options for ugly sweet potatoes?

cottentop(7)November 24, 2011

Hi all,

I'm still in my rookie year of gardening but I was able to grow some sweet potatoes this past year. We had a few left that my wife is baking with today. I'm now left with about 20 small sweet potatoes (think golf-ball size to tennis-ball size). They are odd shapes and most have some kind of scratch or nick or gouged out area on the outside of them.

The wife isn't too keen on cooking those so I'm wondering if I can save them for use in Garden 2012? OR, do they just go in the compost pile? Or, is there another option.

I have a photo, but not sure how to post it.

Thanks in advance and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Cottontop, I am a rookie to. My very small sized sweet potatoes (carrot sized) we save for the dog, he loves them.
Any size I eat raw (I don't know how healthy that is, but I ant dead yet).

Last year I took the sprouted end off 2 or 3 and potted in the window in a plastic rain gutter. I got enough slips from those to produce about 6 cu. ft. of potatoes this year, well over a 100LBS. If I have a potato that has a small chewed spot on it, I just cut it out when I am peeling it and eat it like it was a perfect potato.

I have never saved a gulf ball sized potato, those are the ones eaten first while I am sitting around watching T.V.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 11:11AM
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Like Larry I eat many of mine raw. I peel and eat them. All of those the size of a small carrot or smaller I eat raw. The only taters that produced anything to speak of for me was those that sprouted slips in early July from a large odd shaped one I had never done anything with. So that is a good way to get slips for the next year I found out by accident.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 12:22PM
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It may be a bit tricky to save taters that small for starting slips next year, but it may be worth a shot. Keep them in a dry, cool, dark place--not the frig; we put ours under the bed in a cool bedroom--and next spring early pot them up in a mix of sand and seedstarting mix covering them by 2 or 3 inches. Even small potatoes should put out several slips. Plant in May.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 7:46PM
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Pallida(Zone 7b)

This is a leeeetle bit off the subject, but other than baked or casseroles (you know, with marshmallows, etc.), I had never eaten sweet potatoes any other way, until recently when I ate at "The Cliff" near Turner Falls, and they had them French Fried. Absolutely delicious! I had never even thought to eat them raw, although I have eaten many slivers of Irish potatoes raw. Live and learn...........


    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 10:23AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


I handle small, ugly potatoes the same way I handle big ones. I just peel them and cut out the cuts or gouges. We always use any damaged sweet potatoes first as they are more likely to go bad than those that weren't cut or gouged when we were digging them.

Like Dorothy, we usually store sweet potatoes in an extra bedroom in the house or in our tornado shelter, and they still are good in the spring time. Then I sprout them to produce slips for planting.

Jeanie, Apparently french fried sweet potatoes are catching on. I saw some bags of them in the freezer section at a grocery store recently.

You also can eat the foliage of sweet potato plants.


    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 4:17PM
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I plan on trying sweet potato foliage next year. Two of our guest for Thanksgiving were from West Africa, step daughter took them into the bath room where I am trying to over winter some sweet potato plants. I could not understand everything that was said but it appears that the foliage, as well as the roots are a highly valued food sourse where they lived. They were also interested in the different greens I am growing, also they wanted some aloe vera plants, they said it was "Good Medicine".

DW will be going to northwest Arkansas soon to take them plants and samples from the garden. (she will be going to visit GD anyway)


    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 7:27PM
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Larry, When you talk to people from Africa about those things that American's sometimes call yams, make sure you are talking about the same thing. The true yam that grows in Africa is a tropical vine (Dioscorea batatas) and is not related to a sweet potato and the tuber can grow up to seven feet long.

My son can eat sweet potatoes, but is extremely allergic to yams. After being served yams in Africa, he injected himself with an EpiPen and they rushed him to the hospital, where they again gave him another shot. He was very careful about his food after that episode.

I try to always call the one we grow in this country sweet potatoes (which they are), and not ever use the name yams. I'm sure that is more information that you ever wanted to know. (grin)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 9:29PM
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Thanks for the info. I did explain the difference and also told her that I thought that yams were grown in her country, but she told me, "no sweet potato". I showed her pictures of the plants in the garden and showed her some sweet potatoes I had stored in the house. They said that would like to have samples from my produce, but I was gone when they left, so Madge took sweet potatoes, turnips, mustard and kale to them yesterday when she went to see GD.

Madge had at least two different sweet potato dishes for dinner Thursday which they seemed to enjoy.

The two ladies are students at UA., I expect funds may be tight.


    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 6:09PM
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After having invasive sweet potatoes, I'm almost afraid to grow them. The tops die off but not the roots. Unfortunately, I didn't plant them in sunny enough places to get any production. Good thing is that the chickens love the vines so at least I have a nice greens crop for them out of it.
I think I may have to grow sweet potatoes in their own special raised bed from now on, at least until. Leave AZ. They can apparently become quite invasive around here if given just a tiny bit of water.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 12:33PM
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I left some ornamentals in the ground this year. Before I would harvest them also, and then till and amend the soil. They are mulched deeper this year and with newspaper between the mulch and the soil. In the past any left in the ground would rot. I expect the same this year.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 2:23PM
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