Sunday, 19 June 2016

Yam harvest - Winter 2016

There have been a few frosts and the yams have died back, so it's time to start harvesting before the grubs eat them all.  Last year's harvest was a debacle and the grubs got most of them.

I planted late in January, as I had read that they don't really start growing until late anyway.  Previous years I've put them in, in the Spring.  But it doesn't seem necessary.  I can't find the photos on flickr, so labelled and uploaded them.

2016-01-07: The bed has been dug and 90% of the stones put aside.  The yams saved from last weeks harvest are sitting there in the egg cartons.  They're survived the Winter pretty well, and the ones with cuts or damage were dipped in ash which seemed to do the trick.

Yams - 2016-01-07 - 01 - Planting

2016-01-07: The yams all planted out.

Yams - 2016-01-07 - 02 - Composting

2016-01-07: The netting has been laid down to prevent the free-ranging chickens from scratching the beds out, and a covering of hay has been scattered over top.

Yams - 2016-01-07 - 03 - Chicken protection

The bed pre-harvest today.  Not bad looking considering the one time it was weeded, and perhaps two times it was watered.  The problem with weeding was that pulling out the grass or whatever the weeds were, would easily pull out the yam roots.  So it wasn't really possible to weed without damaging the crop.

Yams - 2016-06-19 - 01 - Beds

Just pulling the netting off pulled out some of the better yams.

Yams - 2016-06-19 - 02 - Digging

The recipient of the yams doing his own cleaning with the sieve I bought on recommendation from Rowan.

Yams - 2016-06-19 - 03 - Rinsing

And the cleaned yams.  I picked out 12 of the best and put them in a cupboard in an egg carton for next Spring's planting.  I'll probably pick at least another two dozen as I harvest more.

Yams - 2016-06-19 - 04 - Washed

Not bad for just the effort of one light weeding, perhaps two waterings (the Spring, Summer and Autumn were not that dry here), and the harvest of course.

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