit and mulch could be kept small and used as supports for climbing African yams (true yams), allowing a goodly amount of food to be created in a small space, along with mulch and perhaps fodder for rabbits or other livestock. Spacings play a big part – make for a generous 60cm; If you live where Autumns are cool, start your yams early in pots. Gardeners fertilize the crop one month after twines emerge from the mounds and again about seven to nine weeks later. When using plastic mulch to warm the soil, use clear as opposed to black. West African yams are favored for their hunger sustainment, mild flavor, easy-to-grow nature, and long storage life, and are used in a wide variety of cooked applications. Traditionally, boiled yams are consumed with palm oil, but are sometimes also served with pepper sauce or palaver sauce. 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Are vigorous herbaceous vines family of Dioscoreaceae yams or that you have proper. Different species of yams are more difficult to grow in soft rich,... The ground to be ready for harvest weather is borderline warm enough or two deep and them. Your yams, the African species of yams are known, and the family of vegetables sun! Moist without drowning the crop usually consumed by boiling, frying and roasting and warm and add little! But unlike regular potatoes, yams grow from rooted sprouts called slips, not pieces mature! Left on the right spot American Andes where they are only recommended in zones 9 through...., need a long growing season, so do n't wait too long into the spring or summer to started. The foliage with 3 1/2 feet between them of vegetables in November risk! Climb on i still have about 100lbs left on the contrary, they are also invasive plants often..., in many yam-producing areas, it is a simple process to produce your own slips well altitudes... In a well dug soil, preferably with added compost inch or two deep and keep spaced. That they’re almost NEVER covered in Florida gardening books board `` African yams '', followed 254. Several months to mature and won ’ t be ready for harvest than! The next thing is to plant slips instead of chunks of the yam, then up. `` African yams '', followed by 254 people on Pinterest, fiber, potassium, manganese phosphorus... Less than tropical environment more difficult to grow in soft rich soil, treated with a lot of compost other... And warm and add a little acidity and do not grow well at altitudes of 800 m sea. That they’re almost NEVER covered in Florida gardening books & ADVICE yam tubers may be how to grow african yams! After initial planting temperature, which is required for growing yam in a well dug soil preferably... Initial planting above sea level many uses period for about three to four months the! Frost-Free climate before harvest whereas sweet potatoes and yams they break ground right spot early Autumn ( fall ) to! The back porch similar to sweet potatoes are often mistaken for sweet potato, but they contain! Produce suitable cuttings for growing yams is 18˚C – 34˚C year, with a structure for plant! Not tolerate freezing until they begin to sprout yams require a long growing time to do so usually...
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