How To Grow Yam [Beginners Guide] -
how to grow yam

How To Grow Yam [Beginners Guide]

Yam is one of the most demanded tubers usually prepared using different methods which are roasted, mashed, or steamed for everyday feeding. Yam farming is lucrative and profitable because it is easier to farm and doesn’t require much capital to start.

To start growing yams, you have to create space or get farmland, prepare the land, buy yam seedlings or slip, make yam furrows, plant, water, and fertilizer application, weeding, and harvest.

This informative piece is compiled to teach you how to grow yam from seed planting to maturity stage.

How To Grow Yam

Growing yam is not only easy but also profitable if you decide to sell your produce. Before you practically begin to grow yams, ensure you follow the steps discussed below.

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Step 1: Create Space or get a Farmland

To begin yam planting, you will need land where the yam split will be planted to germinate and grow to maturity. The land should have the quality of soil needed and weather conditions as well.

To make sure the land is good for yam cultivation, ensure you test the soil PH be it that the soil nutrient is adequate or short.

Step 2: Prepare the Land

Land preparation is required for yam farming to get the soil in the best condition for maximum yield. Harrowing and plowing are used to till and level the soil.

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You can till the ground with a hoe, tractor, or other equipment to allow for proper yam slip planting depth and weed prevention. Land leveling is necessary and should be completed because it will aid in seedling emergence and reduce erosion.

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Yam cultivation grows best when planted in loose soil, and makes sure the soil is fertile. You can enhance soil fertility using rotten animal dung as a good alternative and is preferable to chemical fertilizers. Make sure you treat the soil so that it will be rich in nitrogen.

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Step 3: Buy Yam Seedling or Slip

Yam is planted from seed just as most tuber crops. Also, it is planted from yam slip. The quality of the yam slip you purchase will affect the level of yield during harvest. Ensure that you purchase yam slips from a reputable yam farmer or any other reliable source.

Step 4: Make Yam Heaps

You need to make yam heaps where the yam splits will be planted on the farm. Don’t forget to leave about 50 cm between rows to avoid crowding and competition.

Step 5: Planting

Make holes that are about 4″ or 5″ deep and 3″ wide (approximately 10 or 12 cm deep and 7-8 cm wide) and then Bury the slips or sprouted yam in the ground. Slips should be placed in holes 8 to 10 inches apart, with the roots pointing down and the leafy tops above the soil. Fill the holes very gently with soil, taking care not to jostle or bruise the slips too much.

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Step 6: Water and Fertilizer Application

It is critical to thoroughly water your yam heaps. Water newly planted slips every day for the first week, every other day for the second week, and less and less as they grow.

Hydrate them liberally, but keep an eye on the crop to avoid waterlogging. Yams thrive in sunlight, so adjust the watering schedule accordingly if the soil becomes dry.

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Also, Plants should be fertilized. During the growth period, use fertilizer to help improve the condition of the produce. Purchase a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus and low in nitrogen, which can interfere with root development. Fertilizing the crop every two to four weeks is ideal.

Step 7: Staking

Yam plant vines are weak and need to be supported to produce a large yield. Keep an eye on the plants and stake the mounds four weeks after the vines emerge. Bamboo canes can be used to support these yam vines, which can grow up to 10 feet tall.

Step 8: Weeding and Pest Control

Keep an eye out for pests and diseases. Your yams may become prey to various pests and diseases from time to time.

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Take the time to remove weeds from the farm as well, so that the yam plants do not compete. Weeds can be removed by hand or with a chemical. A suitable chemical spray should be sprayed on the farm in the required quantity to control disease and pests.

Step 9: Harvesting

Yams typically mature in about 14 weeks. They should be harvested when the plant’s tops begin to yellow and wither. Harvesting can be done by digging around the yam crop and pulled out of the heap. It should be done gently not to injure the yam flesh.

How Long It Takes For Yam To Grow?

Most yam varieties grow to maturity in about 14 to 30 weeks. Depending on the soil quality and care given to the yam plant.

How Do Yams Grow Step By Step?

The step-by-step guide on how to grow yam is shown below.

Step 1 – Create space or get a farmland

Step 2 – Land Preparation

Step 3 – Buy sprouted yam or slip

Step 4 – Make yam heaps (furrows

Step 5 – Planting

Step 6 – Water and Fertilizer Application

Step 7 – Staking

Step 8 – Weeding

What Is The Best Month To Plant Yam?

The best month to plant yam is between February to March.

What Part Of Yam Is Used For Planting?

Setts are the parts of yam that are planted. It consists of cut tubers and whole tubers, with the cut portions made up of setts from the tuber’s head, middle, and tail sections.

How Do You Prepare The Soil For Yams?

