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Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Posted by barbcoleus z10 SWFL (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 21, 08 at 17:05

This is the first I knew that we could grow sweet potatoes here in SW Fl. THis is something I grew that my family my actually eat. I'm embarrassed to say my family doesn't eat anything I grow. They are suspicious if it doesn't come wrapped in plastic with Publix written on it.
So do you just get sweet potatoes from the store and plant them or are these 'slips' something you order from a garden catalog. Also I'm in zone 10 so would they grow here? Do you put them in soil knowing that they might get nematodes. Do you mulch.
Tell me everything you know.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Hi Barb!

I've grown sweet potatoes 3 times and had good yields. The first time I got slips from Steele Plant Company. They offer many types. Keep in mind that the vines will run all over the place so you have to have a lot of room. They require little. They will take poor, sandy soil, are drought tolerant, and are actually kind of pretty. I would put grass clippings or leaves around newly planted slips and as soon as the vines started growing, they kind of mulched themselves. I usually planted mine in April or May in sort of mounds or hills. For so little effort, they give quite a lot and last a long time in your refrigerator drawer.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

so, it's difficult to speak about sweet potatoes dispassionately... they are really just so awesome. i love them maybe more than any other veg. last summer, in a 10x10 area, i grew some white ones (from castorp) and some orange ones (from publix). i harvested a LOT of potatoes in a very small space. the only prep i did to the soil was a thick layer of trash mulch (mostly shredded camphor). water them daily until they get established, then stand back.

it seems that once you plant sweet potatoes, you'll always have them -- they're starting to sprout in the same area that i grew them last year. i'm plucking them out now and moving them to this year's bed. they are a lovely, edible ground cover -- really drought resistant, and really generous.

Here is a link that might be useful: sweet potatoes in the garden


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Here is a lil pic of my last tater patch.

Photobucket


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

I used to plant the top half of one, top up, and then hill it (build a hill around it). When the hill got about 6 inches high, I'd take it out and there would be all the nice little rooted sprouts, which I would then spread out into a row, and start hilling them. Potatoes I did the same way.

Has anyone ever grown potatoes in oak leaves? Sounds strange, I know, but someone I met says he came up with the idea after putting some rotten potatoes into his compost heap, and having them produce some of the best potatoes he'd ever tasted. So he built a "potato compost pile/garden", where he just puts a 3 inch layer of oak leaves in, tosses in the potatoes, and keeps filling it. He got over 200 potatoes from a 4'x4' space last year. No digging, and he says he also gets the benefit of a lot of earthworms.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

junkyardgirl

I heard of growing them in hay or straw so I guess leaves isnt really all that much different.

I think its wise to grow em in a container or off the ground if possible. Like Michael said above I think (or another post) that once you grow potatoes, you will ALWAYS be growing them because they come back on their own from any tiny sliver left behind.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

I ordered some slips from Steele PLant Company. I had planned in putting them in the ground. I hope they are not as sensitve as tomatoes to all the insects.
Tony thanks for the photos, pictures are worth a thousand words. I didn't know whether they were a summer crop or what.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

I've never eaten a sweet potato. We only grew white and fingerlings up north. With all this talk about them I guess I'm gonna have to try one. LOL


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Hi Barb, I got this information from FL growing guide. I might try growing white sweet potatoes myself by my banana trees.
Tony, your photo is fantastic. You must got tons of sweet taters.

Sweet potatoes, zone 9, 10 Feb-June Feb-June
Jan


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Irish potatoes won't naturalize in florida, so you don't have to worry about volunteers like with sweet potatoes (as if that's a problem!). The tubers won't survive the hot months in the ground.

Tony, those were some great looking vines! I wish I could hang around to see my patch looking like that......


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Dang it guys!! Now I got to plant some 'taters too!! I was thinking the same Jan, down around my bananas would be a good spot. I am not fond of sweet potatoes, but Dennis likes them. What kind of white potato do you all suggest?? When we lived on a farm (age 5-7) in PA, my dad planted taters. I used to love to help dig them out!


