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Growing yams in Oz

Posted by Heather F 
Growing yams in Oz
July 22, 2017 06:03AM
Hi FL, I've found a place where I can buy tubers to grow here in Adelaide (the Diggers Club in Vic). They're selling 5 tubers for $10.95; pricey I know, but I just love them. Are 5 tubers enough to get a reasonable crop, or should I get 10? Thanks for any advice.
Re: Growing yams in Oz
September 14, 2017 03:06AM
Yams are a member of the oxalis family I think and they grow very easily at least here in NZ (Wairarapa) My friend grows hers in pots, but I'm not sure what her crops are like. I do understand that once you have them in your garden they are very hard to get rid of as each little yam left behind will grow more. I'd be inclined to get 10, put them in large pots and see what your crop is like, then you can decide whether to put them in the garden, and if you need more you can keep some of your crop, for next year.
Re: Growing yams in Oz
September 14, 2017 12:02PM
Thanks Griz (and Helen :-) ) I did get 10 and gave 5 to a friend who has a semi rural weekend property. He's going to put his in the ground as he has the room and doesn't mind if they keep coming up year after year. I am going to put mine in a grow bag, if it ever warms up here. Well it is Oz so I know in a couple of months I'll be hating the heat, but still very chilly atm - 15d again today with an icy wind. I'll report back after my expected glorious crop lol.
Re: Growing yams in Oz
December 12, 2017 09:31AM
Prophetic words in my last post! Today was 37d and tomorrow expected 38 - 39. This is the second burst of these high temps. The first round was followed by a reasonably long spell (2 1/2 weeks) of low to mid 20s, but alas the yams are not liking the heat at all. The friend with the country property says they are struggling and he's expecting to see them deceased when he goes to the place this weekend. Mine in the grow bag are hanging in there but only just, and are looking spindly. So I'm thinking it's a 'no' to growing yams in Adelaide. They'd probably do ok in cooler parts of Oz. And I was so looking forward to a feast.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/12/2017 09:32AM by Heather F.
Re: Growing yams in Oz
January 10, 2018 09:45AM
Just another update from Adelaide. My yams are actually hanging in there and even didn't do too bad last Saturday when we had a 'glorious' max of 42d. I drag the grow bag under the back patio when the forecast is for very hot, then back out when it cools off, and keep them very well watered. They still look spindly, but the stems have thickened up. So there's hope lol! The friend growing them at his w/e country place says all but one has gone to that big compost heap in the sky.
Re: Growing yams in Oz
February 14, 2018 02:39PM
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Re: Growing yams in Oz
May 08, 2018 03:19PM
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Re: Growing yams in Oz
May 25, 2018 04:13AM
Heather, did you manage to harvest any yams? I grew some a few years ago (in the south of the South Island) however they were so small that we just dug them up and got rid if them. Haven’t tried since.
Re: Growing yams in Oz
May 25, 2018 06:26AM
Hi Chris, once the weather cooled off and we got some proper rain, the yams have gone a bit crazy and are growing like mad. Are they supposed to die back before I harvest them? I looked at them yesterday and thought I needed to top up the compost level in the bag. Not quite sure what to do next. I guess I could have a little 'feel' around in the grow bag. What do you think?
Re: Growing yams in Oz
June 05, 2018 10:01AM
Hi Heather, I am sorry I have not responded because I haven't looked at the gardening forum lately. As I understand it, you harvest them when the leaves start to wilt. I hope you'll get a good harvest. I was so disappointed. Perhaps our soil wasn't good enough. I love yams but what I grew was just pitiful and a waste of space and time. The price for yams at the moment is very high where I am, $6.00 for a kg, so I wait for specials but I am not inclined to try again such was the disappointment. I hope your results will be marvellous.
Re: Growing yams in Oz
June 06, 2018 06:53AM
All good Chris :-)
They really are growing and looking lush - far from dying down ready to harvest. I did find the label that came with them and it def says to harvest in winter. I'm now wondering if they're growing stems and leaves at the expense of the tubers. I was so hoping for a decent feed but now starting to think I may have the same result you had. I think I'll just leave them alone and when (or if lol) they start to die down, I'll have a poke around in the bag they're in.
Re: Growing yams in Oz
June 06, 2018 02:14PM
Heather - are you able to cut a hole in the side of the bag and have a poke around to see what is going on? It'd be awful for you to lose the whole crop, although I don't think it is likely that the tubers would be sprouting if the original tops haven't died off yet.

I particularly buy potato bags that have velcro attached flaps about 2/3 the way down so you can harvest a few early potatoes without sacrificing the whole bag.

Best of luck -- vegetable gardening really can be equally frustrating as rewarding, can't it?
Re: Growing yams in Oz
June 08, 2018 10:44AM
Hi Jenna - I'm planning to have a bit of a tickle around the perimeter of the bag this weekend, as mine doesn't have that handy flap thing.Fingers crossed!
Re: Growing yams in Oz
June 21, 2018 06:22AM
So - I had a very gentle tickle around part of the grow bag, and found one pea-sized yam (sigh). And they still have gloriously lush foliage.
Re: Growing yams in Oz
June 22, 2018 12:19AM
Ah, Heather. If your harvest is miserable you might have to resign yourself to some floral arrangementsthumbs up smiley
Re: Growing yams in Oz
June 22, 2018 11:02AM
Haha Chris - thanks for the laugh! I have thought of leaning the secateurs up against the bag lol.
Re: Growing yams in Oz
June 22, 2018 11:03AM
Haha thanks for the laugh Chris! A floral arrangement could be on the cards!

23/06 edited to add: how odd - when I posted last night I got a msg that said the exact same msg had already been posted and FL didn't allow that, so I posted the 2nd one and got the same response!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/23/2018 01:46AM by Heather F.
Re: Growing yams in Oz
July 27, 2019 12:10PM
Hi FL, I know my last post was a year ago, but I just had to tell you - I found yams for sale in a supermarket here today! There were (gulp) $15.99/kg, but I just had to have some so got about 500 gms. The supermarket is just fab - it's won world's best independent s/m a couple of times in recent years. About a 40 min drive from home so I guess that makes the yams even more expensive, but I didn't know they had them so it was a lovely surprise. The supermarket has a fantastic organic fruit & veg section; inhouse bakery; wonderful cheese and butter array, really really good meat counter, as well as several eateries, and a chappie playing classical music on a piano! And best of all, they sell a huge amount of local produce (don't get me started on asparagus from Peru, or US strawbs, both out of season).
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