2012 sweet potato harvest and NO vole damage!

blueberrier1September 9, 2012

Finished digging sweet potatoes today a month ahead of my usual habit. In trimming the excess vines, prior to digging, I noted three wonderful welcome garter snakes.

There was not one SP with evidence of vole contact. For five years in this garden, voles have dined on the SPs. Will make oven french fries with some broken Vardeman taters tomorrow and assess their sweetness factor. My other variety is Georgia Jet-those with the lovely bee tempting nectar blossoms.

The snakes meandered about the piles of trimmings and too late, I realized I should have captured them to live in the high tunnel, where mice and most likely voles reside.

Now, if the garter snakes would only consume some of those rabbits...

The only difference in raising the SPs this year was the use of homemade eucalyptus spray once for blister beetles that attacked one SP during the drought.

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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

I used to have a huge garter snake in the sweetpotatoes...no doubt a good vole catcher.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 6:14PM
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blueberrier, let us know how your 'sweetness' test came out. Which of the two varieties is your favorite.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 6:45PM
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Rosie, the new Vardaman were only slightly sweet, rather dry, while the one 'pierced with the garden fork' Georgia Jet was sweeter and more moist. Still, both were tasty-just not the optimum sweetness we notice after curing and aging several weeks. I included a GJ from last year in the test, and it was like candy.

This year, some of the Vs were 20" or more long while 1-2" diameter. They require much more care in harvesting. The GJs were the std SP shape with some monster sized:3#s. I purposely plant the GJs 10-12" apart to not have huge results. Both of these varieties are much tastier than Beauregard (the std store variety), IMO. Both are delicious prepared in any recipe. DH and I especially enjoy the french fry cuts (coconut oil and sea salt) in the toaster oven with a green salad for supper.

Additionally, the V only produce half the volume of the GJ for me.

If anyone has a variety they favor, please post it and its characteristics as I want to add a new variety in 2013.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 7:46PM
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I would like to know more. Have never grown potatoes and want to next year. How do you store them for curing/aging? And for storage after that.

Re harvesting: what is the best method you've found?

Have a huge Asian market not far from me. Will try to discover what varieties they sell cuz I really want to try the coconut oil method. Can get that there too.

Thanks for all this info!


    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 8:16PM
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Rosie, these are so easy to grow and have a huge ROI for our frequent consumption. I usually dig them at the end of Sept here in ctrl KY. Begin digging two feet from the plant, especially if raising V.

They are then placed on cardboard on the stone sun porch floor and covered with burlap and bask in the heat for at least 3 weeks. I keep the windows closed to keep it extra warm at least in the daytime.

Next, I gently place them in two layers in cardboard boxes, and drape two layers of brulap overtop. Usually I sort them size wise. These boxes are then set on the downstairs floor (concrete with two inches of insulation underneath), where the usual temp is 60-65 deg.

When winter sets in, I often bake a jelly roll pan full when baking bread, and then process some for freezing for pies, soups, mashed SPs, etc.

A few months ago, I began snapping sprouts off last years crop, and do it monthly now-but they are still very tasty.

Enjoy-now if you have secrets for raising organic peanuts, I am ready for them!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 6:03PM
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