Garden design for surrounding sweet potatoes

robbiemacNovember 21, 2008

I am looking for some help in designing plantings for sweet potatoes. I have a section of yard that I have committed to this, and my initial layout is as follows: a 3' border all around dedicated to pest fighting plantings- what would these plantings be? Then I have a series of 10' long rows- first a "row" that is 4' wide area for the sweet potato vines to spread; a row 10' long x 18" wide for the potato plants, the 4' x 10' area for spreading vines, a row 10' long x 36" wide for more pest fighting plantings, 4' spread area, another 18" wide potato row, another 4' spread area, then a final 3' wide anti-pest planting row. Does this sound ok? My thought is that the rows of potato plantings will be surrounded by pest fighting plants. This is my first attempt at sweet potatoes and would like to try to stay organic in fighting pests. My understanding is that Japanese Beetle is the foremost SW pest in my area. Which plantings should I surroung the potatoe plants to fight this? Any help will be greatly appreciated. I have already laid out these beds, tilling in about 6" of manure/stable sweepings, followed by a tilling of about 4" of chopped leaves. I will leave it now until planting time. I plan to side-dress with compost during the growing season, along with some sprayings of compost tea.

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Bush green beans and eggplant. I have been experimenting with companion planting sence 1998, it really does work.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 10:01AM
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robbiemac~I just stumbled upon this thread and I have to say, it sounds like you're off to a great start! Congrats on all the HARD work you've done so far, that is the real secret to success with organic production methods. :)

I don't have that much experience with vegetables, may I ask do sweet potatoes have the same type of vines as the ornamental SPV grown in containers, how are they different? Just curious.

If JB is a problem in your area (it is now in mine), I suggest you inoculate the surrounding grass fields with milky spore (Bacillus popillae), it takes a few years to build up. This is where the grubs feed. Happy Gardening!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 12:18PM
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