Kumara question

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by mischief, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    We are growing kumara for the first time.
    I have planted them out at 1m metre betwen the rows and wonder if something could be planted inbetween the rows or would they soon take over the whole area?
     
  2. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    I planted kumara a few years ago. The vines really spread and would have gone a lot further if they'd had more water. The ungrateful sods didn't appreciate the desert I planted them in:p I think a traditional technique is to continually lift the vines to stop them rooting everywhere, concentrating the plant's energy a bit. So I assume you could keep them vaguely in a row. Maybe plant another scrambler like a really staunch pumpkin.
     
  3. Don Hansford

    Don Hansford Junior Member

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    Try peas (any of the upright varieties - they will (usually) grow high and quick enough to survive, crop, and then die off before the kumara is ready to harvest.
     
  4. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Are you trying to plant something in between the rows to stop them spreading or just trying to interplant them?

    If the latter, then you could plant anything with a different root system. I've planted my sweet potato as a ground cover along the border of my property where the shrubs are growing. They are also rambling over the pineapples. I don't mind. They are pretty harmless in my view and quite pretty. The ducks are chewing on the potatoes they've grown. I've got purple ones with white flesh. I don't really want ot eat them myself. But one was a bloody big bugger. About the size of two fists held side by side. (women's fists that is).
     
  5. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Thanks for the ideas.
    I was looking more at the intercropping thing and wondering what could go there, as well as, if it was even worthwhile doing because they are supposed to grow so rampantly(but not under corn haha).

    Peas dont seem to like me,I dont seem to get a very good crop with them whether I sow them in winter or spring, dont know what I'm doing wrong with them.

    I think perhaps ther is one down side on growing on the highest point of the section and that is with such free draining soil I maybe need to look at watering more often than I expected to.
    Been trying to go with nature on this point as much as poss,might not be the right thing to be doing until I get alot more organic matter into the soil.
     
  6. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I've given over a sloping area to the front of my house to kumera. One plant and 2 years later it covers a very large area. If you have a spot that you can't effectively garden you could put in kumera and just leave it to do it's thing. I don't do anything to look after it, and once every few weeks I go out with a bucket and fork and fill the bucket. It's probably the easiest, more acceptable feed I put on a plate that grows in my garden.
     
  7. Try Reason

    Try Reason Junior Member

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    I've read that you can trellis them to an extent. I would like to plant them around the base of mango and macadamia tree but the space would only be about 1m deep. Do they cope well with partial shade? Would be happy to grow them up the adjacent fence to pick up the slack in space. Also would be interested in growing ginger and galangal in the same bed. Would these guys get crowded out?
     
  8. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I suspect so - they do climb and would probably quickly cover the ginger and galangal. Planting under an established big tree would be ok though. Mine seem OK in part shade.
     
  9. Try Reason

    Try Reason Junior Member

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    Eco, are you woried about root damage to the trees when you harvest? How deep do the tubers grow?
     
  10. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    They are just under the surface and up to about 30 cm long. The tubers push their way through the soil and generally it's pretty easy to give them a wriggle and lift them out of the hole without disturbing anything around them very much.
     
  11. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Question: When do you harvest them? Do you have to wait till they have flowered? I have had mine in for about 6 months and there are a few under the ground but not sure if this is the time to pull them up. Subtropics.
     
  12. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Taken from the tropicalpermaculture site.
     
  13. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Thanks SOP. Still not sure if they are ready. Can't feel them under the ground. But I have heaps of runners of the purple with white flesh and the orange ones. Got them from that guy that sells the mulch at Caboolture. If you want some runners just pm me. I've got heaps of them.

    cheers
    Annette
     
  14. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Cool, will do. I have a heap of orange that I picked up from a farm in Bundaberg (not sure of variety) and some of the purple and white from one that just appeared in our cupboard. Both my wife and I have no idea how it appeared there and I've only got 2 or 3 slips from it.

    If you leave any in the ground, can I grab some Purple in Spring when they start back up again?
     
  15. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Sure will do. Just have to make sure I know which is which! Hopefully when I pull one out I will know where I put the different types in different parts of my small garden. It's good to know that the best way of growing them if to have about 6 runners and put them in the ground all together. They went crazy and I have to cut them back weekly. I did separate them out and forgot which ones went where. Eary alzeimhers!
     

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