The jicama root, sometimes called the Mexican potato, is native to New Mexico, southern Texas and Mexico. It tastes something like an apple and has the consistency of a potato, but contains less starch and fewer calories. For these reasons, jicama roots make a healthy, sweet addition to coleslaw and salsa. Though jicamas are more expensive than the average potato, sprouting your own yields a large, free crop in the warmer months. If you find you love jicama roots, this may be a way to keep both your budget and your diet under control.
Things You'll Need
- Jicama root
- Paper bag
- Small trellis
- Rubber mallet
Choose a large, firm jicama root for sprouting. It should be free of mold, bruises and discoloration. It's papery, tan skin should be smooth and have no gouges or deep tears.
Place the jicama root inside a paper bag. Set the bag in a warm, dark place. The temperature must be above 65 degrees Fahrenheit for the root to sprout.
Check on the jicama root after a week or two. You should see small sprouts, similar to potato sprouts, forming on one side of the root.
Choose a place to plant your jicama. The area should get full sun all day long, and the soil should be loose, but dark and rich. Pound a small trellis into the area.
Dig a hole about 6 inches deep and wide. Place the sprouted jicama root into the hole and cover it with soil.
Water the root with about a quart of water each week. Water it every three days during dry periods. The jicama should sprout and vine in about 3 weeks. Twine the vine through the trellis.
Tips & Warnings
- Sprouted jicamas don't taste very good, so only sprout them if you want to plant them. Otherwise, store jicama roots at about 55 degrees to prevent sprouts.
- Do not eat the vines, leaves or flowers of your jicama -- they're poisonous.
- Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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