Cassava is grown for it’s roots which can be made into many different things, try and grow some in your back garden with this guide!
Cassava is a tuberous root that is akin to potato and also called yucca. The root can be eaten mashed, boiled, in stews, and bread. Cassava is high in calories and carbohydrates. The Brazil native root needs to be cooked since it is poisonous in its raw form. Keep on reading how to grow cassava and enjoy its starchy filling benefits.
If you are wondering how to grow cassava from the root, note that it cannot be grown from the roots. Its roots are the consumable part that is harvested for this one reason. Cassava takes about eight to ten months to mature, but the root is worth the wait. Considering the high power source of energy and health benefits, it could be your go-to carb source.
How to Plant Cassava
The plant stems are cut to make cuttings of a 2-4 centimetres width picked from the strong disease-free plants. These stems are tied in bundles to grow cassava while being kept in a cool and dry place until the planting time. Note that the cuttings should be freshly made from a stem, which can result in 4-5 cuttings.
While planting the stem, push it deep into the soil until another end is near the ground. You can plant the cuttings in mounds and ridges. The soil needs to be wet in the cassava growing season, so plant in the rains. Keep the rows about a meter apart, so there is enough space for the roots to develop.
How To Care For Cassava Plants
Cassava leads to a lot of ornamental leaves along with the weeds. They grow rapidly in the warm summertime, which is good for the growth of the roots and promotes weeds. The cassava plant needs a slow-releasing fertiliser to keep it nourished throughout the growing period. You need to keep the plants moderately moist to preserve the moisture.
There should be a routine check for the weeds while you’re mastering how to grow cassava plant. Plan on removing the weeds after 3-4 weeks of growth for your first weeding session. After this, you can remove the weeds in 2-3 months. Also, consider Earthing the plants to form tubers to avoid any wind effect on them.
When the plant is at a certain height, it eventually stops the growth of weeds. See that the soil is not too hard, or you will need to hoe the soil for aeration.
How To Harvest Cassava Roots
The lessons on how to grow cassava end at the harvesting that comes after seven to eight months at the earliest. It also depends upon the variety of cassava used and the size of the tubers. A full-grown cassava tuber will weigh around 1-2 KGs while harvesting.
Avoid picking any small-sized ones as they may contain prussic acid. You can leave these to grow out along with the stem and harvest them later.
Tips & Common Problems
Cassava is usually under stack by rodents like rats, rabbits, and agoutis that can burrow under to damage it. They are responsible for eating the stems and the developing roots. This eliminates the chance for the roots to mature properly. Other animals to be aware of are wild boars and pigs that can munch on cassava.
You can lay traps to discourage rodent activity near your cassava plantations. Similarly, you can use insecticides to prevent any termite and ant activity on the plants. You can also coat the cuttings with the insecticide before planting. Choose healthy disease-free cutting to prevent any diseases.