Saturday, April 6, 2013

Differences between Jicama and Ahipa

I grew a few Jicama and Ahipa plants this year to see how they went in this climate. These are both related tuberous plants from the Andes. Jicama is a vining, short day plant and Ahipa grows as a small bush and is day length neutral.

My Ahipa plants grew well from seed and are starting to ripen their seed pods now. I didn't grow enough to dig up to taste their tubers but I will have plenty of seed to grow in spring. I did expect the bushes to be a bit bigger but I will fertilise them a bit more next year to get a bit more production from them. I have a dozen plants.

The Jicama (below) have been very disappointing. Most of them died so I only have 5 plants (I planted much more seed than the Ahipa) and because they are day length sensitive, they are just now starting to put on some decent growth, but far too late now to flower and set seed before the frosts.
The plants are very small.

If I try the Jicama again next year I will put them under plastic to extend the season.

In other news for today. I have just sown two new vegetables for the season - Heading mustard, which is an Asian vegetable which grows a cabbage-like head and is usually used to make kimchi, and Hon Tsai Tai, another Asian vegetable which is like a purple sprouting broccoli with a mild and sweet mustardy taste.

Apart from the weeds that are sprouting everywhere now that the temperature has come down, I am really happy about how things are going. I have lots of seedlings popping up and the blocks are going to look beautiful in a few weeks.

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