Sugar Cane Growers

wizzard419October 20, 2011

Hi all, my cane is a long ways off from being large enough to harvest, but I was curious, can you harvest it at any time or is it only sweet during the last 3 months of the year?

Also, can I lop off sections at a time as I want to eat/chew them or do I need to chop down the cane to the ground lest the remainder start to decay/ferment?

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TnTRobbie

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/sc052

Cane really has to be harvested when it is mature. Cut off as low as you can. In a few weeks you'll see new growth emerging from the original root stock.
I've been growing purple cane for over 4 years and harvested it about 3 times. So yes, it is a wait.
To maximize growth, plant it in full sun. Some recommend the use of high N fertilizer to promote growth, but sugar content suffers.
You cant cut off sections as the top leaf part generates new growth (sugar storing sections). In my experience, when the new emerging leaves are severly damaged (insect, heavy iron/acidic sprinkler water), cane growth stops.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 10:08AM
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wizzard419

Ah, all right. When you harvest, or at least previously, do you use any sections as seed for new plants? I've been reading that you can take segments of the cane with bud growth on them and (at harvest time) simply stick them in the ground or water and they will start to root.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 2:57PM
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TnTRobbie

Sure did.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPraEesXRSs&feature=related

Although this year, the younger canes from the new shoots seem slower growing than the past years ones.

If you read the first link I posted, they talk about 1 bud per segement and how it boosts the chances of sprouting young shoots. The youtube video shows this as well.

I'd like to start potting them.

http://www.chewingcane.com/our_plants.html

I think it looks very attractive and ensures that they get 8-9 hrs of full sun.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 6:52PM
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wizzard419

Ah, very nice. By any chance do you know which type "Pele's Smoke" falls under?

Also, if I wanted to plant future cuttings in the ground, would that be as bad as planting mint or raspberries? Where it will spread like crazy and be difficult to remove in the future?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 7:32PM
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TnTRobbie

It's eddible. The leaves color is gorgeous.

I've seen yellow/black sugar cane in Guyana with thicker, shorter, compact leaves. I know for sure it was not groomed, so that was it's natural state.

I've heard stories like that from my grandfather (sugar cane cutters) that it spreads wildly. I'm sure if a mature stalk fell and hand prolonged contact with the ground, roots would develop and new shoots would propogate from the fallen stalk. But in the four yrs I've grown them, they all originated at different angles from original root stock (which is getting wider. Mabye doubled in size).

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 9:03PM
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