How I plant and grow yams -Yams are one of the best crops to survive in the world.  There are several varieties, from Lisbon yams to yellow, from potato to purple.  They all belong to the Dioscorea family, and should not be confused with sweet potatoes, which have not even a slight affinity.

  It is best to plant or grow yams at the beginning of the crop rotation as a crop in the first year after clearing the land.  If yams are grown after a long difference, they find a lot of mineral salts in the soil and give a lot of good tubers.

The best country to grow yams

  In many African countries, yams are planted in mounds 30-40 centimeters high and at a distance of 1-2 meters from each other.  These mounds were made at the beginning of the rainy season.  Well loosened soil contains a lot of water. Sometimes mounds are made only 2 or 3 months after planting. 

This grounding stimulates the development of tubers, but takes a lot of work from the farmer. If the soil is deep enough and deeply tilled, it is not always necessary to make mounds.  In this case, you can plant more tubers, and the density will be higher. Yams are planted at the beginning of the rainy season.  Plant them at a depth of 5-10 centimeters at a distance of 1 meter from each other in all directions or 90 centimeters per 1 meter.  This gives the tubers enough space for fattening, and the plant uses all the water of the rainy season.

  How to propagate yams

  Many species of yams bear flowers that bear fruit and produce seeds.  Thus, you can get new yam plants by sowing these seeds. But this method of reproduction does not benefit the farmer.  New plants grown from seed do not always look like mother plants.  Often the harvest is smaller, the tubers are too small and of poor quality and contain a poison called dioscorin.

  For all these reasons, it is better to propagate by cuttings.  But here you need to be careful. Take cuttings from ripe tubers, not from aerial stems, as is done with cassava.  These root cuttings make plants similar to the mother, and give good yields. For cuttings use pieces of tuber or small whole tubers.  To obtain regular germination and a good harvest, cuttings (whether whole tubers or pieces) should weigh from 250 to 400 grams.

  The amount of planted yams is a significant part (about a quarter) of the crop.  Much of the crop must be set aside and well preserved for later use at planting. Plant only fully ripe tubers.  It is best to use the part of the tuber closest to the crown.  This top of the tuber contains many growth buds and shoots faster than other tubers.  For this reason, the tops of the tubers should be planted in one field.

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  How I grow yams:

Dig the beds

  Loose soil is important for yam growth.  It is also important to have fertile soil.  Roasted animal manure is a good option and is best for chemical fertilizers if you do not live in a place where Dow Agrosciences spreas its venom.  As for my pit beds, I don’t need to add fertilizer or manure because the soil is re-treated and filled with nitrogen from the legumes we removed.

Plant pieces of yam

  Yams can be started with pieces of roots, with the “heads” of last year’s growth or with the air bulbs of some species.  Plant, but not too deep, knowing that the yam will grow down from where it was buried.

Water the Yams

  If it does not rain, be sure to water the newly planted yam beds.  Yams are a heavy crop, but cope better with water.  Also, keep your yam beds weeded so that they do not face root competition during the growing season.  I weed between the rows with a hoe, but near the yam plants I will weed by hand so as not to damage the vines or roots. When weeding, do not forget to direct the wandering yam vines on the lattice system so that they do not wander on the ground.

  Start growing sprouts.

 Yams are not grown from seed, like most other vegetables – they grow from pieces that come from adult yam sprouts.  To grow sprouts, cut the yams in half and immerse one serving in a glass of cool water.  Insert toothpicks at three points around the middle of the yam and hang it over a container half submerged in water. 

 Make sure the yams you choose look healthy.  If you notice a change in color or damage to the skin, your yam may be sick, which means that its sprouts may also be infected.  Choose a variety of yam, such as TDA 291 or TDA 297, that is resistant to Scorch, a fungal disease that causes spots and lesions. 

  Growing yams in containers

  Since growing yams requires enough space, you need to choose growing containers large enough for tubers to form under the vines.  You should choose large containers, such as half-whiskey barrels or homemade wooden crates that are at least two feet deep.

  The best containers are made of clay or wood, as these materials provide better drainage.  You can also use growing bags that are made of black felt fabric that drains well. Make sure that the pots you use have at least four drainage holes to prevent moisture from getting into the roots.

  Planting yams

  Once you have the appropriate containers for yams, the next step is to plant them.  To do this, you will need the following:  Yam pieces collected from your own pits or ordered by you from the nursery.  Organic soil and compost for filling containers.  An area that transmits sunlight all day or most of the day.  ° F (10 ° C).

  Once you have collected all your items, fill the containers almost to the top with a mixture of soil and mulch.  Then put a few skates on the ground and cover the roots with another layer of soil mixture, leaving the leaf part above the ground.  Water daily until the soil is moist for the first two weeks.  Slides should take root quickly, in a couple of days.

  Yams care

  Once the yams have taken root, caring for them is not a difficult process.  All you need is regular watering and every three weeks to apply organic fertilizers high in potassium.  Keep in mind that if you are planting yams, you need to tie the vines to a wooden pole to give them something to climb.  No rate is required for spray varieties.  As long as you provide enough water, sunlight and fertilizer, you should eat fresh yams about 120 days after you plant them

  The best time to harvest yams.

Grown as a staple food, the tubers of the yam plant are an economically important part of it.  Yams, as in other potato crops, are essentially a starchy or carbohydrate food, and its main nutritional function is calorie intake.

  The problem, however, is that the onset of yam ripening is not clear enough and the date of harvest is often irrelevant to the function and activity of the tuber.  As a result, farmers cannot accurately determine the best time to harvest.

  Collecting yams at this stage would have two main advantages.  This will help improve the quality of food and storage of yams.  It would also ensure that the farmer can use the same land to plant another crop, especially vegetables, until the end of the rainy season to earn extra income.  This will greatly benefit naturalist farmers.

  Using a simple harvesting technique, when the lower leaves begin to turn yellow, farmers can harvest before all the leaves have decomposed and be sure of a mature yam.  This will also mean that farmers will be able to use the fields to plant crops such as income, such as vegetables, until the end of the agricultural season.  This can improve the living conditions of farmers.

  Ecological and cultural requirements of Yam

  Successful cultivation of yams requires some knowledge of growing conditions and cultural requirements of the culture.  Due to the lack of information about yams in the Philippines, largely due to the fact that these crops have remained in the country for so long, this publication seeks to provide the necessary information, in particular about its environmental and cultural requirements.

  Environmental requirements

  Yams are climbers, so their vines need pegs for better leaf reflection.  Plants that are not provided with circles give a lower yield than plants with circles. Yams are alpine crops and should be planted in a well-drained field.  Optimal yields are obtained from sandy and silty loamy soils, although acceptable yields are also obtained from clayey loamy soils, especially those with a high content of organic matter.  Stony and highly compacted soil should not be planted next to the yam.

  Yams are usually grown at low and medium altitudes.  In general, the yam crop is falling above 900 meters, although it is reported to be grown at altitudes up to 2700 meters.  Although yams are relatively drought-resistant, they require sufficient moisture throughout the growing period, especially from 14 to 20 weeks after planting, when the tubers are rapidly enriched.  Watering should be provided in areas where the dry season lasts more than 3 or 4 months and occurs during the period of plant growth.

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