Want: Yacon aka Peruvian ground apple

gardenalive(Galveston, z9b)March 10, 2012

I would like to try growing those so called Andean superfood. If you have the plants or the starter rhizomes please let me know, and we'll go from there.. Thanks! Phil

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karyn1(7a)

I bought a couple plants from Nichols Nursery several years ago. I grew them for 2 or 3 years and was honestly disappointed in the taste. Supposedly if you store the tubers for a while the taste will improve. Maybe it did, but only marginally. They were very bland, almost tasteless but they do have a nice crunchy texture, similar to a fresh water chestnut which IMO is much sweeter with a better flavor. The plant itself looks kind of like tobacco and gets as big. Give it a lot of space. Since my growing season isn't that long I grew one in the yard and another in a half barrel. I didn't notice any difference in taste between the two. I also only got about 6 large tubers per plant but lots of medium and small ones. You use the small tubers for planting the following season.

Maybe with your long growing season and different soil the taste will be better.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nichols

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 1:09PM
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gardenalive(Galveston, z9b)

Hi karyn1,

Thank you for providing the link to Nichols' website! The current price for a yacon plant there is pretty decent. If I don't get a trade offer soon I may just go there and have a second look..Honestly, i've never ate a yacon before so I can't say whether or not I like it. Most people that have tried it have given it rave reviews so that's why I want to try growing it. But it's good to hear differing viewpoints as well. Hearing both sides will help us make better decisions..

One of my biggest concern about cultivating this plant is that it prefers a long, mild growing season. This place does get over 6 months of frost free weather so i'm not too concern about that factor alone. But in terms of mild weather, not necessarily as summer time can sometime get oppressively hot and humid. Anyway I want to try it and see for yourself. It's an experiment that i'm willing to try out because i'm a bit of a zone stretcher if I might add :)..Take care, Phil

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 6:16PM
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txaggiegirl(TX 8b)

You should be able to grow it in Galveston...I have raised it in my greenhouse in past years with little difficulty. The humidity works for the plant, but it does not respond well to the heat and 'shuts down' unless it is in a more comfortable space...

I agree with karyn...it was one of those 'good-for-you' historical vegetables that proved to be more trouble than the taste was worth and the plant is not terribly attractive either...you gotta work for this one! LOL

I would recommend calling and talking to Nichols -- great people -- to ensure the availability. It varies greatly with the season and call for the plant. If they know you are looking, they will help.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 12:26PM
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karyn1(7a)

Late summer's here are terribly hot and humid, often triple digit heat and humidity. I agree that the yacon does kind of wilt in high heat but it always recovered over night. I kept the container plant out of late afternoon heat and it didn't wilt nearly as much but the end result wasn't that different. Txaggiegirl I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one that was underwhelmed with the taste. Have you considered oca? It's another type of edible tuber, albeit much smaller then a yacon. It's actually a type of oxalis.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 9:08AM
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gardenalive(Galveston, z9b)

Ok so it looks like you guys are not too fond of it. Well this just makes me want to try growing it even more! Perhaps i'll be the exception here and enjoy eating it anyway..:) Thanks for the info and take care everyone...

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 1:26AM
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yukkuri_kame(Sunset 19 / USDA 9)

Would love to trade for some of this. I am in Los Angeles.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 5:10AM
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OLDGARDENGODESS

HI I would like a tuber or two. i have voodoo lily bulbsto trade as well as sting of hearts tubers med size. i just read the article on yacon. sounds good if it 's crunchy like water chestnuts. im in san fran bay area but the hot side in coco county.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 11:27AM
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