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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 USA - Zone 5a 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
    New growth just emerged and some tubers ready for planting
  • Young leaves of Oka
    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 Jun 18, Melinda (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi - just wondered when it is right or if it is right to plant and grow yams in Goulburn, NSW, esp in the middle of Winter (heavy frosts, freezing conditions). Thanks!
29 Jun 18, Mike L (Australia - temperate climate)
Melinda , Read the notes - it is all there. Try Temperate and Cool /Mountain climates. A BIG HINT - when to plant and when to harvest.
23 Jun 18, Amanda (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi I live in Mildura vic Australia is it possible to grow yam here, as we have just moved here... Thank you
28 Jun 18, Mike L (Australia - temperate climate)
It does say plant (P) Oct to Nov for Temperate climate.
29 May 18, Lee (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
So, I have some yams to plant. Earthing up means covering the plants with soil a few times with soil as they grow? O
30 May 18, Mike L (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Earthing up means to build the soil up around the plants as they grow. Don't cover the whole plant with soil. Dig a trench about 150mm deep - plant the yams. Then as they grow back fill the soil. Even hill it up when you have back filled to level soil.
16 Apr 18, Sharyn Dunnett (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, How do we go about ordering some seed yams? What's the best time for our area to start planting? We live in Moore Park Beach, just north of Bundaberg. What sort of soil do they grow in? We have sandy loam and grow red sweet potatoes, but would love to try our hand at yams if they grow here. Thank you,
17 Apr 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
In the notes here it says they are grown similar to potatoes which would include Sweet Pots. Look on the internet for sellers. The diggers club or ebay have them. As long as the soil is friable and you add compost/fertiliser etc you can grow most things. A good time to plant potatoes in Bundy is in May so you could plant any time from now. I'm at Coral Cove the other side of Bundy. Mike Logan - phone if you like.
13 Mar 18, Rachel Rushton (Australia - temperate climate)
I ordered some Yams which arrived about 3mnths ago. I have put them in the fridge until I found out when was the best time to plant them. We are on the Gold Coast. Many Thanks Rachel Rushton
19 Jan 18, Rachel Rushton (Australia - temperate climate)
I ordered & received some Yams this week & wondered when is the best time to plant them. We are on the Gold Coast. Many thanks Rachel Rushton
Showing 1 - 10 of 129 comments

Store them in damp sand in a cool dark place. The damp sand (not too damp) will stop them from withering and the cool dark spot will stop them from sprouting for quite a while.

- 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. Gardenate 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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