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

According to the Fl growing guide, I ordered the types which are good for Florida and it will take 120 days to maturity. The Steele Company recommended them.
We used to eat canned sweet potatoes which were OK and then someone served us fresh which had just been nuked and they were really good. I guess I never thought that sweet potatoes would be a crop for the sub tropics but we'll see.
Tony's picture makes it look like a really pretty ground cover too


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

I am going to try the purple skin oriental sweet potatoes, I eat the stems when they are tender so it should work out good for me. I am glad you thought of it Barb.
Jan


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Tony, how many plants were in that patch? I looked at the Steele Plant Company, and am not sure how many to order. Just 2 people here, but I'd be glad to share starts or the crop.

BarbColeus, what varieties did you order? Has anyone here grown the "Bush" types that take up less room?

I'm thinking about making a temporay raised bed just for the 'Taters. The starts will be shipped in April, for our area.

Any local folks (Palm Beach or Martin county) want to combine an order?

MsMarion, sweet potatoes are delicious! Especially with butter, cinnamon and a little brown sugar. I'm sure you would love them!

Lisa


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

I ordered Centennials 100 day, Nancy Halls 110 and Beuregard 90-100. I'd to to take credit but Annafl recommended this company and Jan1 2007 recommended looking at the FL growing guide and two of these types were mentioned. THey also stated a longer time to harvest 120 day.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Hi Lisa,

Sure wish I could recall who I bought these from, not that it really matters. The variety in the pic (i am pretty sure) is Georgia Jett.

I split an order with someone here and I think there is maybe 10 plants placed in the pic. I trimmed the growth back several times during the yr too otherwise I would have no yard left. Then, I started taking the runners and walking them around the mound like in a circle instead of cutting them.

The few plants produced a lot of taters BUT the guy I split the order with had more taters and less plant growth, thats how we concluded that poor soil, low fert rain water only once established was the way to go.

Hope this helps

Tony


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Well, I had a gift cert toward any new Gurney's order so I ordered Georgia Jet Sweet Potato (12 Plants) and
Goldrush (White) Potato - Sets. I am guessing this will be way more than I need. I will bring extras to Ricky's swap if you want them, Lisa.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gurney's Potato Link


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

I'm working for a client named nancy hall right now; the odd thing is that she has never mentioned sweet potatoes even once as far as I can recall. Suspicious, don't you think?


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Thank you Tony, for the visual of how much room 10 plants take! I have to fence in anything I want to stay planted, or the dern chickens dig it up! So I'm planning a nice raised bed with a fluffy soil/pine straw mixture, shaped to be easy to fence. Did you harvest in summer, in what is supposed to be rainy season? Why did I think taters were a fall harvest? They don't rot in the rain? Oh yeah, we rarely get rain anymore..

CindeeA, I'd love some of your starts, if they last that long. I wouldn't plant them near anything that will be injured by the Taters being dug up though.. I'd worry about killing Banana pups if I planted Taters in their bed.

I'll order some starts, and share too at the swap. Those descriptions from Gurney's sounded great!

Lisa


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Lisa, I dug mine up around thanksgiving time that yr and some were HUGE wayyyyyyy tooo huge to be practical.

Mine were planted around bananas too which were heavily fertilized and that could be the reason for the huge plants I had.

While I was out there a few mins ago what did I see? another darn tato starting on the other side of the yard!

Because I had lost a lot of taters to nematodes, I lost interest and for the longest time was yanking each new start I could spot. I thought I had em all, but I guess not. I may relocate it to somewhere else.

Parks has sweet taters too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Parks taters varieites and info


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Lisa, I have been quite pleased with this company and have been ordering from them since we built our house and silly me planted CONCORD grapes. BTW, concords are still growing stong after 5 years! I would plant them further away from the bananas root system for that same reason. Perhaps create some mounds between the bananas and the wall.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Anybody try getting slips from a grocery store potato? I got a smallish potato and put it in a glass of water. I read it should take about a week for sprouts to come from the eyes. Nothing happened for over two weeks. Then I stuck toothpicks in the midsection of the potato where the bottom of the potato wasn't touching the bottom of the cup. Maybe it was time for the sprouts to sprout, but a few days later the sprouts started sprouting. I have about 25 slips now from a fifty cent potato. Of course I don't know the name of the sweet potato, but this will be only the second time I've tried to grow them and the variety isn't that important to me.

I do have a question. It's still a little early to plant the slips outside and they have a lot of roots growing on them. Should I pot them up or leave them in the water for a couple more weeks?


