Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Hi everyone, Our plant whisperer friend Dianne and myself have decided to grow yams in large pots.Many people often wonder where to plant new crops without having to  dig up new areas or overcrowding other plants but these are different as a large pot and a trellis  is all you will need.That trellis is any average sized tree in your garden and where a reasonably sized pot can sit.I  currently have both greater and winged yam , discatorea alata currently sprouting in pots and sourced them from an asian grocers .I will plant some  at Diannes under the watchful eyes of her hubby in case I start a commercial yam operation.I Shall plant quite a few in my  front and back yard testing the neighbours honesty by using the councils gum.Why yams you ask? they are a beautiful vine ,easy to grow,versatile in cooking, great shelf life and why not!lol.So if you have a living trellis,Im sure you  do and have a large pot why not give it a go.Your trellis and yams vine will be close friends till the end of winter and you can then harvest your bounty wich should be a few kilos.It would be good to hear other peoples results,problems,pests if any ,growing rates and harvest weights bye for now and happy Gardening.

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Hi Sophie on that particular screen I have 3 pots with both greater and winged yams ,6 vines all up.They will do their own thing if you want but I keep pulling the vines down as they grow above the screen and tie them on with string.

ok cool thanks, something to keep me busy this weekend ta

Looks great Darren.

Hi everyone as you can see the vines have covered most of the screen and is also now climbing onto other plants

great! yeah mine keeps running out of trellis too. do we know when they'd be ready?

Last year Sophie it wasnt until winter when the vine died down indicating it was ready.As I said though that was last year ,who knows maybe if winter is really warm it may just die back a little and then power on .

Ok Thanks :) I'll let you know if anything changes then

Very tidy Darren. Will look nicer than a vertical garden and much easier to maintain..

Okay... my yam is in and growing.  Can some please eat one and tell me that it will be worth it!?

The aerial bulbs (whatever is their proper name?) are quite tasty. Like a waxy potato with a subtle nuttiness. Now the exact name for the plant is not known ... I was given the bulbs at a herb do in the Redcliffe Botanical Gardens. What I did find though, was the plant was a very keen grower and like Jack's Beanstalk, it was reaching for the heavens. It never made any aerial bulbs for me but it developed a persistent rootstock which took me 3 years to dig out. Sorcerer's Apprentice and the Broom had nothing on this thing. Leave a tiny bit behind and next year - up she grows again. From my limited experience I'd say put it into a big bin if you want to control it.

I've been growing white yam for two years, this is the third season. I only grow dioscorea opposita (D.O.) which has creamy white flesh and the shape is slim cylindrical with smooth skin. For Chinese, D.O. is considered medicinal but I only grow D.O. for the taste, it makes a wonderful soup in winter. I grow D.O. in large pots and set up a timed sprinkler for watering. They are then neglected for 8 months.


I stop watering when the leaves die down – about July. By August of each year, the leaves would have died down completely. Then I tip out each pot as required. I find they keep well in the pots if you keep the soil dry.

I get about 1.5 to 2kg of D.O. from each pot. I was quite surprised that the largest pot (the green bin) had the lowest yield – something I don’t really understand.




IF the yam likes surface area rather than depth as do Sweet Potatoes, that may be the answer. I found with Sweet Potatoes that even though the plants grew in a 200L bin, the surface area to depth ratio favoured depth. All the tubers grew within 1 foot of the soil surface. The yam plant which took so many years to dig out was not really all that deep. It hugged the roots of a Dragon Fruit and made digging that much more complicated. Had it been in the open, likely I would have dug all of it out in the one go. It was really only about 6 to 9 inches below the soil surface with the tuber going down further at an angle.



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