Batat: Planting And Care In The Open Field, Growing From Seed

The yam (Ipomoea batatas), or sweet potato, is a valuable food and fodder crop that belongs to the tuberous plant species of the genus Ipomoea of the Vulpes family. It is native to Peru and Colombia and from there it spread throughout South America before Europeans arrived there. Then the yam was introduced to South and East Polynesia, Easter Island, the West Indies, and New Zealand. The edible roots of this plant were called "kamotli" by the Aztecs and were eaten boiled, fried, and raw. It was introduced to the Philippine Islands by the Spanish in the Conquista and from there the sweet potato found its way to Taiwan, the Mediterranean and Japan.

Today this plant is not found in the wild but is widely cultivated in various countries. It is cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions as well as in warm regions of the temperate zone, for example, yams have been cultivated in Ukraine for quite a long time, and in the Moscow suburbs it is also quite common. Leading countries for the industrial cultivation of yams are Indonesia, China and India.

Breeding summary

Batat: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

  1. Planting. Seeds are sown for seedlings in the last days of January or the first days of February, planted in open soil from mid to the end of May.

  2. Brightness. Needs bright sunlight.
  3. Ground. Loamy or sandy loam soil that is high in nitrogen is excellent.
  4. Pouring.

    After transplanting the seedlings to the open ground, water them regularly and abundantly for the first 4 weeks, and from the middle of summer watering once per decade, but if it rains systematically, natural rainfall is enough for the plant. The last watering should take place 15-20 days before the harvest.

  5. Fertilizer. Fertilizing is carried out during the formation of tubers (approximately in the middle of August), the plant needs potassium, for this purpose a solution of wood ash should be made into the soil, for its preparation it is necessary to combine 1 bucket of water and 1-2 tbsp of ash, the mixture should stand for 7 days, and it should be systematically stirred. To fertilize 1 bush, 1 liter of mixture is poured under it.

  6. Propagation. Usually by tubers or their parts.
  7. Pests. Crickets (May beetle larvae), slugs, spider mites and wireworms.
  8. Diseases.


  9. Properties. Characterized by its high nutritional value, it is considered a dietary product and has medicinal properties.

Peculiarities of yams

Batat: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

The sweet yam is a herbaceous liana. Its creeping stem-branch reaches a length of about 500 cm, and they are capable of fast rooting in knots.

The height of the shrub varies from 15 to 18 meters. The lateral roots are very thickened and form tubers whose flesh is edible and may be colored orange, cream, red, yellow, white, pink or purple. Tuber weights range from 0.2 to 3 kilos or more. The long-petioled leaflets are heart-shaped or palmate-lobed.

The funnel-shaped axillary flowers have a large corolla, which appears in white, pink or pale mauve. But in most varieties growing in the midlands, flowering does not occur. The fruit is a boll with 4 black or brown seeds measuring 0.35 to 0.45 cm across.

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Batat: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed


The tuber germination method is used for cultivation in middle latitudes, because under these conditions, flowering is infrequent, resulting in a lack of seed formation. Of course, you can buy seed material in a specialized store, and since this plant is thermophilic, and its vegetation period lasts 90-180 days, it is necessary to sow yams in seedlings, but not in open soil. Seeds of such a plant have a very high germination rate.

Sowing yams in seedbeds is carried out in the last days of January or the first days of February. Seeds need to be prepared before sowing by immersing them in warm water for 24 hours and then disinfecting them in a solution of copper sulfate or manganese potassium.

The treated seed needs to be dried. The soil mixture suitable for sowing should be loose and nutritious, for example, you can use a substrate consisting of turf soil, humus or sand (1:1:1). To sow yam for seedlings can not take garden soil, because it does not contain a very large amount of nutrients, and still it can be pathogens or pests' eggs. Soil mixture needs to be disinfected, for this it is heated in the microwave or calcined in the oven. Sowing seeds is carried out in a moistened soil mixture, and they have to be deepened by 15-20 mm, then its surface is a little tamped and watered.

The container should be covered with glass or film, then placed in a well-ventilated and lighted place until the first seedlings appear, and the air temperature should be 18 to 20 degrees.

Rules for growing seedlings

Batat: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

To grow such seedlings, they need a certain temperature regime of 20 to 30 degrees. Watering should be moderate but systematic. Although this plant is moisture-loving, it reacts extremely negatively to stagnant water in the root system. For watering we use water at room temperature, which must stand for 24 hours.

