Bring On The Kumara


kumara shoot

It’s time to get your kumara shoots (tupu or slips) underway. Yes, you can buy shoots, but it’s better to grow your own, you’ll love them more! Anyway, it’s easy, too easy to spend money on, truly it is.

In case you’re wondering – kumara shoots (pictured above), are the equivalent of a seedling or seed – they’re the kumara babies that grow into handsome tubers.

You need to start them this month in order to be able to plant them out as soon as poss. Especially, if (like me) you live in cooler climes which makes for a shorter growing season.

Get a lovely healthy kumara from last years harvest (or buy an organic one). It doesn’t have to be the biggest one, but a decent size. More importantly choose one with no brown spots, soft spots or blemishes.

Find a container with holes in it. This year I’m using an old wooden box, but you can use a bucket, old pot anything. If you live in warmer climes you can just make a hole in the ground

Partway fill your container with sand (river or propagating sand), lay your kumara sideways and top up with more sand. Moisten.

Warmth is important. I keep mine in the greenhouse. If you need to generate more heat you can use horse poo or grass clippings beneath the sand, a heat pad, your hot water cylinder, a cold frame or cloche, or sunny window sill.

There, set up and ready to grow (told you it was easy). Your only job now is to keep the sand moist.

For all my kumara growing know how buy my Ebook “A Guide To Growing Kumara”