Yam is a favorite meal in many West African homes. The tuber root crop has good economic value and is easy to grow. Before planting yam you need a few equipment and basic knowledge of climatic conditions best for yam growth. Here are things you need to grow yam in sacs.
Things you need to grow yam in sacs
Obviously the main equipment is sacs, digger, and spade, source of water, hose, sturdy rope or wood. You can use empty bags of rice or any 15kg sacs for the planting process. Make sure you have good organic soil for best result.
- Source of water
- Sturdy rope or wood
- Good organic soil
The first step before planting your yam is soil preparation. You can prepare a compost heap of leaves, humorous soil. Alternately purchase rich soil from local farmers or florists. The next step is to gather the sacs.
Gather the sacs
The sacs you need are minimum 15kg sacs for best result. Larger sacs are better because they provide adequate space for the yams to grow. Once you have the sacs, perforate the underside of the sac.
The reason you need to perforate is to allow water escape when watering. Use a nail or puncher to make small hole at the bottom of the sacs. Refrain from over perforating and a few holes will suffice.
Prepare the planting space
You need to prepare a planting space for the sacs. The location you choose is very important to the success or failure of the enterprise. Best climatic conditions for yam growth are semi-tropical regions with moderate rainfalls and 14 hours sunlight.
Make sure the space has direct sunlight, and rainfall. Clear any tree or shaded areas in preparation for planting. The sacs are placed on the soil therefore, clear the ground of stones and make the base level.
Next prepare the sacs
Arrange the sacs in rows a few feet apart or close together. If you arrange them close together each sac offers support to the next. Then fill the sacs with the rich organic soil. Once the soil is in the sacs, water the soil in the sac.
Choosing the yam
Select large yams that have broken dormancy. This simply means yam that have green growth at the head. Once you have the yams cut them one inch apart, then cut each piece into four or eight pieces. The cut pieces of yam should be treated to prevent insects or bacteria.
Choosing yam sprouts
Another more productive way is to purchase yam sprouts from farmers. This method ensures faster growth and better chances of good yield.
Plant the yam
Use a hand spade to dig into the soil in the sacs, and then plant the yam pieces. Cover them with soil and immediately wet the soil. Once the yam starts to sprout and is about five inches add soil.
Use wood stakes or sturdy vines
The sprouted yams are climbing plants therefore provide support. The support is either wooden stakes or sturdy vines. The sprouts will grow and leaves will form a canopy.
At the initial stages make sure to water every day. Once properly established reduce to every other day. Sporadically apply fertilizer to aid faster growth.
It takes about 5 to 6 months before yam is ready for harvesting. To know when to harvest the green leaves will start turning brown. The brown leaves will begin to dry-up and wilt.
Wet the soil prior to harvesting the yams. Because they are grown in sacs harvesting is easy. You have two choices dig out the yams carefully or cut open the sacs.