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

I started mine from Asian grocery. I just cut up SP into smaller pieces with an eye or two on each chunks, buried in the small mounds. Few of them sprouted so far.
I've never raised SP before so I am just guessing on how to do this but it's fun guessing.
Anyhow, I was talking to a friend of mine she said I needed to cut the stems later and plant the stems in order to get the taters.
I don't know if that has to be done or just leave the little SP chunks attached. Any suggesttions?
Good luck with your SP.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

I hope you don't mind that I'm resurrecting this thread to follow up on the results you're having with your sweet potato gardens.

Barb...Jan....how did they do? Are you eating them yet?

Cindee....Lisa....did you plant them too? How is it going?

Anybody got pics?

Thanks,
Susie


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

I'll take pics tomorrow. My Sweet Potato plants look gangly and not all that great. I also planted some russet whites that are looking pretty good, not as full as Tony-yo yos plants but still looking better than the sweets. No matter, I don't eat sweet taters, just the guys do. I'll try to take pics in the morning.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Remember that when you dig up your taters in Septemvber or so that they need about 7 days if curing outside to develop their trul sweet flavor and then bake them, smother fry them. make a casserole but eat those babies. Best baked and served with a little brown sugar, lots of butter and cinnamon or topped with sawmill gravey. I'm sitting here licking my chops craving a tater now - dang you


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Well the starts I bought didn't last too long, so I bought a sweet potato and I'm trying to grow it so that I can start again. I love sweet potatoes so I'm not giving up on this project. No siree!!!


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Can you eat the tubers from the kind you get at HD??? The ornamental varieties??


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Mine are doing pretty good so far. I made the cutting and restarted because my friend told me that was the only way it would bear sweet potatoes. I'll take some photos tomorrow if I have few moments.
Jan


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Jan, where did you get your original cuttings?
Mistieaggie I don't know whether you can eat the tubers from the ornamental varieties.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Barb, I suspect your slips failed because they went out too late. They are pretty fragile - all the more so from being in the mail - and being raised well to the north of you were not adapted to that south florida sun. In south fla I'd be inclined to set out slips in late jan/early feb. Problem is you cannot buy mail-order slips at that time of year. Can't really buy them early enough for most regions of fla such as my place in north-central so floridian SP-growers are on their own for slip-production.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Barb, I got my SP from Asian Grocery store. I made cuttings, re rooted and planted. I had to chop down 6 Banana trees because it was getting too shady over my SP.
Photobucket


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Wow Jan!!!Yours look super!!!

PN I had a feeling that the ones I bought were not really suitable for South Florida. I planted them but they were dead in a few days. I've bought a couple sp from Publix that looked like likely prospects to see if I could root them and get sprouts and do what Jan did but they just rotted before rooting.I'm going to keep trying. I'm determined to have more food


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Well here's my humble White Potatoes

And the last surviving sweet Tater


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Always love the slightest invitation to post pictures.

I'd never done the self-watering container before, so I expiramented a little by planting a tomato, two water melons and one sweet potato. All are doing well. I haven't cut my vines at all. I read somewhere that they grow bigger if you don't. Here's a picture of when I first planted on May 31st and then a pic of how it looks today.

Watermelon_05-31-08
Sweet pot

I planted some in the raised bed too. I planted four squares and I'm pretty sure I put two per square. Only the ones on the outside edges are really vining and they're getting shaded on the east by the broccoli and on the west by the white potatoes. They do look healthy, though.

Here's a pic of them in the raised bed:
square foot garden, sweet potatoes


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Barb, I didn't grow sweet potatoes this year, but in the past when I ordered from Steele Plant Company I got the Centennial 100's and one other kind and I planted in May. The slips were tiny, but in no time at all they turned into giant, wondering vines! I had to water a couple of weeks till established, and did very little after that. Do you think they could have gotten dry during our dry season?

