A few days ago I harvested my yacon (Polymnia edulis). My season outside is a bit too short to get good yields outside, so I grow in large pots which I move in to the living room in autumn and grow on for 2-3 months. This year I was a bit late and one of the plants had been cut right down by an early frost and the other was badly damaged. Both sent up new shoots when they came into the house. The first harvest of 2021 or the last of 2020?
To my surprise, I noticed today that both yacon (Polymnia sonchifolia) and Madeira Vine (Anredera cordifolia) have managed to flower outside in the garden before I bring them inside for the winter just before the first frost. I’m surprised as the autumn has been colder than normal…maybe this is rather a consequence of the record warmth in June.
This week, I harvested both yacon (grown in large pots and brought inside before the first frosts to grow on) and its close relative Jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke), one of our best varieties Dagnøytral (aka Dayneutral , Stampede and Bianca) and the best Canadian variety in trials at Sørbråten farm near Oslo.
Yacon (Polymnia edulis/Smallanthus sonchifolius) also gives higher yields when grown on inside until the end of the year in a large pot; however, it is much less day length sensitive than ulluco and oca…when I had a cold greenhouse, yacon would give at least as good a yield as this by October…
The sweet tasting tubers are becoming quite popular in recent years! Yacon is in the Asteraceae, the roots containing inulin like its edible tubered cousins Jerusalem artichoke and Dahlia.
I also finally flowered a yacon here! I’ve been growing Yacon now for 10 years, my first harvest here was on 28th October 2006 and I was pleased that I got 1/2 kg for each plant! I had got used to low yields on other South Americans like oca and ulluco when harvested in October, so this was a pleasant surprise!
This yacon was grown on the balcony outside in a large pot, was frosted 2 weeks ago, resulting in some leaf drop, but having moved it inside it has recovered and the flower bud has finally opened!