Yacon is a hardy plant that is easy to grow. It seems to tolerate most soil types pretty well, but ideally should be grown in free-draining soil rich in organic matter. They prefer direct sunlight but can grow reasonably well in the shade.
Each crown can be broken/cut off and planted separately, keep in mind the smaller they are the more susceptible to damage they are too.
The infant tuber (edible root) can be left intact if it is not damaged. Trim off damaged tubers to avoid rot.
The biggest enemy for Yacon is frosts during its early stages. So best to plant when warmer or cover when frosts are due. Planting is usually best around September to November.
Before planting the Yacon crown, loosen the soil about 400mm deep and 400mm wide to make it easy for the large Yacon tubers to grow. Plant the crown about 3cm below the surface and give it a good water. Space out multiple crowns about 700mm apart.
Sometimes the crowns will be sent with a bit of greenery. This can help them get bit of a head-start, especially if they are planted late in the season. If the greenery doesn’t bounce back after planting and watering (next day) it is best to trim back below any leaves. New leaves should still grow from the stem joints.
Keep the area well weeded initially to give the Yacon a chance to get going. Once they get taller the Yacon forms bit a canopy and doesn’t require much weeding. They can grow over 2m tall so make quite a statement in the garden!
Towards the end of the Yacon growing season, usually around June, the Yacon flowers (small yellow flowers like miniature Sunflowers). This is the best time to harvest (when FOS is optimal) but they can be harvested later also. They can stay in the ground longer also as long as the ground is free draining.
Once harvested, the tubers will keep for months kept in a cool and dark place. They are delicious raw or cooked (if using raw a bit of lemon juice can be used to stop them browning).
The crowns will grow larger each season and can be divided for more Yacon plants. Keep the crowns in a cool dark place (covered in a bit of soil is best) and plant next season.
Have fun with this amazing plant!