Name: Duck Potatoes, Wapato
Origin: The Americas
Duck potatoes are a water plant that has arrow-shaped leaves and produce small tubers in late autumn/ early winter.
When to sow: After frosts in spring. October in Southern Australia. Plant tubers into a bath or large waterproof tub as it is a water plant. The bath or tub should be 3/4 filled with a sand/potting mix soil with some pont fertiliser tablets added. Do not use 'normal' fertiliser as it will cause a build up of scum.
You will only need 6 tubers for a bath tub as they spread as they grow. Do not plant in a dam or any place where the spread around the shallow edge will be a problem.
Plant Type: Water plant.
Uses: Peel large tubers or leave small ones as they are (the skin is a little bitter). Boil, roast, steam or microwave till soft. The flavour is similar to potato, with a hint of bitterness. They tend to too bitter to eat raw.
Growing Conditions: They are not fussy but make sure you top up the water in the growing container regularly so it is 5-20cm above the soil.
Harvesting and storage: Duck potatoes should be left until the leaves die down, then pull them up and pick off the tubers from the roots. Tubers that fall off the roots will float.
Plant six in a bath tub or two/three in a large plastic tub.
Store in damp sawdust in a plastic bag in a cool, dark spot or in the fridge crisper.
Pests and Diseases: I have not noticed any pest or disease affecting mine.
Tuber: You will receive 5 tubers. Make sure you place them in a pot of potting mix and don't let it dry out until spring.