Anna


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Anna,They definitely did get dry during the dry season. Hindsight says I should have potted them up and keep them going with more care until rainy season. Apparently my sprinklers were not enough for them and I didn't supplement.
Gardengoodies I am EXTREMELY jealous!! That self watering container looks like something I might be interested in making for my tomatoes since I have such a problem with nematodes in the soil here


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Thanks, Barb. I got the instructions for the container at this web site. (you'll have to copy and paste)
http://www.josho.com/gardening.htm

I generally followed his instructions, but being the ... I don't want to say cheap ... being the economically savvy person that I am, instead of using two bins, I used the cut-out of the lid instead of the inverted bottom of the second bin to make my aeration tray and supported the four corners with small plastic bowls.

Here's a pic. (thanks for another reason to post a pic :-)
Self-watering container

I can't remember why I ended up changing the watering tube. There is a little learning curve and it's time consuming the first time, but they work really well.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Hi All,
I am a rookie gardener in Nashville, TN this year.
I hope you won't mind revisiting a point that came up in this forum and doesn't seem to get proper treatment anywhere on the web.

I did something similar to other who posted in this thread: I had an unused sweet potato that sat on my counter for a week. Sprouts grew quickly to about 6 inches. I was a bit too lazy (and too intimidated) to try making slips--which seems to be the most common way to garden sweet potatoes. Instead, I just buried the sweet potato in a small vacant space in my garden bed. Three weeks later, it is growing like mad, many sprouts which have leafed out into an area of about 2 foot diameter. Now I am wondering how I can get the plant to "bear fruit", that is, to make new roots so that there's something for me to dig up and eat in a couple of months. It sounds like some of you in this forum tried cutting up the original sprouting potato in hopes that it would start growing new roots/sweet potatoes? Can I expect that if I just leave my intact, leafing sweet potato alone for a couple more months that more sweet potatoes will be generated? Or will this just grow a big leafy mound all over the place?

Thanks in advance for any advice/first (or second, or third!) hand accounts you can offer.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

When you take a sprouted potato you cut chunks off either around the eyes or if it has sprouted around the sprout and plant it. You never know the quality of potato you will get from store one and that is why most people purchase slips though I have sat and cut many a potato into chunks so that my father could plant them.

You more than likely are making potatoes down below but you need to be patient and wait. Sweet potatoes actually need to be planted in the spring as they require a long hot summer to produce correctly and to develop the starch that makes them sweet. One dug you generally leave them out in the air for a week or so (outside) to develop the deep sugary taste they are known for otherwise they can tast a little bland. The potatoes will grow a long way out from the roots and you can take part of the vine and put dirt over it and sometimes it will root and produce taters also. Linda


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

linda's right -- in TN it's likely too late to start slips. next time -- just break those slips off and stick them in the sandiest, hottest, driest part of the garden. i dig a little furrow with my finger, and lay the slip into it, with some leaves buries and some exposed. cover the whole operation with a bit of mulch (anything works -- i pull weeds) to give the slip a some shade. water for a couple of days. it takes some faith here. it will look like cr*p for a while, then roots, then it'll take off. you need about 100 days from slip to harvest. right now, you could plant it (what's to lose?) and eat the leaves, which are really delish and quite healthful to boot. i just had a thai "chopped salad" with fresh-picked crab, yardlong beans, sweet potato leaves, peppers and okinawan spinach. mint, basil and cilantro.

bunch of maggi sauce and some rice noodles.

mmmmmmmmmmmmmm........


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

I guess you learn something every day. I never knew the leaves of sweet potatoes were edible.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Sunday, July 20 St. Petersburg Times had an article by John Starnes on growing & eating SPs. He made it seem so easy - as he always seems to me to do. Did mention 3 varieties and the differences. Anyone see that and have an opinion?


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Sweet Potatoes and Corn are the two things I am most excited about in my garden! I planted sweet potatoes from purchased slips and I made my own from potatoes from the store. I planted them in June and they are out of control!! LOL. They are growing great and look very healthy and I can't wait until I can check on them in October --- that seems so far off!


