am trying to grow kumara. I planted the bulbs (one original bulb,
cut into three bulbs and then planted) around March of this year.
I realise that this may not have been the most productive time to
plant the bulbs, however I had no choice. The bulbs have produced
a large spread of vine-type leaves but have not flowered in any
way. Will the kumara grow under the soil or will they simply grow
on top of the soil attached to the vine? Am I correct in assuming
that there should be kumara towards December?
require a long, hot growing season and good drainage. Plant in September
and harvest in March. Tubers develop best in a light well-drained
soil. Heavy soils are not recommended. Plant in mounds 7 cm-10 cm
high to improve drainage.
Cultivate around plants
to control weeds eventually the vines will cover the soil
and prevent weed growth. Keep plants well watered as they grow.
Additional fertiliser is not required, provided fertiliser is mixed
in at planting time.
As the vines grow and
spread, occasionally lift them up and cultivate underneath to discourage
rooting at nodes along the stems. If this isn't done, a poor crop
Harvest when the foliage
yellows and dies down. Leave in a heap for six to seven days to
cure. If cold weather or frosts are likely, dig up immediately.
Allow the foliage to dry off completely before storing. Tubers are
mature when the skin is firm. If a tuber is immature it will exude
a milky sap when cut.
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH