GROWING JICAMA - Knowledgebase Question

Greensboro, No
Question by Itzyespin
February 17, 2011
Hi! I am planning to grow jicama seeds but the package has very little info,and saids that the vines produce a toxic quemical so I was wondering if is OK to plant them next to my other vegetables(tom.peppers,squash,watermelons...)and also can I start the seeds indoors?thanks.


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Answer from NGA
February 17, 2011

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Jicama (Pachyrhizus erosus) will grow in well in your gardening zone. The plant is grown for its edible root, which looks like a brown turnip and tastes something like a water chestnut. Give full sunshine and don't allow the soil to dry out during the growing season. Jicama puts out twining or scrambling vines and will need to be staked. Sow seeds 1 to 1 1/2 inches deep, 6 to 12 inches apart. Feed once or twice in early and mid-summer. The roots or tubers will form as the days begin to grow shorter in the autumn. Harvest before the first frost. You can start your seeds indoors and transplant your seedlings into the garden or you can wait until the weather warms and sow the seeds directly in the garden. Jimcama is a legume and as such, fixes nitrogen in the soil. While the root is sweet and edible, the rest of the jicama plant is toxic if eaten. The seeds have a toxin called rotenone, which is made into an insect poison. As long as you don't consume the seeds, flowers, stems or leaves, jimcama is safe to grow in your garden. If you're especially concerned about growing jimcama next to your other veggies, you can plant it in your ornamental garden rather than in your veggie garden. Best wishes with your garden!
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