jicama?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by sindhooram, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    Just wondering if anyone has grown jicama?
    If so is it tasty? easy to grow? can you grow from seed? does it like hottish places with monsoon season?
    many thanks!!
     
  2. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Yes yes yes and probably!

    I am onto my second growing season with it at present. Last year it just quietly grew in a corner of the trellis until it was almost forgotten. After it set pods, I lifted the plants to get the corms and dried the pods for saved seed - which has now been replanted. You can't eat the seeds or pods (poisonous) but the corm is really yummy. It's sort of like an under ripe pear in flavour and texture. You can use it fresh in salads or cook it up like potato. One plant got completely forgotten - I chopped the top off thinking it was something else and weeks later dug over the bed to plant something else and up came the corm - still in perfectly edible form. I like a plant that you can leave alone until you are ready to use it.

    It's a bean so you need some vertical space for it, but not much. You don't get as much root material off one plant as say cassava or potato so you need quite a few to get a reliable food supply. One plant feeds 2-4 people for one meal depending on how you use it.

    I'm subtropical and grew it through summer last year. Plants went in this year in spring and are going well. I don't know how it would go up your way but it's sure worth a try.
     
  3. Fernando Pessoa

    Fernando Pessoa Junior Member

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    Optimum tempreture is 25-30 degrees a number of different varieties,good sandy soil 5-6 ph needs drainage,nitrogen fixer,seeds full of rotone,when crushed and packaged makes a fair rat repellant handle powder with gloves use mask etc.Tuber is good raw or cooked.Everything else poison.
    I think I have the Pachyrrhizus erosus,but the Huwi hiris or beng kuang might be better for the tropics.
    Fernando
     
  4. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    I planted some Wing Beans and Jicama in similar spots something has come up but I am not sure which
    It will be a surprise in the future.
    Ive had Jicama and treated it like a green paw paw salad lime chilli garlic sugar fish sauce ,it was excellent.
     
  5. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Yes it will grow in your climate. I haven't planted the seeds yet but i have seen it growing at Farmer Joe's just down the road from me. We are wet tropics here.
     
  6. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Asian Herbs and Vegetables by Penny Woodward

    https://www.organicsaustraliaonline.com.au/prod2737.htm

    You should look into getting a copy of this book. Its fabulous. (%^if the price bothers you, bear in mind that you should get a 10% reduction if you buy it from an Australian bookseller because GST is a tax for sale within Australia. Maybe one of your bookshops could order it for you, however so you don't have to pay the postage.

    Many of the plants in it come from India so you should be able to find them.
     
  7. aroideana

    aroideana Junior Member

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    I have planted jicama in winter and got nice small plants with good sized tubers in a few months , no need for trellis .
    But if you leave them in you will get a head start . Indonesians grow them and seen in a book how some grow them up cassava bushes and then harvest both tubers together ,, very clever .
    Have a few recipes in my mexican cookbook collection .. 'Pico de gallo' salad , its a street food salad with all sorts of stuff ,,mucho gusto
     
  8. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    thanks for all the replies. I'm inspired to try growing it now - especially as I'm looking to grow more things I can eat raw in salads.
    The only thing is my soil problem....as I've posted on here its a really shallow, nutrient devoid stoney soil that is like a compact mud when it rains. (I was told laterite by a local person)
    Because my back is not in good shape I'm not able to do a lot of digging so I've been making raised mulch beds out of cow dung, weeds, fallen banana plants etc. We also collect a little beach side soil for incorporating when planting seeds and for container plants. This seems to be working well for tomatoes and leafey things, but that means I'm basically growing things in organic matter.
    I would like to make a place suitable for growing the jicama and also sweet potatoes. But I don't know if such a rich organic matter place like a raised mulch bed is suitable for tubers? If not what would be the best way for me to prepare a place?
    I have thought about growing in tyres - would jicama (and sweet potato) grow in such a system as the potato tyre stack ? Otherwise any other better suggestions?
     
  9. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Aroideana!!! Please post these recipes in the recipe thread.
    I've finally got some to grow and would like to know a tasty way of using them.
    Just hope I got my plants to grow with enough time to form up the root before winter sets in.
     
  10. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Sind I think you could grow jicama in a tyre stack, but sweet potato is a very rambling vine that needs some space. It is pretty good at breaking up soil as it pushes its tubers down.
     
  11. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    I'm definitely inspired to try out the jicama. Do I need something for them to climb up?
    My other remaining question is if I am preparing a place for them should incorperate cow dung into the soil as I have heard some root crops like carrot don't like it?

    I am sure sweet potatoes are good to break up soil, however I have had them going for 2 years or so in our garden in our uncultivated soil and they have produced only two tiny tubers in that time (we use the leaves) so without preparing something for them I can't get tubers....just not sure of the best way to do it.
     
  12. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    How do you use the leaves?
     
  13. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    Hi, we use sweet potato leaves as a spinach substitute. It can be used in curry or stir fried and is supposed to be very nutritious and tastes fine....
    a very easy way to get food from poor soil.
    So i guess noone knows about using cow dung in a bed prepared for jicama / sweet potato? i am just asking because making a raised bed it is an easy source of organic matter for me here to combine with other things....
     
  14. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    With Jicama I think the vine, flowers,seeds, seed pods and leaves are poisonous. Only the tuber is edible
     
  15. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I made a compost pile where I planned to put it, and it did include cow poo, but the pile was about 3 months old when I planted the jicama. I don't know whether fresher poo would be a problem for it.
    I'm going to have to try stir fried sweet potato leaves. Maybe with a bit of oyster sauce....
     
  16. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    I've normally stir fried them mixed with other veggies.... as the jicama is a vine does it need something to climb up?
     
  17. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    thanks for replying about the cow dung...I'll be preparing the place this month but give it a few months to break down well before planting....
     
  18. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I grow mine up a trellis, but I don't think you have to. One did just do it's own thing and crawl across the ground and still did OK. I guess it depends on how much space you have to use.
     

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