The Yacon is a root vegetable, like a potato, but tastes more like a fruit. It originated in South America and is slowly gaining popularity in the United States. You may know the Yacon by the name Peruvian ground apple or Yacon strawberry. They've gotten these names for their taste; their shape and size is much more like a sweet potato. The sweet tuber is a member of the sunflower family and the plant grows very tall, with large hairy leaves and tiny yellow flowers. Yacon takes six to seven months to reach maturity and is not frost hardy.
Dig planting area large enough to plant the rhizomes at least 1 1/2 feet apart in all directions and about a foot deep, for those in a frost free area. Remove all weeds, grass and stones.
Add two inches of compost over the soil and work it into the soil to loosen it up and give the Yacan nutrition. For those in colder areas, prepare garden soil by mixing one part soil and one part compost and filling deep containers to start the rhizomes indoors.
Plant rhizomes in the loose soil about an inch to an inch and a half deep, with the sprouts just above the soil line. Most rhizomes will have at least three sprouts coming from them. Press the soil down tightly around the rhizome.
Water well immediately after planting and keep the soil evenly moist as the sprouts begin to grow.
Place mulch over the planting area; the sprouts will grow through the mulch. The mulch will keep the rhizomes from drying out while keeping the weeds from growing around the plants.
Plant indoor started rhizomes out after all threat of frost is gone. Water well immediately after planting to help the roots adjust to the new location.