Watering is carried out only after the top layer of soil mixture dries out. The room where the sprouts are located should be systematically aired, but the plants should be protected from draughts. It is recommended to air the yam immediately after it has been watered. Once the height of seedlings will be 15 centimeters, and they formed by 4-5 internodes, experts advise to start their hardening, which will allow the plants to adapt to new conditions before you transplant them into the open ground. For this reason the seedlings every day for 15 days for some time to move outdoors.

The duration should be increased gradually until they can be outside 24 hours a day.


Putting yam in the open field

Batat: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

What time to plant

Yam plants are transplanted into the open field only when the temperature during the day is not below 20 degrees and the soil has reached 15 degrees. For example, in Ukraine, especially in its southern part, seedlings are planted in the open field in the last days of April, while in the Moscow suburbs this procedure is often carried out in early June.

Open ground, well sunlit and protected from strong gusts of wind is excellent for growing this crop. It grows best in loamy or sandy loam soils with low acidity and high nitrogen content.

However, yams can also be grown in other soils.

Preparation of the plot

Preparation of the plot should be done in autumn. The soil is tilled to a depth of 15 to 20 centimeters, with potassium sulfate, humus and superphosphate. Half a month before fertilizing acidic soil should be lime. In the spring just before planting the seedlings, the soil should be loosened and ammonium nitrate should be added.

Rules for planting in the open soil

Batat: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

The planting holes should be about 15 centimeters deep, with 0.4 m distance between them and 0.7 m distance between the rows. When planting long-leafed varieties, planting holes should be 0.7x0.

7 m, but if the yam is planted more compactly, it will eventually form a carpet of leaves and shoots, which can protect the surface of the bed from the rapid evaporation of moisture. The plants should be buried in the soil so that a couple of internodes, located at the very bottom, were under the ground. To transplant seedlings easier and quickly rooted, it is recommended to cut off all the leaves, leaving only 1-2 pairs of the upper leaf plates. When the plants will be planted in the open soil, its surface should be tamped, and the bed should be well watered. Each bush should be covered with a cut plastic bottle, which should be transparent, or a glass jar.

After the plants begin to grow young leaves, the cover should be removed.

Caring for yams

Growing yams in your garden is possible for both the experienced gardener and the beginner. The most important thing to remember is that the planting or sowing material must be of good quality and that the plants should be properly looked after and the agricultural rules of this crop must be followed. Also do not forget that this plant is a thermophilic plant. In caring for the yam there is nothing difficult: if necessary, the plants should be covered from the cold, timely watered, weeded, nourished, protected from pests and diseases, and also loosen the surface of the bed.

Growing such a culture, remember that its branches should not root in any way in the interknot, in this regard, you should systematically lift each shoot, so that the formed roots are cut off. For the tubers to get bigger, you should obligatory prune the upper part of each shoot in the twentieth of August.

How to water

This plant is drought-resistant and therefore does not need large amounts of water. However, it needs to be watered systematically and abundantly the first 4 weeks after transplanting the seedlings into the open soil, after which it should be reduced to a moderate watering. In midsummer, the bed should be watered not more often than once in 1.

5 weeks, and if it rains systematically during this time, the bushes will get enough of natural rainfall. When you have 15-20 days left until the harvest, stop watering.

Feeding yam

Batat: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

At the tuber forming and growing times, yam especially needs a feeding, for which potassium fertilizer is used. This time is usually mid-August. For fertilization excellent infusion of wood ash, to prepare it, you need to combine 1 bucket of water and 1-2 tbsp of wood ash, the infusion will be ready after 7 days, and you must not forget to stir it periodically.

To feed one bush, 1 liter of the nutrient mixture is poured under it.

Pests and diseases of yam


Batat: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

The yam is quite resistant to various pests and diseases, which are usual for middle latitudes. However, it can be harmed by crustacean larvae, and it has been observed that they tend to damage the largest and most beautiful tubers. It is absolutely necessary to control the crustaceans and their larvae by all means.

In long rains, slugs may settle on the bushes.

To get rid of them, baits should be placed in several places on the plot and filled with beer. They should be checked systematically and collect the gastropods crawling on the scent of the bait. Also bushes can be protected by digging a not very deep groove around the bed, which should be filled with fine sift, it will be an insuperable barrier for such a pest.

Also spider mites can settle on bushes, as a rule, it happens during prolonged drought. To get rid of this pest, the plants are sprayed with an infusion of borage, onion husk, hemlock, datura or chamomile.


Batat: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

In the seedling period, blackleg can infest the bushes. Affected plants have a rotting stem at the root neck and will die. To prevent seed sowing it is necessary to use disinfected substrate, for this purpose it is poured with a solution of Fitosporin-M, and to avoid its acidification egg shells are put into it, which must first be ground into flour.

Harvesting yams: Diseases, pests and some results.

