A couple of years ago, I saw this post on DG: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1224463/, and I've tagged it for when I'd have enough room for my garden. Well, I finally have the room and and going to try my hand at SPs this year. I'm putting together a 4x8 raised bed especially for them. In fact, this bed will be in the front yard. I kind of figured if I was growing to grow veggies in the front yard, it better be something that cannot be easily stolen. I don't think passerbys will be into digging up SPs!!
A couple of months ago, I got a box of delicious, locally grown Beauregards, and am rooting one of those for slips. With a 4x8 space, I guess I'll plant about 8-10 slips. I'll till the ground before building the bed, and them fill it with a mixture for bagged topsoil & compost. I think I've read that SPs don't need heavy fertilizers, so maybe I'll add just some bone meal.
your plan sounds good. Beauregard is a vining plant so plan on the vines covering the entire space and then some. The vine is also quite ornamental with some color plus it one of the few varieties that bloom quite often. You are correct in that sweet potatoes are not heavy feeders. Use to be one of the favorite crops for planting newground ( areas recently cleared of trees) If you are cramped for space try one of the bunch varieties which have short bushy vines.
Jomoncon, funny you started this thread. For my "experiment" (I always have one each growing season) I am growing the variety "Ginseng" this season. Do either of you have any words of wisdom for me? Thank you in advance!
I'm going to talk with the farmer that I bought the Beauregards from. He sells at the same farmers market I do, but he takes the month of January off. I'll see if he has words of wisdom for me.
About a hundred years ago, the area of the city I live in, Gentilly, was a plantation & a lot of swamps. The initial fill was a lot of clamshells from Lake Pontchartrain. Before I put in the raised bed, I'll have DH clear the area of now dead grass & give it a good tilling. With my compost sifter, I should be able to get most of the clamshells out down to a depth of about 10". I think the raised bed will be another 10" so hopefully the SPs won't need more depth than that.
I also try to do at least 1 new thing each year, although this year I've got several. In addition to the SPs, I have onions & garlic for the first time & I'm going to try ground cherries also. We'll see if they make good jam.
I planted sweet potatoes last year. Never tried them before as I live in western Pennsylvania and thought they were just a southern crop. Well, I planted half a dozen in a raised bed. They all grew until the rabbits ate them. However, one little plant survived with just a few tiny leaves . I figured I'd leave it and see what happens. Well, that plant grew and vined all over the place and we got a couple of huge sweet potatoes! This year we are DEFINITELY planting an entire bed of them!
I've been planting them very year for sometime, though I had a serious vole problem. Last year, we sunk hardware cloth 8" down and 4" above ground and that seemed to deter the voles reasonably well. I had been growing Georgia Jet because a catalogue said that they grew well in the north, but last year I tried Covington from Deep Grass Nursery in Delaware and they were a whole lot better in general plus the slips were in lovely condition when they arrived in the mail.