This candy root vegetable tastes slightly like an apple.
Jicama, a vegetable primarily grown and eaten south of the border, is quick changing into a snack meals and a wholesome alternative to fries and chips. With a texture akin to water chestnuts and a candy, virtually nutty taste, jicama lends itself to each savory dishes and desserts the place it is generally used as a lower-carb apple substitute. This root vegetable has even made it onto the lunch menu in many colleges.
Native to Mexico and Central America, jicama has been cultivated for hundreds of years. Jicama grows exceptionally well in tropical zones, the place its lengthy vines can attain upwards of 15 to twenty ft. Exterior the tropics and subtropics, jicama is frost tender and have to be protected for correct development and harvest.
Though most jicama is grown commercially within the tropics and subtropics, it may be grown as an annual crop in areas with lengthy, sizzling summers. Being a day-length delicate plant, jicama wants a protracted interval of heat climate towards the top of the season when days are shorter than 9 hours earlier than the vegetation will start to provide tubers. Protection from frost is important to harvesting good-sized tubers in colder climates.
The place to Plant Jicama
Jicama grows exceptionally tall within the tropics and can even attain upwards of 10–15 ft when grown in cooler climates as an annual. Plant these climbers the place they’re going to have loads of sturdy assist and plenty of room to unfold. Though vegetation don’t require as a lot room on the base, tubers would require ample moisture and vitamins to develop rapidly in USDA Hardiness Zones 7-9, making it inadvisable to plant close to different crops.
How and When to Plant Jicama
Seeds should be sown indoors upwards of two months earlier than the final frost. This provides vegetation loads of time for the seedlings to get a head begin on development prior to hardening off and transplanting outdoors. Give vegetation safety from pests and wind till vines have grown giant sufficient to assist themselves and reduce the danger of snapping off tender shoots.
Care Suggestions for Jicama
Jicama wants unobstructed full sun for at least 8 hours per day through the rising season. Nevertheless, to develop tubers, vegetation should start to get fewer than 9 hours of sunshine per day to set off manufacturing. Lengthy rising seasons are essential for these vegetation to obtain sufficient heat whereas the times start to shorten.
Soil and Water
Jicama vines do finest in loamy, well-drained soils with loads of vitamins and ample moisture. Wealthy soils will present vegetation with entry to vitamins crucial for bigger roots and higher crops.
Be sure you preserve the bottom of the stem and any uncovered roots coated with soil. Any uncovered parts of the plant (together with roots) are extremely poisonous to each people and different animals. Don’t eat any uncovered roots.
Temperature and Humidity
Jicama grows finest in sizzling and humid climates. Nevertheless, vegetation could be grown in cooler climates through the summer season if began indoors previous to the rising season and never uncovered to chilly temperatures throughout tuber manufacturing on the finish of the season.
Fertilize jicama vegetation not less than as soon as a month with a high phosphorus fertilizer to help vegetation in producing giant, tuberous roots. Keep away from utilizing fertilizers excessive in nitrogen, as they may encourage the manufacturing of stems and leaves moderately than roots.
Keep away from pruning vegetation. Strong, wholesome vines are crucial for the manufacturing of enormous, edible roots. Pinching again rising ideas can assist to encourage shorter, wider development. Deadhead any flowers which can be produced to assist divert power into the roots moderately than the manufacturing of seeds.
Pests and Issues
Resulting from its toxicity, jicama will not be often bothered by deer or rabbits. Some vegetation, nonetheless, could also be attacked by aphids. Spray an insecticidal cleaning soap onto the complete plant, above and under the leaves, to regulate these bugs. Deal with each few days till aphids are now not seen.
Easy methods to Propagate Jicama
Jicama could be began from seed or grown from small tubers. Sow seeds roughly two months previous to the last expected frost date. Soak seeds in a single day previous to planting, then sow them a few half inch under the soil floor and place planted seeds on a warming mat. Seedlings ought to start to develop inside a few weeks and could be planted outdoor shortly after that. Plant seedlings about 8 inches aside.
Alternatively, small tubers from the earlier yr’s harvest could be planted and allowed to develop all through the rising season. Plant tubers at a depth roughly double their peak and permit not less than 8 inches between vegetation.
Often Requested Questions
Can jicama be grown indoors?
<p>Jicama grows finest outdoor with full solar and a protracted rising season of not less than 8 months. That stated, it may be grown with some success in greenhouses or indoors the place they obtain correct lighting. Crops grown indoors or in pots will have a tendency to provide smaller crops.</p>
Can jicama be grown in pots?
<p>Sure, jicama could be grown in giant pots. Pots ought to be not less than 10 to fifteen gallons to make sure vegetation have correct house, moisture, and vitamins.</p>
Is jicama toxic?
<p>Sure, all above-ground parts of jicama vegetation are toxic and shouldn’t be eaten. Solely devour roots which have been fully coated by soil all through their development. Potted vegetation could lose soil over time, and care ought to be taken to maintain all tubers fully unexposed.</p>