Q:

What are some tips for growing jicama?

A:

Quick Answer

Jicama is a root crop that requires a 9-month growing period, so success depends on starting the plants indoors in most of the United States. The tubers do not fully develop until the daylight hours grow shorter, which is when the leaves often require protection as nights grow cooler

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What are some tips for growing jicama?
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Full Answer

Before planting the seeds, soak them in water overnight. If planting indoors, 4- to 5-inch pots provide enough space for the young plants to germinate, but during the 8 to 10 weeks usually required before planting outdoors, gardeners must repot the plants to provide room for growth.

Once the jicama germinates, remove the weaker seedlings, leaving only the strongest plant in each pot. Once the plants are hardened off and the danger of frost is past, it is time to transplant them outdoors.

Jicama vines grow up to 15 feet long. A trellis or other supporting structure allows the leaves to receive the sun needed for proper growth. Jicama, like the potato, is a member of the nightshade family. All the leaves, stems and flowers of the plant are poisonous. If the tubers begin to grow out of the soil, gardeners should mound additional soil on top of them.

Jicama does not store well at temperatures below 50 degrees. Tubers last up to two months when stored in a garage or basement but don't last long in a refrigerator, according to Bonnie Plants.

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