GROW BIOINTENSIVEŽ CULTURAL INFO: H/Matures 20/Spacing 12"/
DAYS TO MATURITY: 280
SEEDS PER PACKET: 20
SOURCE CODE: C
APPROXIMATE GERMINATION DAYS: 12-18
PLANTING DEPTH: 1"
WHEN TO PLANT: Early Spring
PACKET INSTRUCTIONS: Needs warmth, water and not too much nitrogen. Plant outdoors on last frost date in coastal and southern areas. In northern climates soak seed overnight and start indoors 4-8 weeks early. Transplant 6" apart in short-season areas or 12" apart in long-season areas. Best to provide a trellis for the vines which can get 10-20 ft long. For the best roots, pick off flowers.
BOTANICAL NAME: Pachyrhizus tuberosus
DESCRIPTION: Also called Mexican Yam and Mexican Turnip. Jicama is a vine that can grow up to twenty feet long. Crisp, juicy, sweet tubers can be eaten raw, stir-fried, boiled, roasted, braised, or used in soups. Often sliced thin and sprinkled with salt, chili pepper, and lemon juice. Their crunchy texture is retained even after cooking - makes them a popular substitute for water chestnuts in Chinese cooking. Also the source of starch used in custards and puddings.
In warm winter areas it can be planted outdoors in the spring; otherwise it must be started indoors. Needs 8-9 months to produce the sweet, juicy, crunchy roots that are the edible part. It may need to be covered in cooler climates. The plants need sun, and rich moist soil. Caution: the seeds and pods of jicama are poisonous!