More Yam Please: Growing Alternatives To Potato

Yams are heat local weather, winter herbaceous, perennial vines. The swollen, starch-rich tuber is their meals retailer, and that is what most individuals develop them for – they use them as a potato various, baked, boiled, mashed or as chips.

Yams want a frost-free, coastal local weather and succeed greatest the place there’s summer season rain and winter drought. They develop effectively from Sydney north to FN Queensland and across the High Finish and south to Perth. Whereas they’ll develop effectively in coastal WA, they may want loads of water.

I develop yams as a result of potato is an unreliable crop in Brisbane. I develop two varieties: winged yam, Dioscorea alata, and aerial potato, D. bulbifera. They belong within the Dioscoreaceae household. Yams are extremely productive, trouble-free, water environment friendly and area saving in comparison with potato (Solanaceae).

In my backyard, Winged yam (pictured) can produce a tuber weighing between 15 – 30kg in a single rising season. Aerial potato produces tubers in leaf axils on the vine and these are massive sufficient to reap in addition to the tuber within the floor, however they’re much less productive than winged yam.

Cultivation: To develop them you’ll want compost wealthy, freely draining soil. I develop my greatest by planting them in a gap dug two spades deep backfilled with home-made compost. For greatest returns, water them deeply as soon as per week in dry climate. Give every plant one handful of poultry manure each six weeks throughout the rising season. I foliar feed mine each fortnight utilizing seaweed.

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Winged yam is a vigorous vine, rising to in regards to the unfold of a mature passionfruit in a single 12 months. In Pacific international locations they’re normally planted across the drip line of huge timber. Their stems are skilled up bamboo canes to allow them to develop by means of the cover unrestricted. Their twining stems readily develop towards a fence fitted with wire mesh.

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If area is restricted, one winged yam will be grown in an area 60cm x 60cm and skilled up a sturdy wigwam 3m excessive. When crops attain the highest the cascading development will be tied in because it descends. They give the impression of being very engaging skilled this fashion. Simply make sure that the assist is sturdy, as these vines change into heavy in summer season storms. We filmed harvesting a winged yam grown this fashion for Gardening Australia.

Aerial potato (Dioscorea bulbifera) reliably produces edible tubers alongside its stems throughout late summer season to winter. Similar to passionfruit, Aerial potato can change into weedy in tropical and subtropical gardens, so it’s essential that if you happen to develop it you stop it from rising over your fence or up timber adjoining neighbouring properties. Unharvested, aerial potato stems die throughout winter, dropping their tubers which then sprout the next spring. Vines can attain 5-10m every season, relying upon care.

I benefit from the candy perfume of the summer season flowers and their lush development of aerial potato, however I’ve by no means seen winged yam bloom. However above all, preserve aerial potato vines tamed, skilled and harvested, OK? Aerial potato is typically obtainable from neighborhood gardens and supplied at metropolis farms, like Northey Road Metropolis Farm in Brisbane. I share my surplus throughout my Open Days.

The important thing issues are: 1. present a sturdy assist 2. harvest what you develop, and three. website crops effectively inside your property boundary so none escape

Pests: Yams at present do not need any severe pest or illness issues in Australia. Grasshoppers eat their leaves and leaf-cutter bees (that are useful pollinators of legumes) generally use leaves for making their egg laying tubes. You might discover mealybug on saved tubers. Merely dab these sap sucking pests with methylated spirits.

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Harvesting: Yams are winter deciduous, an adaptation to dealing with the winter dry season. In autumn their leaves fall, and through winter their stems progressively break up into items. Our cue to reap yams is when their leaves begin dropping.

Aerial potato tubers are simply picked off. Save the perfect for consuming and use the smallest for planting.

Winged yam tubers have to be dug out rigorously as a result of they’re fragile. They’ll develop 50cm or so deep and digging could break up them into items. After gently cleansing the soil off them, you’ll discover the crown will comprise a number of tuberlings (see photos).

Winged yams which might be starved of water have a tendency additionally to provide axillary tuberlings. Not like aerial potatoes, which have easy skins, the tuberlings of winged yam are coated with grooves. Tuberlings are a survival mechanism, and effectively watered winged yams don’t produce many: 5 crops right here coated a 30 m lengthy fence and solely produced 4 axillary tuberlings. These are value gathering for distribution as a result of there are few sources of winged yam.

Harvest time may also be planting time. Yams planted within the cool season gained’t want any water till they start sprouting. In my Brisbane backyard that is round October.

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Storage: I rigorously clear tubers of soil and retailer them below the home. I’ve by no means needed to shield them from harm by rats. Once I need to prepare dinner some winged yam, I simply slice off what I want. The reduce finish will dry, seal and heal with out going mouldy – so long as they’re saved in a cool, darkish, dry, effectively ventilated area.

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Tubers keep contemporary till development resumes in spring. When development resumes, tubers quickly change into spongy and unpalatable as a result of development removes moisture and nourishment.

Attempting to find planting materials: There are tons of of yam cultivars across the tropical and subtropical areas of the world. The Seed Saver’s Basis actively encourages native communities to proceed rising them. A yam celebration – a neighborhood present and inform – which founders Jude & Michel Fanton inspired within the Solomon Islands resulted in over 100 yam cultivars being introduced collectively for the primary time. The neighborhood was shocked on the variety, and determined to take care of a neighborhood conservation assortment.

Only a few cultivars are grown in Australia. I now have a second winged yam cultivar with purple flesh which I’m wanting to trial this 12 months. It was given to me by a eager Brisbane gardener and he reckons it’s nearly as good as the perfect potato.

You is likely to be fortunate sufficient to discover a neighbour, a neighborhood backyard or a metropolis farm that grows them, however aside from that you simply’ll hardly ever see them supplied. Joyful searching.

Jerry Coleby-Williams up to date 3.7.13

Through this article, we hope to help you understand more about Where to buy yams in australia for your needs? You are at the right place. We recognize that amidst so many choices in the market, it can be perplexing and confusing to make the right pick.

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