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Sugarcane

Saccarum officinarum
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Sugarcane is a member of the grass family, Poaceae. Native to southern Asia. Sugarcane has been cultivated for about 2000 years but it wasn’t until the 18th century that it was in cultivation in the USA. Sugar production was and still is very important to many countries. It is also being used now as a bio fuel.

Landscape Value

Sugarcane makes an attractive exotic-looking plant within your sub-tropical landscape. Ideal for a shelter-belt. Exposing the purple/maroon stems creates a dramatic feature in any garden.

Nutritional Value

Sap is sucrose. Sugar has been reported to have a variety of health properties but too much sugar can also cause health problems.

How to Eat

Where do we not use sugar; to preserve, sweeten sour or bitter foods. We use it everywhere. In the raw state sugar can be chewed or as a liquid enjoyed as a drink or added to other foods.

Expected Yield

1 metre of cane will produce a glass of juice.

Growing

Sun

Prefers a sunny site, hot and humid conditions.

Wind

Will tolerate exposed conditions.

Climate

Will handle light frosts. Prefers warm night temperatures, this is when the stem grows. If the nights are cool the stem will still grow but the sugar yield will be poor.

Soil

Well drained fertile soil but will grow in a wide range of soil and a wide range of ph, from 4.5 – 8.5. Require a good water supply through the growing months.

Planting

Plant plants about a 1 metre apart. Mulch to suppress weeds and keep the soil from drying out.

Fertiliser

Additions of organic matter or fertiliser will increase growth and yield.

Pruning

Pests

No problems in the home garden.

Hardiness

-5°C

Special Conditions

 


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