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Hey, All:

Anybody care to update? I dug around one of my plants and found one small potato and got really excited. Just wondering how yours are doing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Here's my little potato


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Wondering the same myself...when to harvest the sweet potatoes I planted last April. I am hoping to have some to take to Ricky's in Oct. Is ok to leave them in the ground till then? No one here eats them, really, so no point in digging them up. I grew them for fun.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

The only thing I know for sure is that you're supposed to get them out before a freeze. Maybe somebody with more experience can chime in.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

I got a couple slips from Jan in July and they are growing. I tried to root a sweet potato from Publix in a glass of water but it made no progress so I planted it and I've got quite a vine growing. I'm hoping it develops roots along the vine so I can pin them to the ground and use them as slips. I'd actually like it to be a ground cover. It's obviously too soon to be poking around and seeing if there are some potatoes but we don't get frost here so I'm not concerned with that.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

I started out with a sweet potato from Publix and sprouted it in a glass of water inside. Once it had some roots and small leaves, I planted the whole thing outside in my veggie garden. Now, it it doing great and I've felt around in the soil and there are lots of sweet potatoes. They don't seem large enough to harvest yet, but how long can I wait. I guess it's OK to leave them in the ground until it's going to freeze? Advice from someone in FL about this would be great!


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I dug my sweet potatoes back on November 1st which is traditionally when I harvest them. Lost some big roots this time though to something eating them. Mice I suppose. Still managed to half-fill my garden cart. Next year I think I'll dig them in the beginning of October to see if I can beat the rodents. I normally like to get mine dug and cured before frost, but this year we got one on October 30th which is a month earlier than we usually get the first one of the year.

.....Alan.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

alan,
i know you're supposed to cure 'em, and i did last year. but this year, heck, i just dug and ate them when i needed them. i know "they say" to cure them, but the ones i ate w/o curing tasted just fine.

aside from storage issues, do you think there's a reason to cure sweets?


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OK You guys in the "KNOW" tell me about curing! I planted some, and still not sure if I got taters under there. I dug around about a month ago and found nothing, just roots. Perhaps I am not digging deep enough? I planted them back in May. Shouldn't I have some tubers by now?


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

The most important thing about curing taters (or onions) is that it allows the skin to dry and any cuts to heal over before you put them away. This improves the storage life. Flavorwise it's not that big of a deal though I do think it improves somewhat if not dramatically.

Now as to why Cinedeea didn't get any taters there could be several reasons. The first is that the soil might have been too rich which encourages a great deal of vine growth, but not roots.

Or it may be you haven't dug around widely enough. If you planted them in May they are definitely ready to be dug by now. Use a pitch fork (potato rake is ideal) and carefully dig around each plant. The roots are sometimes right at the base of the plant where it enters the ground, sometimes a little distance out.

.....Alan.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

We ate the first of the sweet potatoes I dug two weeks ago with supper last night. Sweet, moist, and delicious.

Next year I'll dig earlier to see if maybe I can beat the mice to the best roots.

.....Alan.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

I can share a little about curing sweet potatoes. The main reason for curing them is to allow the skin to dry/heal up from any scrapes or bug damage. The skin will change a bit during curing and once cured, the potato will keep longer.

First-Once dug, let the potatoes dry off a bit and dust off the dirt, then there are several alternatives for further curing...

For fast and really good curing they say keeping them between 80 and 85 F and between 80 and 85 % Relative humidity for a few days is supposed to heal up their skin really good and keep them from shriveling.

Older methods I've read for curing include just leaving them layed out to dry for a period of time. (If they start to shrivel, they won't keep as long though.)

Put them in crates or boxes and cover over with a blanket or something keep them at room temperature and not too dry for a few weeks.

Put them in a bin with a towel or blanket over it. If it is too dry, you can moisten the towel or blanket a bit. Keep that in a warm place for a couple weeks

Finally, storing sweet potatoes. I've heard that they will store longest and best at a temperatures between 49 and 60 F and Relative humidity between 40% and 60%. They will also keep pretty well at room temperature in most of our houses here in Florida.

I've stored lots of my sweet potatoes in paper grocery sacks in our spare room.

I've noticed that sweet potatoes cooked right after being pulled from the ground tend to be drier and less sweet than the ones that have been stored for a couple weeks or longer.

All the sweet potatoes I've grown for the past couple years have been from a grocery store potato I got a couple years ago and started using the toothpicks and glass jar method. We have gotten some huge yields of sweet potatoes. It doesn't seem that there are very many pests of sweet potatoes though it is probably good to rotate where you grow them so as not to build up any diseases in one part of the garden. They don't seem to need huge amounts of fertilizer but good organic matter added to sandy soil seems to be a good thing for them. I have found that they likely plenty of water at least up until shortly before harvest time.

