Growing yautia, eddoes, sweet potatoes etc.

garden_nerd(UK Central)March 17, 2005

Well, I've got back from the West Indian shop with a bag of knobbly roots. They cost about a fiver, if I had bought named varieties from a nursery I probably would have paid nearer £50. It remains to be seen what I get out of them!

After puzzling over which end was the top end and probably making the wrong decision I've put them into pots of compost with the neck of the tuber sticking out - this is because last year, several of them just rotted off without sprouting. Will it matter if they're in upside down? (What an incredibly stupid question!!)

Also, on asking the stallholder if this was an item that will grow I've been told, no, not possible. I gather this is because, like a dahlia, the tuber cannot sprout unless it has a piece of stem left on with growing "eyes". As there are various shapes, sizes & textures of tuber how can I know which ones this rule applies to?

I've put them in a W facing windowsill. It's probably an average of about 60 degrees F in my house. Is this high enough, and will they rot if kept too cold? Any experienced W. Indian / Latino gardeners out there that know what to do, and could advise on how to treat the different types of tuber? It's not helped by having so many names in various languages for the same item!

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It is not necessary to have a piece of stem on a tuber to get it growing. The sprouts will appear from the growth rings. When in doubt about which way is 'up', plant the tubers on their side, and barely cover. The roots will come out the appropriate end - LOL - that doesn't sound too good, huh?

60 degrees isn't warm enough to sprout tubers. Get a common heating pad, slip it into a water proof bag, and turn it on low. In about 4 weeks you should see new growth.

Don't over-water your tubers. They need to be only BARELY moist. Let them dry out between waterings. When they show signs of growth, remove them from the heating pad.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2005 at 4:32PM
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I planted a couple of eddoes (likely Colocasia esculenta) 2 weeks ago. Picked them up from the supermarket. I selected large bulbs (fist-sized) with green at the growth rings. I planted in tropical potting soil, kept barely moist and placed in a South window. During the night I put the pot over the heat vent. By the end of the first week I had an enlarged green cone forming. Yesterday the first sign of leaf broke through the cone. The other one with no green when purchased is still just sitting there. So if the growth tip is green, you will get a head start.

It is important to keep them warm, and just barely moist until you have growth or they will surely rot (as I had in the past).



    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 4:24PM
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