German Above Ground Sweet Potatoes

avidchampDecember 27, 2007

We purchased some seeds for German Above Ground Sweet Potatoes. They did not come with any instructions as to when or how to plant them. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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macmex

Wish I could help, but I've never heard of them.

George

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 2:00PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Do your seeds look like squash or pumpkin seeds?

The only vegetable I have seen referred to as German Above-Ground Sweet Potato is actually a large, heirloom winter squash. Seeds for this winter squash are sometimes offered for sale by the South Carolina Foundation Seed Association (they were on the 2006 and 2007 sale list). If this is what you have, you would plant it and treat it the same way you plant/raise any winter squash.

I usually plant my winter squash seeds in May, when the ground is good and warm here in southern Oklahoma.

Winter squash plants take up a LOT of space.....much like pumpkins. They spread and sprawl. You can let them run all over the ground, or you can contain them somewhat by raising them on a very sturdy fence or trellis.

The German Above-Ground Sweet Potato produces large winter squash, approimately 18" to 20" long and about 6" to 8" wide at the widest point. Both ends taper down smaller....hence the resemblence to the standard sweet potato, and the name! By the way, there are other heirloom winter squashes that either resemble very large sweet potatoes or have the words Sweet Potato in their name.

Winter squash, when properly harvested and cured, can be stored for several months at room temperature or in a root cellar, basement, garage or tornado shelter.

You can find some interesting seeds (many developed at the university over the years) at the Clemson University website. If nematodes are a problem for you, they have some seeds for veggies, including southern peas, that are nematode-resistant. The South Carolina Foundation Seed Association has a lot of interesting heirlooms.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Clemson University link to SCFA seed lists

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 8:45AM
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macmex

Dawn, I bet you hit the nail on the head! I should have thought of that.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 10:30AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

George,

When I first saw your comment that you'd never heard of them, I thought to myself, "Well, if George hasn't heard of these sweet potatoes, they must not exist!" I figured that if you didn't know what it was, then there was no way that I could figure it out!

However, after I thought about it for a few minutes longer, the Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato squash came to mind, as did several other squash that somewhat resemble sweet potatoes OR have 'sweet potato' in their name, like the Tennessee Sweet Potato winter squash. From there, I thought maybe I had the answer, if indeed, the answer I gave is the correct answer.

If my answer isn't the one that avidchamp is looking for, then I guess I'll dig out last year's SSE yearbook and see if anything in there sounds like avidchamp's German Above-Ground Sweet Potato. I sort of enjoy trying to figure out these little horticultural mysteries.

Today it is very cold and windy here, so I am sitting on the couch with my laptop computer and a stack of seed catalogs and planning my spring garden. I am ready for spring to arrive, and it is still so far away.

Dawn

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 11:58AM
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avidchamp

Dawn, you got the right one. We did get the seeds from the South Carolina Foundation. We just were not sure when to plant. We first heard about these plants from a cousin in Mississippi and she said they taste exactly like sweet potatos. Now to find some recipes to use them.

Pat

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 11:04PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Pat,

You can use any recipe that calls for pumpkins, sweet potatoes or winter squash! I have some great squash recipes.....some of them are very unusual, and a few of them are from Amy Goldman's squash book (an amazingly beautiful AND useful book, as is her book about melons). Remind me that you need recipes around harvest time, and I'll post some for you. I have recipes that use squash in ways you never imagined.

Dawn

    Bookmark   December 29, 2007 at 11:29AM
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avidchamp

Thanks Dawn!

We will post some progress reports as the season progresses and we get it growing. Now to decide if we want to let it sprawl or build some type of fence for it to grow on.

Pat

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 11:33AM
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