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Jicama and Corn

A promising way to grow Jicama or Yam Bean (Pachyrhizus erosus) is with corn as a companion. While growing climbing beans with corn is nothing new, perhaps growing Jicama with corn is! I planted the Jicama seeds in late summer and once they were up, i planted some corn seeds in rows between the rows of Jicama. Now the corn is almost 1 meter tall, the Jicama is climbing up happily without strangling the corn, so far. I had bad germination with the corn as I was just going through a cold spell in late winter, cold as in chilly, not ice or snow. Anyway, they are pretty happy growing together, great companions, in fact, i reckon they are in love. If the Jicama is doing better than the corn, you could keep it trimmed until the corn is large enough to handle it climbing.

Jicama is a very useful plant, the above ground parts including the seeds, contain rotenone, an insecticidal compound that is the active ingredient of derris dust you commercially buy in garden centres. It is allowed for use in organic systems. Rotenone is also toxic to fish as they absorb it through their gills much easier than mammals can absorb it through their gastrointestinal tract. Care should be taken when handling above ground parts i guess 🙂

One reason I thought i’d try to grow Jicama with corn was to see if the rotenone in the Jicama keeps away or kills corn earworm (Helicoverpa spp.).

This Post Has One Comment
  1. hey mate nice work
    up in the tropics is a vigorous bastard

    i reccomend an arit/sabit / sickle to trim it back. the prunings can only add to productivity

    its populat veg not only in the americas but also in asia
    ive got malay fever so ill report n that

    favourite in rujak, basically grated green fruit or starchy tubers with a chilli, salty tangy sauce
    great refresher snack. very popular and cheap

    heres bengkuang (bahasa indonesia)

    stay green my hardy friend

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