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Jicama

Also known as the Mexican Potato or the Yam Bean, this Central American native is a tropical plant that requires a long, warm growing season. It is best started indoors prior to transplanting out except in horticultural zones 9-10. Jicama is grown for its juicy, crunchy tuberous root only. Its prolific, seed pod-studded vines will climb if provided with structural support but can ramble on the ground: make room. Harvest tubers before the first frost and store in a cool, dry cellar prior to use for up to four months. Make sure that animals and children do not eat Jicama leaves, ripe pods or seeds: they contain toxic rotenone, a natural insecticide. Discard top growth and seed pods: do not add to compost piles. Best grown in hardiness zones 7-10, can be tricky in the colder zones!

Average seed life: 2 years.

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Gardening Tips

Jicama Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1/2”
Row Spacing:12”-18”
Plant Spacing:30”-36”
Days to Germination:10-15 days
Germination Temperature:60°-70°F

The Yam Bean. Jicama is a tropical plant requiring a long, warm growing season. Start it indoors 8 to 10 weeks before transplanting out after all threat of frost has passed. Soak seeds in tepid water for 24 hours before sowing in seed starter mix. Provide even moisture and strong light. Harden off the seedlings by gradually acclimating them to the outdoors over 7 to 10 days. Prepare rich, fertile beds in full to part sun. Add compost and/or well-rotted manure as necessary. It may also be direct-sown outdoors in horticultural zones 9 to 10. Do not eat Jicama leaves, pods or seeds since they contain toxic rotenone. To increase tuber production, pinch off flowers and seedpods as they appear. Harvest tubers before the first frost and store in a cool, dry cellar prior to use for up to four months. Do not add top growth or seedpods to compost piles.

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