Growing yams in NY - possible? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Since I've never seen a yam at any of the local farmers' markets, I probably already know the answer to this question, but I'll ask it anyway: is it possible to grow yams in the NE? We live in about a zone 4-5, in a sheltered hollow on side hill of a hill, at an elevation of about 1600', about 550 feet off the valley floor.


Andrea in NY

-- Andrea (, March 04, 2002


In a greenhouse or maybe even in a coldframe to start and a hoop house to finish. There are ways to fool mother nature if you are determined. It takes a long hot summer to grow them butI do it here in zone 6.

-- Corky Wolf (, March 04, 2002.

Hi Andrea !!! I have planted and grew sweet potatoes in the past. They weren't very big and barely got a bushel full. Haven't tried for a few years now and have some ideas when I do. I thought of covering with plastic or like was suggested grow them in tubs in our greenhouse during the summer. I don't know if you could grow an abundance to sell at farmer's markets though. Maybe we should ask co- operative extension !!!

-- Helena (, March 04, 2002.

FYI. From what I've heard, yams are grown mostly in Africa. What we eat "fresh" in America are sweet potatoes.

-- claudia in NY (, March 04, 2002.

They probably will grow in NY. I have grown them here in Wisconsin. The trick for me was to hill up the rows so the ground got warm sooner than if it was left flat. They need full sun and a lot of moisture to grow properly. They of course didn't grow as large as the ones from down south.

I used to buy plants from a company in Tennesee. Can't recall the name right now. Gleason comes to mind, but I am not sure of the name.

-- Bob in WI (, March 04, 2002.

Gidday there Andrea

We in the lower half of New Zealand grow yams very well. We get down to minus 5 degree celsius frosts in winter and a hot day in summer 25 c. Our yams are reddish and large mans finger size and wrinkley.They aren't sweet like the NZ kumara or sweet potato. We have frequent homestayers from the states who love our red kumara and say you guys only really see yellow ones which aren't so sweet.

What is the weather like at your place. I didn't understand the zone and am not sure what state you mean.


-- kiwikaren (, March 04, 2002.

Here is the company I used to get plants from.

STEELE PLANT COMPANY PO Box 191, Gleason, TN 38229 (901) 648-5476

-- Bob in WI (, March 05, 2002.


Here in the warmer part of zone 5 in Indiana, I grow sweetpotatoes very easily and believe you could too. Select a 100 day variety if possible, hill up a ridge 10-12 inches high and give full sun.

Most people grow the orange varieties but we like yellow the best by far. I don't know if people really like those old orangies or if they just don't know any better. I suspect the latter in many cases.

-- Wayne B. IN (, March 06, 2002.

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