Today we’re going to show you how to grow yams with our easy to follow gardening guide. Contrary to popular belief though, yams are NOT sweet potatoes as they are from completely different plant families. Yams are native to Africa and Asia while sweet potatoes are native to tropical Center and South America and the Caribbean. Additionally, yams contain more sugar than sweet potatoes, and can grow to giant sizes of 7 feet long and 150lbs. Real yams also need up to a year of frost free climate before harvest, whereas sweet potatoes are ready for harvest within 100-150 days. There are also 600 different species of yams with just as many uses! So now that you know what the difference between yams and sweet potatoes is, let’s dive in and check out how to grow yams!
How to Grow Yams in Your Garden
Growing any variety of yam requires a tropical to subtropical environment. So if you don’t live in either of these environments or don’t have a greenhouse, growing yams may not be a good idea.
- Choose small whole tubers or portions of larger tubers to plant.
- Plant in good quality, well draining soil.
- These should be planted in temperate zones in March-April.
- Full harvest should be ready within 10-11 months.
- Make 42 inch rows and space each plant 18 inches apart and 2-3 inches deep.
- You can also plant them on hills, making sure to space them 3 feet apart.
- For best results, plant near a fence or build a trellis.
Caring for Yams:
- Plant only in tropical or subtropical regions.
- Full sun.
- Water regularly.
- Harvest in 10-11 months.
As you can tell, aside from being in the right environment, yams aren’t very hard to grow as they don’t require much care, only patience!