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Dioscorea Batatas?
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Author:  benboo [ Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:12 am ]
Post subject:  Dioscorea Batatas?

Anyone actually grow dioscorea batatas or any closely related plant?

Author:  stevelau1911 [ Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dioscorea Batatas?

I have a couple of these vines growing in pots which have already lost all their leaves and will be getting stored in my over-wintering bed in a few weeks. I grew them from the little tubers they sell on ebay. Some of them didn't germinate since they are prone to mold, but in direct sun, by around May, they grow pretty well, sending up multiple vines that reached 2-3ft.

I hope the tubers are much bigger next year as I expect it to come back stronger in the spring.

Author:  benboo [ Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dioscorea Batatas?

Cool. Have your plants produced any little tubers on the vine? I have found various edibility vs. poisonous listings and i want to grow edible tubers. Any info on edibility?

Author:  stevelau1911 [ Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dioscorea Batatas?

Nope. I've been hoping they would form this year, but they probably need to get bigger for that. I just hope I'll be able to over-winter it since this plant looks a lot less hardy than bamboos.

They are supposed to form long rhizome like roots underground that are edible after growing for several years, but I'm growing mine just for looks.

Author:  benboo [ Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dioscorea Batatas?

From what I have found, Batatas is hardy down to zone 5. I found one on ebay that is only zone 7 though.

Author:  dudley [ Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dioscorea Batatas?

nasty invasive here.
we kill em wherever we find em.

Author:  Iowaboo [ Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dioscorea Batatas?

Are you sure its the same thing Dudley?

Chinese yam tubercles I harvested this fall
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I saw on gardenweb, a person said they make potato salad out of them.

Author:  dudley [ Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dioscorea Batatas?

might be a closely related species.
same leaf same taters.

Author:  stevelau1911 [ Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dioscorea Batatas?

Iowaboo, can this stuff grow up trees, and low lying shrubs?

I have a large area of woods in the back where I might be able to spread a lot of my air potatoes which are just starting to form, but will be mature in 1-2 months. I'm only worried that they cannot grow in the shade, or don't have a chance against the tree roots. I find that this vine seems to be very limited as far as how long it gets, even on a 3rd year tuber. I will have a few thousand air potatoes to experiment with.

One of the problems that I've found with growing this is the difficulty in harvesting the tubers. They are long, grow very deep, and are pretty easy to break or wound so it takes quite a bit of work to dig them up.

Author:  benboo [ Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dioscorea Batatas?

I saw something where the roots were planted along with a split piece of bamboo so they could grow straight. It would probably help with digging them up as well.

Author:  stevelau1911 [ Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dioscorea Batatas?

I ended up harvesting only about 1/2lb of air potatoes this year which is even less than I got last year despite having many more plants. It just seems like conditions may not have been good for their production. The good thing is that some of them are nearly 1 inch long and they look very viable so I ended up planting these all over the place.

I simply shook the vines and collected them from the ground which seems to be the easiest way to harvest these. I think I should let the ground yams continue growing for now since I don't believe would make a decent harvest yet.

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Author:  stevelau1911 [ Fri May 17, 2013 1:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dioscorea Batatas?

It looked like none of my potato vines were fazed by the freeze, but the biggest ones now are getting up around 1cm in diameter which is pretty big since it means that the vine will get much longer than 7ft which it topped out at when it was only half the size.

I wonder how big and long these potatoes are getting. Last year, the ones in this generation were generally 5-10oz. I guess if they are left in long enough, they can probably become too heavy to lift out of the ground. This generation was born in 2011, and the little ones behind it were born in 2012.

I don't know if they size up indefinitely or if they reach a certain size and stop at something like 10 years, but they are fun and easy to grow.

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Author:  Alan_L [ Fri May 17, 2013 3:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dioscorea Batatas?

Thanks for posting, as you reminded me that I have a couple of these little guys that I need to plant. :)

Author:  stevelau1911 [ Sat May 18, 2013 1:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dioscorea Batatas?

If you are planting them, make sure you loosen the soil very deep if you plant them in the ground because these potatoes can grow 2-3ft long after a couple seasons. Deer also eat time so they should be planted in a protected area.

It is possible to grow them in pots, and stick a dried bamboo culm through the middle of it to get them started given that you are growing them from the little air potatoes.

Author:  stevelau1911 [ Mon May 20, 2013 3:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dioscorea Batatas?

Potato vines seem to have an ability to sense objects close by that they can climb onto as they seem to automatically be attracted to the fence/ trellis. They are pretty cool as they make most of their growth before July which is when they usually start putting energy into the potatoes, and work on producing little air potatoes on the vines.

Here are some more.
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