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Old 02-04-2013, 03:07 PM
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Sugar cane

Maybe someone can enlighten me, how does sugar cane grow? Is it anything like starting potatoes where you'd need a seed potato or does it come from a seed? I've always wondered... Thinking about growing a couple stalks of it for shirts and giggles. It's an idea for my second round of my container gardening the year. Starting to aggregate seeds and begin again. Time to plant is here.

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Old 02-04-2013, 03:11 PM
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Sugar cane is more akin to a grass or bamboo. It is cultivated from stalk cuttings, not a seed.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Aquaticedge View Post
Maybe someone can enlighten me, how does sugar cane grow? Is it anything like starting potatoes where you'd need a seed potato or does it come from a seed? I've always wondered... Thinking about growing a couple stalks of it for shirts and giggles. It's an idea for my second round of my container gardening the year. Starting to aggregate seeds and begin again. Time to plant is here.

I think it is sort of like St. Augustine or Coastal Bermuda. The cuttings will take root.

Where's Botnst when you need him?
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:28 PM
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How to Grow Sugar Cane | Garden Guides
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:45 PM
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Thanks for the link Tx. Sounds like I was right. The directions, except for the distances involved are exactly like sprigging St. Augustine or Bermuda.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Aquaticedge View Post
Maybe someone can enlighten me, how does sugar cane grow? Is it anything like starting potatoes where you'd need a seed potato or does it come from a seed? I've always wondered... Thinking about growing a couple stalks of it for shirts and giggles. It's an idea for my second round of my container gardening the year. Starting to aggregate seeds and begin again. Time to plant is here.
If you can find the seeds it can be grown from them, but most commercially produced cane is propogated through the rooting of stem cuttings. You need a section of stem with a bud, plant that, and it will grow. Growing in a container is probably not be very successful as cane is a massive consumer of water.

If you're every traveling in South Florida head out to the Everglades Agricultural Area south of Lake Okeechobee where the cane is grown, you can probably get a few budding stalks there. They've developed specific strain called "Yellow Gal" to grow in the soil known as "Okeechobee Black MucK" arguably the most fertile soil in the world. It's a layer of organic matter maybe 20 foot thick that was deposited over tens of thousands of years in what was essentially the upper/northern Everglades. It's completely black almost entirely organic matter very much like peat. It's actually slowly oxidizing and diminishing because it's no longer underwater after the area has been dewatered by pumping it dry. You can always tell South Florida celery and lettuce because there will be traces of the pure black muck between the leaves or stalks at their base.

If your in that area in the late fall early winter you can sometimes catch it when they burn the cane prior to harvesting it. It's a spectacular sight a wall of flame a couple hundred feet high moving across the enormus fields at very fast speed! They start the fires to burn off the leaves leaving only the stalks to be harvested.

At most Cuban expresso/sandwich shops you can buy sugar cane juice, they call it "guarapo", they have sections of cane on hand and a machine that squeezes and extracts the juice. When you order it, cane goes in the machine, the juice is strained into a cup full of ice, can't get fresher than that! A tall cup of guarapo, a toasted Cuban sandwich, an egg flan` or a giant macaroon for dessert, and a couple Cuban expressos to top off the meal, makes a very fine feed indeed!
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:55 PM
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Sugar cane is more akin to a grass or bamboo. It is cultivated from stalk cuttings, not a seed.
It is a perennial true grass and can be propagated via seeds, it is most often propagated via cuttings because it's easier and faster.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:57 PM
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well damn, that blows that idea out of the water.... I doubt I'll find seeds or any cane here growing to ask for a cutting. thanks for the info
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:13 PM
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They sell the cutting in every airport gift shop in Hawaii. Want one?
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:18 PM
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"A tall cup of guarapo, a toasted Cuban sandwich, an egg flan` or a giant macaroon for dessert, and a couple Cuban expressos to top off the meal, makes a very fine feed indeed! "

True, as does a tumbler of Jamaican rum (sugar cane) and a real Coca Cola (cane syrup)
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:20 PM
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well damn, that blows that idea out of the water.... I doubt I'll find seeds or any cane here growing to ask for a cutting. thanks for the info
They grow the hell out of it in south Louisiana... get Bot to get you a cutting. Sugar cane country is all around him...
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:38 PM
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"A tall cup of guarapo, a toasted Cuban sandwich, an egg flan` or a giant macaroon for dessert, and a couple Cuban expressos to top off the meal, makes a very fine feed indeed! "

True, as does a tumbler of Jamaican rum (sugar cane) and a real Coca Cola (cane syrup)
Ah, yes it does! Although I was originally thinking more along the lines of a midday lunch, but I would not object before or after an evening meal.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:42 PM
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They grow the hell out of it in south Louisiana... get Bot to get you a cutting. Sugar cane country is all around him...
I was going to suggest that surely someone on this forum has access to a few cuttings.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:44 PM
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They sell the cutting in every airport gift shop in Hawaii. Want one?
are you or anyone going any time soon? I'd love it if anyone can get their hands on it, I'd love to try!
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:47 PM
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I'll be there this week. PM me a mailing address.

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