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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

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.
10 Apr 19, Ron Mackle (Australia - tropical climate)
Can I grow yams in the Fraser coast.if so where can I buy seeds?
29 Mar 19, Hemi (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Ive planted yellow the have grown huge when flowered how soon does the plant die ?
09 Mar 19, Khalid Cooke (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, I looking to grow some NZ yams or oca this year, some Im looking to get my hands on some seeds. A cost would be great and postage as I live in Tasmania. Cheers.
07 Jul 19, Sandy (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I live in the north of Tassie. I got mine from Allen’s garden centre in Prospect, L’ton. Had no problems growing them. Just dug mine up this morning. Hope this helps.
12 Mar 19, Bincy Philip (Australia - temperate climate)
I saw some of those plants (NZ Yam/oca) at Salamanca Market when we visited Tasmania in January. It is worth checking.
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.
Showing 1 - 10 of 145 comments

Yams/oka need about 5 months to grow before harvesting. They can be planted when the soil reaches about 17 degrees C (a bit over 60 degrees). if you can fit these requirements you should be right. Harvest them after the leaves have started to die down to give them the most opportunity to make size.

- John

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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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