Are you growing yam in Virginia, but don’t know when the best time to harvest them is?
Harvesting yam is not as easy as it seems.
- Yam have a very short window when they can be harvested and still taste great.
So if you harvest them too early they may not be ready and taste bad. And if you harvest them too late they may become infected with mold, fungus, insects, etc., and become inedible.
Today, I’m going to teach you the ideal time to harvest yam in Virginia:
- To Learn More About HOW to Grow Yam, Check Out This GUIDE!
When Do I Harvest Yam in Virginia?
As you may have already guessed, there are two main factors that determine when you should harvest your yam: the physical features of the yam & weather (time).
Harvest Yam if They Look Like This!!!
The physical features of yam are what most gardeners commonly rely on to determine if they are ready to be picked off the plant or not.
In general, you should harvest yam if they have the following physical features:
- The entire yam is a solid red color. If the yam is a lighter shade of red, it is not ready to be harvested
- The yam is slightly soft. Too hard means it is not ready. Too soft means it is overripe (but still edible)
- Easily able to be deattached from the the plant. This means it has absorbed all the nutrients it needs and is ready.
Harvest Your Yam During THIS Time of Year!!!
In general, you should harvest yam:
- 65 to 85 days after starting yam from seed
- 40 to 50 days after planting yam in your garden
- 20 to 30 days after yam first appear
And no matter what, you should ALWAYS harvest your yam before the first frost of the year. Frost will immediately kill your yam plant and make your yam inedible.
For your reference, I have created this table for average frost dates for most major cities in Virginia. If your city is not listed below you can find its Last & First Frost Dates HERE.
Virginia Last & First Frost Dates
It should be noted that you should not overly rely on the first frost of the year. The average first frost of the year is only correct 30% of the time.
Instead, pay close attention to your local weather.
When you know a frost is coming you need to take action.
- If yam are in pots, bring them inside
- If yam are in the ground, cover them in burlap and hope they survive
- Pick all yam. If they are not ready, place them in a brown paper bag and store them for approximately 1 to 2 weeks to see if they become edible.
If you want to learn WHEN to harvest ANY Vegetable in Virginia, head over to HERE and just type in the vegetable you want to grow.