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Growing Yam/Oka, also Oca

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                    P  

(Best months for growing Yam/Oka in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Plant tubers

  • Plant tubers about 5cm (1.5") deep covered with soil. Best planted at soil temperatures between 63°F and 95°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 12 - 18 inches apart
  • Harvest in 15-20 weeks. Leave in the ground until foliage has completely died down so tubers reach maximum size.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Best in separate bed
  • New growth just emerged and some tubers ready for planting
  • Young leaves of Oka

Yams needs a long growing time to produce the tubers.

Protect from early Autumn (Fall) frosts to give time for tubers to fully develop.

Planting needs are similar to potatoes. Yams can handle more shade than potatoes. Earthing up will help increase production.

The leaves look rather like clover. Dig up after the plant dies down and leave outside for a few days to dry.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Yam/Oka

Scrub and boil or roast with other vegetables.

Your comments and tips

27 Oct 19, Erica Blackwood (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Hi there, I have my yams in a bath tub, is there anything else I can plant in there with them?
29 Oct 19, Anon (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
You might be able to, but I'M a big believer that each crop has it's own space to grow. If you want to produce great yams why would you plant something else next to them to grab some of the fert, water etc. Each crop requires a minimum spacing between plants and between rows to produce a good. crop. Go and buy another bath tub, dig some ground up etc.
06 Aug 19, Twyla Mac (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Hi, How do I best store yams before planting?
14 Aug 19, (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Google - storing yams before planting.
19 Jul 19, Claire (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Hi, Do we wait for the yams to start to ‘seed’ before planting them like potatoes? Thanks.
22 Jul 19, (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
You could wait, but just plant when they say so.
29 Mar 19, Hemi (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Ive planted yellow the have grown huge when flowered how soon does the plant die ?
20 Feb 19, Carl-Philip (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
My yams have taken off. Growing about 6 feet now from the garden. Do I cut the vines back? . Like kumara.
24 Feb 19, Mike (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Sounds like too much fertiliser - nitrogen - to have a massive leaf crop. Cut them back to half.
03 Oct 18, cheryl (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi I grew my yams in big bucket & deep wheel barrow but after harvest 50% went rotten< I left them out to cure in the sun under a roof covered @ night, I v been doing this for years with no problems, Why?? Second problem is I can "t grow parsnips I v tried pouring hot water over rows after planting, the board trick, no luck at all. I live in Southland but don"t hold that against me.
Showing 1 - 10 of 20 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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