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Mutton

Growing yacon question

Anyone here grown yacon?

We bought three roots from Real Seed this year, did as instructed - started in greenhouse in pot, didn't water much - and up they came quite splendidly. Now it is time to plant them out. Their website says they do well in most places, and that you harvest by digging up the roots, taking off the tubers.

So my questions are:

If you leave a yacon in the ground over winter, with its tubers, what happens?

Does it survive?

Does it spread?

Was kind of hoping the answers would be "yes" so I can plant the three yacon, maybe harvest one, leave the other two to spread and in future years just harvest the outer edges of the clump (assuming I like what I harvest this year).
NorthernMonkeyGirl

*cracks knuckles*

I'll have to post pictures from.my actual computer zero but here goes...
I haven't known yacon to overwinter oitside but I haven't tested it either. The tubers are quite shallow and have a high water content, so I think prone to frost and rot.
What forms for each plant just under the soil is a bunch of dormant growing tips/buds. Then underneath these you have the big storage tubers. At harvest you take nearly all the storge tubers and stuff them in your greedy face (unless that's just me?). Keep one or two smaller storage tubers attached to the crown of buds to help water balance over winter. Next spring when it's time to plant, split that crown up. I could have got 20 new plants from one crown if I'd been delicate.

So yes, it will multiply fast with a bit of input.
Mutton

Thanks.

So if tubers are near the surface, it doesn't need lots of deep well dug soil?
(As in not my very best veg patch, but somewhere not so good.)
NorthernMonkeyGirl

I do no-dig, they struggled a little in cold wet clay that hadn't been mulched enough, but this resulted in geeral smaller sizerather than deformed roots. This year we are further south amongst old chicken bedding! I don't think they need coddling. They could get very tall, in which case wind might be an issue? Frost nips and eventually kills the foliage.
Perhaps you could leave one "free range" and report what happens? Very Happy
NorthernMonkeyGirl

http://oca-testbed.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/yacon-storing-and-dividing-propagation.html?m=1
Mutton

Thanks NMG

I am feeling a leaning to putting them in tubs for this year and moving them into the greenhouse to overwinter. Might or might not. Smile
Treacodactyl

They'll grow happily in tubs but be aware if they grow well they can deform the tubs. Something black bucket sized would be ok but ideally much larger.

I've grown it in black buckets and, when the foliage has died down, moved the whole bucket into a frost free garage/shed/spare room until needed or until I need to grow the next year.

Down here in Devon they've overwintered outside ok, but then we didn't have a hard frost last year. As mentioned, they can be susceptible to frost so if you get harsh ones it's best to treat them like a dahlia and lift and store somewhere frost free. Even if you can leave them outside you'll get a better crop if you can lift them and start growing the small growing tips early in the year, left to their own devices they'll grow quite late.
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