wabikeguy(7 AB)October 22, 2010

I planted a yam last March just to see what would happen. We live in Lake Havasu. For over two months...nothing happened at all. Then It started to sprout. I now have several vines trailing around my garden area which are 15 feet or more long. I've been trimming it back because it's gotten so big.

Has anyone here grown yams or sweet potatoes before? Will it produce yams? When should I expect to start digging around for them?

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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

I have three large containers of sweeties going and plan to harvest around Thanksgiving time. They do not like the heat so that is probably why yours were dormant for a while. I planted in mid-June, expected growing time is 4 months. In colder climates you know when to harvest by yellowing leaves but that indicator does not work for us.

Let the soil dry out for a while, like stop watering now, and harvest 2 weeks or so later. Then you need to cure them for a few weeks in a warm'ish, dark environment. They will store well but are ready to eat in 2 to 3 weeks I think.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 9:45AM
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wabikeguy(7 AB)

Thanks for the feedback. I'll follow your advice...

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 6:32PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

Actually, I said it wrong.....they like heat so that's why they did not start popping until the temps warmed up. My books say to plant in mid-June, harvest about 4 months later. Sorry for the mis-info...WHAT was I thinking??? Maybe just a dyslexic morning. Let us know how the harvest is, I'll do the same.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 6:50PM
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wabikeguy(7 AB)

I kinda figured that, cause they just sat there till mid May...then took off like gangbusters when the temps started going over 100.

We'll let them dry out a bit, then start digging and see what we have in a couple of weeks.

Thanks again...I wasn't sure what I was gonna do with them.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 9:42PM
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softmentor(z9/sunset13 CA desert)

here is a new recipe I tried last Thanksgiving for the first time and it was a huge success.
Arthur's Holiday Yams
1 cup tangerine juice (orange is ok too)
1 cup soft dates (like Medjool, Black Sphinx, Barhi, or Amir Hajj)
1 stick butter
put them in a sauce pan with high heat and stir til the dates reduce to a syrup. (only takes a couple minutes)
pour over yams or mash into them.
Tip: you can leave date pits and citrus seeds in and run through a strainer or just hand pit the dates first.
Everyone wants more this year!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 7:28AM
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wabikeguy(7 AB)

Today was harvest day. I had planted it between two of my fig trees. I won't do that again, as I disturbed some of the tree roots when I dug up the yams.

All of the yams were within a couple of feet of the one I planted last March. Some of the vines are well over 15 feet long. Anyway...I dug maybe 8 or 9 lbs of yams...all from a single planting. There may be more, but I don't want to endanger my fig trees by digging around for them.

I had burried the seed yam with just an inch or two of dirt and over it and covered that with 4-5 inches of straw, and watered every second or third day through the summer.

I've never done root vegetables before (other than radishes and carrots), so this is new to me. I have to say I am really suprised at how big a yield I got from just one plant.

marymcp said to let them cure for a couple of weeks. They look ready to eat, but I'll take your advice.

And your recipe sounds great softmentor. We'll try it.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2010 at 2:41PM
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juju222(z9 AZ)

I planted a sweet potato in a window box because it had started to sprout. It has grown vines all summer and it never occurred to me that it might grow more potatoes! Should I be on the lookout, or would that only happen in the ground?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 8:06PM
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