I do notice a fair amount of bug damage and holes in lots of the potatoes I've dug this season but that isn't slowing me down. Most of those taters are still gonna be just fine for eating even if you couldn't sell them at market.

Another tasty way to eat sweet potatoes is to slice them up thin, give em a spritz of cooking spray and spread them out on a cookie sheet and bake. Think of em as sweet potato french frys. And yes the leaves are also edible in stir fry or salads it is great (especially since there are very few greens that grow well down here in summer.) You can also use sweet potatoes in just about any way that Irish potatoes are used. We also use sweet potatoes in stir frys or even on kabobs.

Sweet potato is very easy and well suited to our hot wet Florida climate and loves the hot summers to boot! A definite must for a Florida veggie garden and could save people from hunger in hard times too.

Here is a link that might be useful: TCLynx


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tclynx---I am planning on growing sweet potatoes in my garden next summer. The "mother" sweet potato that you use, is it one that you grew and had leftover from a previous harvest? I heard that 'Beauregard' is a good variety and I am wondering if it is worth the money to order the slips or just get one from the store in the spring. What do you recommend?


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

christine, i'll probably order sweet potato starts from steele sweet potato co--i did so last year. it's cheap and you can get different varieties. we can go in on an order if you like. the earlier the better.

last year, i ordered slips and i also half-buried a grocery-store potato in the sand. all summer long i broke off the new slips and planted them wherever i had room.

i expect i'll get a few potato roots that overwinter, too.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Michael---I checked out that website and it looks like there are a couple of good varieties to try. Sure, I will share an order with you. I was going to order from them anyway. I grew some sweet potatoes in the past from a grocery store potato and it wasn't very sweet so I never tried again. Order when its time.

Christine


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Sweet Potatoes are very easy to grow and they do taste great! Here is some growing information.

Growing sweet potatoes couldnt be easier, as long as they have a 80-120-day growing season, and plenty of space to spread out. They thrive in most soils, including sandy to heavy clay. Sweet potato plants slips should be planted a full 2 weeks past the last frost. Till the soil to a depth of 8 to 10 inches, then add compost to keep the soil loose, making it easier to dig out your treasures in the fall. Make sure plants have 12 inches of space between them. Keep soil moist with at least 1 inch of water per week.

Click on the link for more sweet potato information.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Sweet Potatoes


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Good thread to keep going this time of year, even though there is some confusing of SP with irish, totally different culture.

One thing I found about warm florida sand is that SP tubers cure in the ground quite well becuase the sand gets dry enough at the end of the season. In a heavier soil they have to be cured in the air. Just need to get them out before the really bad freezes.

This year I am growing some slips as well as having some come by mail in early april. I'll definitley use the recommendation about covering the slips with a light mulch to start - good idea.


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

Purchased a 6pk of sweet potato plants at Home Depot and they have taken over my raised bed garden (in a beautiful way).

2 Questions:
How do I know when the sweet potatoes are ready...what should it look like?

Something in my garden is eating holes in leaves (little tiny holes - doubt it's snails). Same little holes in surrounding plants/trees. Any clues and what should I
do?


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

ok, so I planted some sweet pots in July of this summer - BUT, being a newbie gardener, I did not amend the soil, and was told they would grow in anything, and I have clayey soil. Am I going to get nada when I go to dig these guys up next month?

Thanks for any advice!


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

It's May in florida and I just ordered some sp plants.I'm a newbie. Anyone doing any SP this season?


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RE: Sweet Potatoes in the Garden

I was making a sweet potato pie, so I bought an extra SP and sliced it in half, put the two halves in glass jars and got about 20 slips coming off the top. I pinched the best 4-5 off and put them in a small vase with water, the slips grew 3" roots and I just recently transfered them into our raised bed which is rich with horse poo. This was about a week ago. When Halloween ended I planted some pumpkins as well. They're all sprouting and doing well...I've got cantaloupes flowering, an avacado tree sprouting, zucchini flowering and my jewel blueberry bush is loaded with bloom. Are the plants confused due to the coldsnaps we've had here? I live in TampaBay area. Just wondering if sweet potatos, pumpkins & cantaloupes will even yield since I've planted them at unusual time. I just went on a seed saving kick.


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