The kumara blog: part 3

kumara shootThe next step is fun!, taking the shoots from the mother kumara. To prepare, fill a small container with a weak seaweed or fish or comfrey solution to put your shoots into.

Tip the sandbox out carefully so as not to break any of the new shoots and hold the kumara. (It’s a groovy sight all those new babies growing out of her!) Carefully peel the shoots off. If any parts of the mother stick to the bottom of the shoots, break them off (to prevent disease.) Put the shoots into the liquid feed as you go (its important they don’t dry out). You can hold them in this container for a few days.

Plant them into your prepared bed (no digging and no rich compost!) by bending the bottom of the shoot in the shape of a “j”. The front of the “j” facing north.

In view of the cooler weather this could be a good season to lay black plastic as mulch to heat the soil up, or even put a cloche over top depending on where you live. Making ridges to plant your shoots into also warms the soil. Water in if you need to – I like to pour a can of liquid seaweed over the newly planted, and pile up lots of lovely mulch. Slugbait is important (you don’t want to loose all those months of growing to a nasty mollusc now do you?)