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Vegetable Gardening: Sweet Potatoes

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stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2013
11:59 AM

Post #9480241

The hubby wants to grow sweet potatoes in the garden this year. I need all the info I can get on growing these things. Do they grow underground or on a vine? How much space do I need for them? How many should I plant? How do I start slips? Any and all help appreciated! :)

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

April 11, 2013
12:16 PM

Post #9480265

The plant is a vine (and a fairly large one), but the taters grow underground. Not tubers along the stem like irish potatoes, but true roots. So you just plant the slips; no hilling needed.

Loose earth will help come harvest time to prevent damage to your digging fork, the roots and yourself trying to get them out of the ground. Any I spear with my fork that can't get eaten right away get sliced and dehydrated as dog treats. The corgi *loves* 'em.

Spacing -- I would give at least 4x8' to a 6 pack of plants. And 6 slips will give you a pretty large number of potatoes. If you don't have beds, use big hills.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2013
9:05 PM

Post #9480840

I was just thinking about giving these a try too. Can the slips be bought locally?
jomoncon
New Orleans, LA
(Zone 9a)

April 12, 2013
2:10 AM

Post #9480942

NicoleC, Thanks for the info, especially how many slips to plant in a 4x8 bed. I'm going to try SPs for the first time this year. I've started some slips from some delicious Beauregards I purchased last fall, grown by a local farmer. I just counted my rooted slips & I have 8 of them so I guess that's enough.

I'm going to prepare the bed with some extra loose topsoil. I've heard that SPs don't need extra fertile soil - so go lightly with the manure/compost. Is this your experience?
Jo-Ann

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

April 12, 2013
4:19 AM

Post #9480985

1lisac wrote:I was just thinking about giving these a try too. Can the slips be bought locally?


I would think so. Bonnie plants routinely grows them and many of the nurseries here start their own slips.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 12, 2013
4:36 AM

Post #9480989

You also can start your own slips from a sweet potato and with the weather this spring, probably still have time to do so. They need warm soil and we aren't there yet. lol

Willhite Seed here in TX also sells them. http://www.willhiteseed.com/search.php?pg=1&stext=sweet potato&sprice=&stype=&scat=
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 12, 2013
8:18 AM

Post #9481225

I grew the tops/vines up one of those bean stringy trellis things one can string up between t-posts. It helped on space and the sweet potatoes seemed to do fine.

My two corgi will not wait for the dehydrator. The little stinkers. Willhites is where I get mine.
fordpickup
Clinton, IN

April 12, 2013
9:03 AM

Post #9481287


Terri is right, if you use a trellis or anything to get the vines to grow up instead of spread out on the ground you will have room for more s.ps or something else in your beds. Fred

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

April 12, 2013
9:54 AM

Post #9481352

terri_emory wrote:My two corgi will not wait for the dehydrator.


Last year I missed one (well, probably several in reality.) The other day she was in the garden with her face sideways in the dirt trying to eat her way down to the one underground.

My corgi knows the garden is for food, unfortunately, and feels free to take samples. Big cabbage leaves in particular have been getting shredded this winter as they are right at nose height.

"What, you get to pick peas, but I don't?!"

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 12, 2013
10:44 AM

Post #9481398

What varieties do best here in Texas? I'm not sure I need 36 slips! LOL Wonder if the sweet potatoes out in my sunroom are still alive??? How do I start my own slips?
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 12, 2013
12:18 PM

Post #9481518

stephanietx, I would think any of the varieties listed on Willhite's: http://www.willhiteseed.com/products.php?cat=97
or on Souther Exposure's site: http://www.southernexposure.com/sweet-potatoes-c-229.html?zenid=nn62ml6821ec2hqn4s6j2hvtv5

Have fun!
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 12, 2013
12:20 PM

Post #9481522

Corgis (not really the way you spell plural for Corgi, but I can't remember what that is) are soooo cute. Mine love tomatoes. Dogs aren't supposed to like tomatoes. What the heck?

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 12, 2013
12:36 PM

Post #9481548

Thanks, Terri!
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

April 12, 2013
3:45 PM

Post #9481763

You can find interesting advice about growing sweet potatoes at the Southern Exposure Seeds website.
http://www.southernexposure.com/sweet-potatoes-growing-guide-ezp-163.html

I bought the "Ginseng" variety as a novelty - I grow something different (for me) every year.
grits74571
Talihina, OK

April 12, 2013
4:31 PM

Post #9481819

A really simple way is the old sweet potato in a jar of water stick 4 toothpicks in the tuber just so that at least 2/3 of the tater is in the water cut the very end off that is in the water ..i think that you would better off buying slips as it is pretty late in the year to be starting slips I also have about a dozen in a cold frame trying to get them sprouted in tiome to plant this year the Beauregard seems to be the choice of most pro growers it is a very good eating sweet potato

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

April 12, 2013
5:55 PM

Post #9481898

terri_emory wrote:Dogs aren't supposed to like tomatoes. What the heck?


