If you are thinking about growing jicama in your garden, this guide on how to grow jicama tells you everything you need to know to get started.
If you have a taste for root vegetables, jicama is one of the healthiest plants you can grow. Although this plant is native to Mexico, it is becoming quite popular with gardeners all over the world as they are discovering its amazing flavor and health benefits. If you are curious about this root vegetable, look below at some helpful tips on how to grow jicama and see how fun and easy adding it to your garden can be.
How to Grow Jicama
How to plant jicama seedlings:
Jicama is not a common garden plant just yet, so you may have to buy seedlings from an online retailer as opposed to a gardening center. If you call ahead, your local gardening center may be able to order jicama seedlings for you.
Once you have your jicama seedlings, you want to choose an area with loose soil that drains well. It is important that the soil is loose and not compacted since this is a root vegetable and it will do its maturing underground.
The area you choose should be full sun, which means at least 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. You also want to choose a space that offers room for a trellis, since these plants need that type of support to properly grow. Seedlings should be placed 12 inches apart, but keep in mind that each seedling can produce up to 5 root vegetables.
How to plant jicama seeds:
Like the seedlings, you may have trouble finding jicama seeds at your local retailer. Ordering seeds online or via your gardening center may be ideal. You can start seeds indoors several weeks before the final frost of the spring season. Plant the seeds about ½ an inch deep in nutrient-rich, moist soil. The seeds will need 8 full hours of sunlight a day, so you may need to utilize artificial sunlight to achieve success.
Once your seedlings have sprouted and the threat of frost has passed, you can transplant them into your garden using the directions above.
How to grow jicama in containers:
While not common, you can plant jicama from either seeds or seedlings in a container. It is advised that you just place one seedling per 12 by 12-inch pot or container. This way the 3-5 root vegetables will have room to grow. You also need to make sure the container can support a trellis system as you will need one to keep the plant growing healthy.
How to care for jicama seedlings:
Your jicama plants will need lots of potassium to feed the roots of the plants. Choose a weekly plant food that is potassium rich to get the job done.
Continue feeding the plants 2 inches of water per week while keeping weeds at bay. You don’t want the root vegetables to have to compete with weeds for nutrients.
As your plant grows, it will develop a flowering vine above the surface. It is important to keep this vine off the ground. A trellis system can help keep the vine climbing upward. Remember that a healthy vine is the sign of healthy roots!
A few things you should know:
It is important to mention that the leaves, vine, and flowers of the jicama plant are poisonous and should not be eaten by humans. The upside to this is most pests won’t bother the plant so you don’t need to do much for pest control!
How to harvest jicama:
Now is the time to practice patience. Your jicama will not be ready to harvest until about 5 months after transplanting. Keep this in mind as you plant, since you want to have them ready to harvest before the first fall frost. To harvest the jicama simply dig the roots up. They will each be about 5 inches in diameter and firm. Simply shake any dirt and debris off of the roots and wash well before enjoying.
You can enjoy your jicama in a variety of ways, including chopped fresh into salads or just raw as a snack. You can also add it to stir-fry as it adds a level of crispiness much like chestnuts.
Give these tips on how to grow jicama a try, and see what a tasty root vegetable this can be!