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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

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
20 Jan 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You really are sub-tropical not temperate - it runs all the way down the coast to Sydney, unless you are in the mountains in from the coast. This website says plant by the end of November. It also says grows like potatoes. - a good time to grow potatoes in this ZONE is plant April/May. Try then.
16 Oct 17, Deana weston (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Is there anyone that has any yam plants for sale or seeds. Or does anyone know where to buy them from regards Deana weston
01 Nov 17, Simone Wright (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have some you can have if you pay for postage
04 Dec 17, leonie mason (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I would like some if they are still available Happy to pay postage I am aware it's almost too late seasonally.But I have a warm spot for them Thanks Leonie
Showing 1 - 10 of 125 comments

I would like some if they are still available Happy to pay postage I am aware it's almost too late seasonally.But I have a warm spot for them Thanks Leonie

- leonie mason

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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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