Tuesday, 17 September 2013

You say potato... I say Oca?

Two things that my family LOVE are Kumara and Yams! There is nothing like a roast dinner with sweet potato and yams mixed with gravy :) mmmmmm... makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

I've never seen them in the shops to grow though... and as I've found out - they are hard to track down! There isn't much information out there - especially on Yams. The American's call NZ's version of Yams the sweet potato...... so that makes it a bit confusing trying to find information about how to grow them.

What I did find was several different methods to grow the kumara (sweet potato) which mostly involved using sand and sounded rather difficult! For Yams...... the only method I found was to put them in dirt?!? 

Most of the websites said you could just use the ones you buy from the store... 
which is good as I can't find them anywhere else!!!!

So I thought I'd do a trial with both the red and gold kumara using the three methods I found and just see what happened! Bring back memories of College Science Experiments? :)

Method One:
Put the kumara into a jar of water, changing the water every three days until sprouts appear.

Method Two:
Put the kumara in dirt and cover!

Method Three:
Put a 10cm layer of dirt on the bottom of the pot, followed by sand. Place the kumara in and cover with sand.

All of the methods second stage is to wait until the sprouts grow approx. 10-15cm and then break them off and plant them out. They all also recommend heavy non fertile soils for best results. They take about 5-6 months to fully mature in a good long warm season... so we are in for a wait!

The race is on!

Yams are a different story - Put them in a container of dirt, cover them and wait! They don't flower until 3 or 4 months after planting and then don't send out tubers until autumn..... So again, these plants could have a long wait ahead of them! They also need room temperature to sprout... so they might be joining the capsicums in the house if it doesn't warm up soon! :)

What's more exciting then trying something new?!

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