Planting sugar cane is easy… it’s the waiting that’s hard!
In the fall, you’ll often see sugar cane for sale at roadside produce stands. If you can keep yourself from chewing it all, it’s easy to plant and grow. I buried multiple canes in the fall of 2011 and got a decent harvest in the fall of 2012. Now I’ve gone bigger and planted a bunch more.
I double-dug a series of trenches and dropped in cane segments. The soil should keep it alive until spring when it’ll pop up and make a nice bed. Sugar cane is truly beautiful and looks a lot like bamboo. It works well in a garden bed, a food forest, or even an edible landscape.
Fortunately, sugar cane does not require swampy conditions. I had it grow quite well mixed into my seldom-watered food forest out front.
Bonus: Sugar cane is a perennial! Once you get a stand going, it can keep producing for years.
My wife wants to make cane syrup, so I’m growing tons. Actually, there’s really no reason to grow quite as much as I am, but darn it… I just want to.
Interestingly, I picked up two different types of sugar cane from two different farm stands. One kind has green canes and one has maroon. Neither seem to be good chewing varieties, even though they’re delicious. I’m guessing it’s “crystal cane,” i.e., the type you make commercial cane sugar from.
After taking the photo above, I buried the canes under about 4″ of soil… and dug in another row or two. I. CAN’T. STOP. PLANTING. SUGARCANE!
UPDATE: Our cane-planting led us to making our own sugar cane syrup – check this out.