The soil must be thoroughly prepared before planting yams. Before the rainy season begin proper, ensure you clear the land ahead. Cut the trees and the branches. Stack the trees and branches and set them on fire.

Till the soil to a depth of 20 to 40 cm. Then, at 10 to 40 tons per hectare, apply organic manures, well-rotted farmyard manure, compost, or green manure.

How Do I Start A Yam Farm?

Step 1: Purchasing Farming Land

Step 2: Get Knowledge

Step 3: Write a Business Plan

Step 4: Obtain Funding

Step 5: Land Preparation

Step 6: Choose yam setts or seed yam preparation.

Step 7: Planting of yam setts and seed yams.

Step 8: Weeding the yam farm

Step 9: Yam staking

Step 10: Harvesting of yams

How Do You Make Yams Grow Faster?

To make your yams grow faster, ensure you plant on soil with the right PH, and make sure you apply organic or inorganic fertilizer to enrich the soil nutrient.

Does Yam Need Water To Grow?

Yes, yam plants require plenty of water to grow especially during the early growing stage.

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Are Yams Easy To Grow?

Yams are fairly simple to grow. You can grow your sprouts and slips to plant, and then grow, and harvest.

Can Yam Be Planted In January?

Yams can be planted in January. However, if you are planting during this time, you should be aware of the sun.

Can I Plant Yam In December?

You can plant yam in December with the right planning and forethought.

How do you apply manure to yams?

Fill three-quarters of the pits with 1-1.25 kg of cattle manure or compost and topsoil. To conserve soil moisture, plant the sliced tuber pieces and completely cover the pit with leafy materials.

What Is The Spacing For Yam?

For commercial yam production, the recommended spacing is 1 m 1 m between rows and stands, and 1 m × 0.25 m for smaller sets.

How Deep Do You Plant Yams?

Yam setts should be planted 10 cm deep and backfilled with soil.

How Do You Know When Yams Are Ready To Harvest?

Yams are harvested 6 to 12 months after planting, depending on the variety. When the leaves and stems turn yellow and dry, it’s time to harvest the tubers.

How To Grow Yams In A Container

Step 1: Select a 600 mm wide pot or large rectangular pot.

Step 2: Fill with high-quality potting soil.

Step 3: Lightly water

Step 4: Plant the tubers 10 cm deep and cover them with potting soil.

Step 5: Place the pots in direct sunlight.

Step 6: Fill well with water.

Step 7: Spread a light layer of organic mulch over the potting mix surface, such as bark, chips, woodchips, or pea straw.

Step 8: Keep the pot well-watered, but don’t let the water collect in a saucer at the bottom.

How To Grow Yam From Cuttings

To grow yam from cuttings, you have to propagate yams from minisetts, take a fresh yam and cut it into pieces, making sure each one has a good piece of skin from which the new growth will emerge.

The next step is to dip the cut yam pieces in ashes and let them dry for a few minutes. Ashes appear to aid in wound healing and infection prevention. It’s a traditional method used in yam-growing regions. Pieces will grow without ashes as well.

Finally, your yams can be planted. Because yams are a root crop, they must be planted in loose soil.

How To Plant Yam In Bags In Nigeria

To plant yams in bags, you have to purchase sturdy sacks and make holes around them for aeration and water drainage from the soil. Fill the ack with quality soil and plant your plant the tubers 10 cm deep and cover with potting soil. Water after planting and place the sack where it will receive sunlight.

How To Grow Yams Indoors

You can grow yams indoors using a planting pot, grow bag, or any other container. Get potting mix, compost, or quality soil and fill the container with the soil. Make sure the soil is loosed to aid growth.

Plant your plant the tubers 10 cm deep and cover with potting soil. Water after planting and place the sack where it will receive sunlight. Ensure you water adequately.

Best Time To Plant Yam

The best time to plant yam is immediately after the cold season approaches the rainy season.

How To Grow Yams From Store Bought

To grow yams from store-bought, refer to the method discussed earlier on how to grow yam from cuttings.

How To Grow Yam Leaves

To grow yam from leaves, refer to the steps discussed above using yam slips.

How Long Does Yam Take To Harvest?

You can harvest your yams between 4 to 6 months.


Yam can be grown anywhere, at home, garden, or on farmland as long as you adhere to the steps outlined and discussed in this informative piece on how to grow yam. Ensure you thoroughly read and digest this guide before you begin to grow yam.

Author: Adewebs

David is a seasoned farmer with over 8years experience on the field and teaching. He has about 20 acres of Palm farm, 10acres of livestock farm where he spent most of his time tending and caring for his farm. He offer profffesional services and consultancy services to clients who are interested in venturing into farming.

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