This is a blog post on how to grow and harvest Yacon. Also known as Peruvian Ground Apple. I found about this tuber after reading a few gardening books about it and decided to get hold of Yacon . I did this at the end of 2017. Among with other usual and unusual tubers.I have got a small garden in London. Therefore there are limitations of what I could grow in this small space. i like to grow edibles that I can’t find the supermarket. I also like challenges of growing unusual and hard to get hold of edibles. New trends like yuzu… I like to grow them all. Like oca tuberosa and jerusalem artichoke.
Yacon I believe has it originate from South America. Now it is making it’s way as a health foodie in the US. Yacon if known to contain inulin as it a good sugar free subsitute. However, many said this is debatable. As it’s sugary enough. It also can cause bloating and gas as it’s prebiotic content. A bit like jerusalem artichoke.
It is dead easy to grow. I found that once I got the tubers I just simply divide the knobs where potential branches will grow from them. I have kept them in my front room as at that time I didn’t have a greenhouse. At that time I have bought a load of unusual tubers and I didn’t want them to rot straight away. Otherwise it will be a waste of effort and I have do look for them again on ebay. Probably it a bit too much pampering for them as to be honest we hardly get much frost here in London during winter.
Getting hold of Yacon (Peruvian Ground Apple)
I have found it in my favourite place which is again ebay. I couldn’t find it elsewhere to be honest I don’t shop much online either. Ebay is the best place in my opinion if you are looking for unusual plants. However the downside of buying from ebay is that one has to bid for them. Also there is not much quality control of what you actually get. For tubers and plants I always choose the option of UK sellers only. I just want a fresh and health plant/ tuber and who doesn’t want that?
It is always worth looking to see if your local garden centre do have them in stock first. For Yacon possibly not. However, I was surprise to see Sweet potato plants amd Calamondin lime tree at my local garden centre. So you never know what you will find in your local garden centre.
Above is some of the yacon that I have just harvested recently in my garden. They are easy to harvest. Come in autumn when the first frost arrives the leaves starts to die back it it ready to harvest. Harvest when you need them. As you can see some of it are broken which is not such a great news. it just simply means they need to be eaten as soon as possible. Otherwise they go brown. They will need to bit of citrus juice to stop it from going brown.
Freshly harvested yacon taste super yummy a cross between water chestnut and apple. Lovely, crunchy, sweet and juicy. You do need to peel them I just use a potato peeler. so far I have use them in salad. But they are great in different dishes. Once grated they can be use as a low calorie alternative to sugar. Great news for those looking for natural sugar in their diet.
It is sold and making a big new trend in the US. When I try searching for yacon all I get is ready processed yacon available to buy ?!! If one grows enough one can even sell them. My garden is too small to even think of doing that but hey there you are an idea for thoughts.
I just love this tuber as it is dead easy to grow. Winter hardy here in London what more can one ask. It can shrug off mild frost and snow but not heavy ones. I will post more for more update on my experience of leaving them on the ground over winter.
Do you grow your own yacon if so let me know I would love to know your experience. Do comment below if you can. Thanks for having a read. All the best to your gardening…