One plant when grown well produces the below quantity of edible yacón tubers, which taste like a sweet cross between early apples and watermelon with a touch of pear.
After one growing season dig up the yacón in winter once the above ground foliage has did back (July/August) and divide the crown 4-6 times before replanting it again.
Choose a sunny spot that has aerated, free draining soil. They don’t like the soil waterlogged and they do not like it dry. Add a generous amount of compost. They love our homemade compost. If you do not have good quality compost add what you have and also add well rotted manure like sheep manure and vermicast.
We plant the crown at the end of August on Banks Peninsula. Space them 40cm apart in a diamond pattern. Plant the crown just below soil level and add a generous amount of organic mulch. Twigs, autumn leaves, straw, hay, grass clippings, some seaweed are all good choices. Here are more ideas for mulches in your garden.
Below: The KoruKai Herb Farm yacón patch in the middle of summer just before flowering.
Image below: When scraping away some mulch and soil the yacón plant reveal their tubers.
The top reddish knobs (image below) are the growing shoots for next season and underneath the crown sit the edible tubers for eating. Simply dig up the whole plant, cut off the dried up stalks, twist off the edible tubers, divide the crown and replant.
Dig up only what you can eat in 1-2 weeks and leave the rest of the plants in the ground for later. They keep better that way and stay nice and crunchy. Store in a cool root cellar, back porch or in the fridge.