Let’s take a look at one fun way you can plant and grow sugarcane in a small space.
Small-scale Sugarcane Growing in Wagon Wheels
Yesterday I got a package of green sugarcane cuttings in the mail from an ebay seller.
They looked beautiful and were even packaged with planting and growing instructions.
The canes were fresh and already sprouting roots at the nodes.
I bought a double order, so I would have enough to plant a wagon-wheel of them, Danny and Wanda style.
The first thing we did was to pick a spot of grass out in the food forest and start chopping out the sod.
Then we dug down with shovels to about 6″ deep.
The final circle is a little more than 4′ across. Once you have this finished, it’s time to lay out your wagon wheel of cane cuttings.
The pieces we had just made it!
Once we do this, we gather some cow manure and put it in between – not on top of! – the canes. Then we start filling it in.
As sugar cane loves lots of soil fertility, I believe the roots will find the manure as they grow, giving the canes a boost of nutrition as well as some good organic matter.
Once the canes are covered with a few inches of soil, we mulch over the top.
More Thoughts on Growing Sugarcane in Your Yard
This method of planting sugarcane gives you a nice stand that fits in almost anywhere. You could plant cane like this right in your landscaping or at the end of your driveway. As it grows, it becomes quite beautiful and ornamental, less like a factory field of rows and more like an attractive clump of bamboo.
Unlike bamboo, however, sugarcane is not invasive and does not spread. For multiple years you’ll be able to cut canes from your wagon wheel and enjoy the sweet harvests. Every winter in our zone 8b climate, we can harvest in the fall before frost, then mulch over the roots so they sleep safely through the winter without cold damage. In spring, new shoots emerge like little corn plants, growing faster and faster as the weather gets hotter and wetter.
You don’t need a swamp or a tropical climate to grow sugarcane! Try planting a few cuttings in your yard – you’ll love it. You might even love it so much you plant a ton more and start making your own delicious cane syrup.