Harvesting and storage of yams

Batat: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

The yam harvest begins 14-16 weeks after transplanting the seedlings into the open soil; usually this time is mid September.

Do not forget that you have to harvest the yam before frost and choose a nice, dry day. At this time should start yellowing and drying of the leaves and shoots. If the tubers were dug in wet weather, they can not be put in storage, in this regard, they should always be processed, the same should be done with traumatized root crops. Forks should be used to remove the tubers from the ground, and then they should be left on the surface of the plot for a while so that they can dry out well. It is necessary to dig them out of the soil very carefully, as they can be up to 0.

3 m long. When the tubers have dried out, remove any soil residue from their surface, and then sort them. Healthy and wholesome tubers are suitable for storage, while all traumatized and doubtful tubers should be sent for processing. Root tubers that are suitable for storage should be placed in a warm place for 7 days (28 to 30 degrees), with humidity of 85-90 percent, and you should not forget to ventilate the room regularly. After that, the tubers are placed in not very deep trays and stored in a cool place (10 to 15 degrees), where they will be stored for several months.

The yams can be stored frozen, for this purpose they are cut into slices and then they are roasted until half cooked. They are then placed in containers or bags, closed tightly and stored in the freezer. Also this root vegetable can be stored in dried form, for this carefully washed, peeled and cut into sticks or thin slices. They should be washed under running water and blanched in boiling water for five minutes, after which they are abruptly cooled by immersion in water. When the water drains, yams are laid out on a baking tray in 1 layer and placed for drying in an oven heated to 80 degrees, while it should be systematically stirred.

When the root-crops have dried well, it is necessary to wait until they have cooled down completely naturally, then they are poured into sacks or paper bags for storage.

The tubers can also be used for preservation. They are cut into cubes and boiled until half-ready in water, which should be salted and spices added, then they are placed in sterilized jars of volume 0.5 , in them pour boiling water and in each add half a teaspoon of vinegar, then they are rolled up and removed under the shuba until it cools down. The completely cooled jars are put away for storage.

The yams. Harvesting and storing yams. #sufix.

Yields and varieties of yam

Batat: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

The yam has no official variety classification; there are about 7,000 hybrids and varieties of this plant in all. In China alone, about 100 varieties of yam are grown.

All varieties are divided into vegetable, fodder and dessert. They are also distinguished by the color of the flesh, the color of the rind and the shape of the root. There are also such characteristics as: the shape and color of the leaves, yield, and heap formation of tubers. Also all varieties are divided into early-ripening, mid-ripening and late-ripening according to their maturity dates.

Dessert yam

Batat: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

Such varieties contain large amounts of glucose and beta-carotene.

The flesh color of the tubers is orange or deep yellow and their taste is sweet. These varieties are light- and heat-loving and therefore grow rather poorly in mid-latitudes; the best place for them is the subtropics and tropics. The taste of the tubers depends on the variety and can resemble pumpkin, banana, pineapple, chestnut or carrot. They go great with nuts, molasses, fruit and caramel which is why these yams are most often used in casseroles, porridges and other desserts. The most popular varieties:

  1. Kumara Red.

    This hybrid is characterized by its demanding temperature and light. Large bushes have dense leaves and long stems. The root crop is oblong-round in shape with moderately sweet pale yellow flesh. The taste of the raw pulp has a slight tartness.

  2. Boregard.

    This plant is very easy to care for. The very tasty and sweet tubers contain a lot of carotene and glucose. The bushes are compact, the root crops grow even copper-colored. The color of the flesh is orange.

  3. O'Henry.

    This is a variety of the American variety Boregrad, which is highly resistant to pests and diseases. The color of the tubers is pale creamy and the sweetish light yellow flesh has a dry consistency.

  4. Garnet. This medium-early variety of American selection has medium yields. The tubers are pale red, the flesh is sweet has an orange color.

  5. Victory 100. This early-ripening, high-yielding variety grows well in mid-latitude conditions. The bush is compact and the roots are flat and smooth. The flavor of the orange flesh is moderately sweet and similar to bananas and nuts, but these characteristics only show up after the tubers have lain for a while after being removed from the soil, and they are tasteless at first.
  6. Georgia Red.

    This yielding variety grows beautifully in the middle latitudes. The compact bush is decorated with dark red foliage. The color of rounded roots is copper-orange. Its light flesh while raw tastes very much like potatoes but becomes soft and sweet after thermic processing.

  7. Burgundy.

    This early maturing variety of American selection is resistant to fusarium. The dark red tubers have a very pleasant odor and are high in sucrose. The color of the dark orange flesh does not change even after heat treatment.

