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Chinese mountain yam

 
pollinator
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Location: Zone 8b Portland
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Anyone have these yam berries available for sale?  The prices around the internet are quite expensive and I’d like to try them in a bunch of different spots. I have pocket gophers everywhere so I’d be sad after spending a bunch of money on expensive seeds that turn into gopher food.  The scientific name is dioscorea batatas.  From what I’ve read their aerial tuner creation is prolific.  
 
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Location: North of France
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Have a look at chinese mountain yam facebook group.
 
Chris Holcombe
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Thanks!
 
Posts: 816
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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In Portland, have you tried the farmers' markets where they sell Asian vegetables?  They are very popular, and could be there.   Sometimes they call the dark red yams "sweet potatoes" and sometimes they call sweet potatoes "yams."  Let the mature yam sit in a dry room and get some shoots, then slice them into halves or thirds, depending on the size, let the sliced side dry out for a few days to a week, interior dry place, then plant.  

And as you probably remember, real yams grow downward from the eyes,   Gophers, mice and voles will help themselves.   Voles and mice can squeeze through chicken wire, but you can double up chicken wire.

Muck buckets with holes drilled in the bottom work well, but when the yams go downward they will form long, finger-thick growth against the bottom of the container if they are planted too low and in soft soil.  (I have a really funny picture somewhere when I tried to plant them in barrels) Plant them high in the soil, and in half clay, if you have it, so they will be slowed and get fat like a potato should.

Real sweet potatoes grow upward from the eyes, just like a regular potato, so should be planted low in the container.  

Yams also have a pointy end, whereas sweet potatoes have rounded ends, so don't always believe how they are labeled.
 
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