How to grow your own kumara shoots

kumaraIt’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. (Incase you’re wondering – kumara shoots are the equivalent of a seedling or seed – they’re the kumara babies that grow into handsome tubers.)

My kumara calendar is kumara shoots begun September, planting out late November/ early December, harvest late autumn.

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 propogating 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.

I’ll be back as my kumara progress, to share the know how and the journey!