Forage yam

Batat: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

The tubers of these varieties contain fewer sugars than those of vegetable or dessert varieties. These varieties can be an excellent substitute for potatoes.

As a rule, the flesh of tubers has a light color and becomes soft after heat treatment. They can also be fried. These varieties grow well in both southern regions and in conditions of middle latitudes. The most popular varieties:

  1. White Bouquet. This variety has a high yield.

    Powerful bushes have long stalks. The mass of large, cream-colored root vegetables can reach 3 to 4 kilograms in some cases. The white flesh tastes similar to chestnuts.

  2. Brazilian. This hybrid grows well in the middle latitudes, it is resistant to diseases and pests and has a high yield.

    The light-colored root crops have white flesh with a faint taste.

Vegetable yam

Batat: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

The tubers of vegetable varieties contain less glucose compared to dessert varieties, but more than those of forage varieties. Because of this, the root tubers have a taste similar to that of frozen potato tubers. Their flesh is light in color with flecks of yellow, orange or pink. When the potatoes are cooked, they become soft, tender and juicy.

However, most varieties of root vegetables are not suitable for frying, as they are somewhat watery, but they turn out very tasty mashed potatoes. The most popular varieties:

  1. Purple. An early maturing variety with high yields and resistance to pests and diseases. This yam is superior to potatoes in nutritional and taste qualities. The powerful bush has dark green foliage and long stalks.

    The purple color of root crops is retained even after heat treatment. The flesh is almost unsweetened and has a chestnut flavor.

  2. White yam. The tubers of this variety have a texture and taste very similar to potatoes. Such a yam grows well in the middle latitudes and has a fairly high yield.

    The shape of the light-colored roots is oblong and their flesh is white.

  3. Japanese. This variety is an early maturing variety. The red roots have a pale creamy flesh. Compared to orange-core varieties, the flesh of this variety is less sweet and drier.

    These tubers can be a substitute for regular potatoes.

  4. BIT-1. This Italian variety is a late variety. The white root vegetables have little sweet flesh of the same color.
  5. Bonita.

    This early-ripening variety is starchy and low-sweet, it is high yielding and resistant to fusariosis. The pinkish-cream tubers have white flesh with a creamy hue.

  6. Bushbok. This variety is native to South Africa. The color of the tubers is crimson-pink, becoming darker during storage.

    The little sweet creamy white flesh has a taste very similar to potatoes.

  7. Vinnitsa pink. This Ukrainian variety is characterized by high yields. The bushes are tall. The color of the smooth root crops is pink and they have excellent storability.

    Light almost unsweetened flesh while raw has a taste similar to that of cabbage sprouts. Such yams are sometimes marketed as Redgold, Gocha, and Tekken, as they look very similar to these varieties.

  8. Sumor. This early maturing variety is characterized by its yield and resistance to pests and diseases. The color of the rootcrops is creamy, the flesh is light and unsweetened, and the taste is identical to that of potatoes.

Besides the varieties described, the following ones are very popular with gardeners: Tynung, Hannah Gold, Har Bay, Betty, Burgundy, Bellevue, Baker, Butterbach white, red and pink, White Delight, Virgin, Delawar purple, Golden Bell, Darby, Jersey yellow and orange, Ginseng red, Indian, Carver etc.

The properties of yam: harms and benefits

Beneficial properties of yam

Batat: planting and care in the open field, growing from seed

The yam tuber contains quite a lot of sugar and starch, yet it is quite low in calories. They contain proteins, carbohydrates, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, choline, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, vitamins A, C, PP.

The starch of this plant has found wide use in official medicine. It is used in the treatment of various gastrointestinal diseases, and is characterized by its softening, restorative and enveloping effect, it also contains a large number of vitamins.

The root vegetable contains vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), which helps strengthen the walls of blood vessels, which is why people suffering from cardiovascular diseases are recommended to include in their diet dishes with yams.

As compared to other vegetables, yams contain much more ascorbic acid, which protect the body from free radicals that cause cellular corrosion, contributing to cancer development. This vegetable is recommended for women during menopause because it contains progesterone. Since the fiber in tubers is much more delicate than in other vegetables, it is recommended to include them in the diet of people who suffer from digestive disorders. These roasted and boiled root vegetables have a sweet taste similar to frosted potatoes, but they contain much more carbohydrates and calcium than potato tubers.

B yam benefits for the body useful properties of yam


Specialists do not recommend eating yam for people suffering from gastritis and duodenal and stomach ulcers because it irritates the mucous membrane. It is also recommended to exclude it from the diet of women during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It should also not be eaten by people with individual intolerance.


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