Part 2 of my Great Bangkwang Experiment is still underway. It’s had a few hiccups because I’m lax in weeding, and the poor bangkwang plants were beheaded a few times when the grass was cut by someone else. Green bangkwang leaves on a sprawling vine just don’t show up well against green grass, so the plants were fair game…
Since I finally got around to weeding around the bangkwang plants, I decided to mix in a bit of my new compost to give the plants a boost. I cautiously shifted away the sandy soil by hand, not wanting to hurt the plant’s roots. My intention was to clear about 15cm around the plant, and the same distance deep. The main stem descended about 10cm, when suddenly, I realized that a tiny little tuber was peeking out of the soil at me! It was just 3cm across and looked more like a baby potato. As much as I wanted to uncover the entire tuber and admire it, I was responsible and quickly mixed in the compost and covered it to minimize its exposure, then moved to the second plant.
Honestly, I was more excited about this second plant because the stem was thicker than the first one’s, and my expectations were now up. I was not disappointed – this one was growing even closer to the surface, and it was bigger, at 5cm across! It, too, got a dose of compost and my well wishes to keep growing.
So, like the proverbial Doubting Thomas, I’m finally convinced that we can really grow our own bangkwang, and now I’m impatiently wondering how much longer we’ll have to wait before the tubers get big enough to harvest! 8)
- Read Part 1 where we grew the bangkwang from a tuber to get seeds.
- Then read Part 2 where we began growing the plants from seeds harvested from our first plant. Today’s post marks the halfway point in Part 2.
- Bangkwang, as it’s called locally in Singapore, is also known as jicama, yam bean and Mexican turnip, among other things.