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The yacon in summary :
Latin name : Polymnia edulis, Polymnia sonchifolia
Common name : earth pear, yacon, aricoma
Family : Asteraceae
Type : Tuberculous vegetable
Height : 2 m
Planting density : 2 to 3 feet per m²
Exposure : Sunny
Ground : Rich in humus
Planting : March April -Harvest : November
Like the oca of Peru, the yaconwas introduced in France in 1850. It was then to replace the potato, threatened at the time by mildew.
Despite that great productivityand his ease of maintenance, the success was not there and the earth pearfell into oblivion. It nevertheless begins to return to the front of the stage.
To thrive in the right conditions, the aricoma needs a soil rich in organic matter(compost, potting soil, manure) and loosened in depth to facilitate the growth of tubers. Also make sure that the vegetable patch is well sunny.
Unlike potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, helianthis or oca from Peru, we do not plant the tubers of the yacons. Stump fragments or off-the-shelf plants are used.
Planting takes place in two timesIn early spring :
- In March, put the shards in pots in a mixture of garden soil and potting soil. Protect them from the cold and in direct sunlight.
- In mid-May, you can plant your feet in the ground in your vegetable garden. Be careful, the ground pear being a bulky plant, space the feet at least 75 cm apart to allow them to breathe.
As an indication, the productivity of the aricoma is such that 3 to 4 feet are sufficient for a family vegetable garden.
Very easy to cut, yacon can be propagated by cutting stems in the fall and putting them in water. When the roots appear, simply put them in pots and keep them away from the cold until spring returns.
Cultivation and maintenance of the yacon
The earth pear almost maintenance free.
However, we must do watch out for watering, especially during prolonged drought.
In addition, at maturity, the feet often reaching 2 meters, a stakingmay be necessary, especially if subjects are subjected to winds.
Harvesting and storing bacon
The harvestoccurs when the first frosts arrive (often around the month of November). Using a garden fork, gently tear off the stalk and remove the tubers.
So that your tuberskeep well, place them in a crate and cover them with peat or sand. Then keep them away from frost and light, in a cellar for example.
Note that after uprooting, the tubers show a pinkish tint, the latter darkens after a while. So don't worry if you notice it in your home - it's completely normal.
Think about the next harvest now and store your yacon strainsaway from frost and light. You can take them out when the good weather returns.
Diseases and pests
The earth pear is resistant to disease. Its only "enemies" are the rodentsthat attack tubers.
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