This is my LAST sugarcane video ever!
For this year.
Sugarcane is easy to grow from zone 8 on through the tropics. Today, Daisy and I demonstrate how we plant sugarcane in rows.
Fall is the time to plant sugarcane in the Deep South. Till up an area in which to plant and rake out all the weeds and grass you can.
Then, dig some trenches about 3-4′ apart. We make our trenches about six inches deep.
Once you have your trenches ready, it’s time to plant your cane. But first you need some cane cuttings! Though some sugarcane varieties set seed, cuttings are the normal method for growing sugarcane. You can get canes from a farmer’s market or ethnic market, or online, then chop them up so each cane has a few nodes. We throw away the top, immature part of the cane and use the rest for planting.
We lay out cane cuttings in our trenches, end to end, continuing until all the trenches are planted.
Then we cover over the trenches with soil.
In a climate with winter frosts, it may also be beneficial to mulch the ground to project the canes from freezing. Use whatever mulch you have, from old sugarcane leaves to tree leaves, to straw or wood chips. Light and fluffy is best, as it traps in more air.
Now all you have to do is wait until spring. When the weather warms, your cane will start sprouting. It looks like little corn sprouts as it comes up, then rapidly thickens and grows as the weather gets hotter.
At the end of the season, before the first hard frost, harvest your canes for making juice, syrup, sugar or other exciting things.
A patch of sugarcane can last for years and will regrow the next spring when the weather warms.
Planting rows is the most common way to grow sugarcane, but you can also plant them in wagon wheels, as I demonstrate here:
And you can read about the wagon wheel method of planting sugarcane, step-by-step here.
In the past I always planted rows, but this alternate method worked well for Danny and Wanda so I’m giving it a try on our own homestead this year, alongside my standard planting of cane in rows.
Maybe by harvest time we’ll have our own cane mill so we can cook syrup.