Sunday, 25 April 2010

Chinese Yam (Dioscorea batatas)

I first read about this unusual tuber on Ken Fern's Plants For A Future website and managed to obtain some tubercles from John in York. I've started them off in pots so it'll be interesting to see how they turn out. Fingers crossed they germinate, that would be a start.

5 comments:

Nome said...

These sound fascinating! I look forward to seeing how they turn out...

Joan said...

fascinating indeed! Please do keep us updated.

Compost John said...

They will grow!
They send out a skinny vine which wans to climb, and I suggest a deep pot as the tuber will elongate and extend to 3 to 10 cm in the first year, becoming bulbous at the base.
The following year, they double or triple in size and are big enough to eat, the year after they can be up to a metre long... and I mean a metre DOWN into the soil. If they are in a pot they will curl round the base. My blog post on them has photos of the biggies. They are difficult to dig up as they are brittle and break if you pull on them!
Good luck Simon, do let us know how they do!
Yours, John

Bruce Wayne said...

Instead of digging into the soil, we used to put them in an upright sack of mixed compost, manure and garden soil and place them near a tree or trellis for their vines to climb unto... when harvest comes, we simply cut the sack open.

Simon said...

I'll have to try that Bruce, would make them easier to harvest. Thanks for the tip