My corgi likes to eat anything resembling food, and a few things that aren't food.
Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 12, 2013
7:05 PM

Post #9481965

My favorite sweetpotato is a sport of Beauregard...O'Henry. This is a very smooth light golden one.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 12, 2013
10:44 PM

Post #9482103

This sounded like a good idea to me also. But maybe I'll wait until next year, if we have warm weather earlier. I didn't realize they needed such a long growing season. I'm sure if I find something local I'll end up buying it. Wow, so much to learn.

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 16, 2013
2:34 PM

Post #9486329

Lisa,

I bought sweet potato slips for two or three years in a row from Georges Plant Farm, http://www.tatorman.com. They ship the slips in by postal service, but it seems to work okay. They grew really well, then I ended up losing the crops to some sort of insect larvae/worm. After discussing with the people at Georges, to get sweet potatoes I will have to do a fairly intensive program of pesticides. : (

I guess I will keep buying sweet potatoes at the store... Okay, changed my mind and ordered some slips of the Vardeman, bush type. I will see if I can grow the sweet potatoes in a different area.




This message was edited Apr 16, 2013 8:31 PM
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 16, 2013
2:48 PM

Post #9486345

Thank you David that's good to know.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 17, 2013
8:56 AM

Post #9487211

David, It has been my experience that sweet potatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow.

I put organic fertilizer in several holes, stir it in thoroughly, set a slip into each hole, pull the soil around the slips, leave them alone for six months and harvest. I've never had to use pesticides.
My only problem has been with voles - and nothing deters them!

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 17, 2013
10:07 AM

Post #9487288

Honeybee, my sweetpotatoes have grown really well, but they were literally eaten up by some sort of tiny white worm. :(
flsusie
New Port Richey, FL

April 17, 2013
1:47 PM

Post #9487539

Wire worms are myproblem. Anybody have a solution?
JudAnn
Tega Cay, SC
(Zone 7b)

April 17, 2013
7:38 PM

Post #9487973

Has anyone had any luck growing sweet potatoes in a container? Thought I might try a very large nursery pot... the size that small trees and shrubs come in ... and some sort of trellis for the vines. Maybe 2 -3 slips per pot. All the premium spots in my garden are taken already and I really don't have a good spot in the sun unless I do containers. Dumb idea?
grits74571
Talihina, OK

April 18, 2013
6:41 AM

Post #9488338

I have grown the sweet potato Blackie (ornamental) in a planter and it produced a large potato but due to it being an 0rnamental it was a pale bland eater last year I grew some Beauregard s in a planter and they produced a lot of roots but they were small ,It could be that it was planted to late in the season to do very good

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 19, 2013
3:57 AM

Post #9489291

We have grown SPs the past two years. I had ordered some slips the first year and hadn't realized that when they arrived they needed to be planted immediately, so I lost those. We went over to our local farm stand and picked up 50 slips of Maple Leaf and got an enormous crop. The potatoes were so sweet and flavorful that they barely needed butter at the table. Last year we tried it again in a different location, with only 25 plants, but those didn't do nearly as well and I don't think we cured them properly because they rotted in the basement before we had a chance to eat them. We'll try again this year. If you can find Maple Leaf (because the leaves look like those of a maple) I recommend them heartily.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 19, 2013
6:10 AM

Post #9489374

Cooked sweet potatoes freeze well. I put as many as I can in a 350 oven and check on them frequently, pulling each one out as it finishes cooking.

Let them cool completely, then slice into one-inch thick slices. Place them in a single layer into freezer bags, and freeze.

When you want some to eat, remove as many as you want from a freezer bag an let them defrost. I like to sautÚ the slices in butter until they are nicely browned on both sides.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 19, 2013
12:06 PM

Post #9489725

That sounds like a great idea, Honeybee!
grits74571
Talihina, OK

April 20, 2013
4:01 AM

Post #9490433

I bake sweet potatoes at least once each week..I try and pick out ones that are close to the same size bake the large ones seperately from the smaller ones ,I bake at 450░ for the larger ones and @400░ for the smaller The higher heat carmelizes the sugar better This a diabetic friendly food plus I have 3 dogs that are crazy for sweet taters BUT last year I dehyde some for them and they would not touch them SPOILED my children would never have gotten away with that LOL

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 22, 2013
8:14 AM

Post #9493051

grits - I, too, am a T2 diabetic, which is one reason why we eat sweet potatoes. My little dog loves sweet potatoes, too. She's not fussy as to whether they are dried or not.
grits74571
Talihina, OK

April 22, 2013
11:05 AM

Post #9493216

Honeybee here is a recipe for sweet tater pie ==1-1/2cup cooked sweet taters=1-1/2 cups of splenda= 3/4 cup of egg betters=1 stick of butter(melted) 1 tbs of vanilla 2/3 cuo of 1% milk I do the whole thing in a small food processor starting with the the egg/sugar or splenda BTW 1/4 cup of egg beaters= 1 egg place in regular pie shell or crust and bake at 350░ for 1 hour you can add whatever spices you like but I am allergic to cinnamon so just settle for the vanilla ,This is one desert DW can eat guilt free...you can also use a 1/2 stick of butter and not loose anything in taste or texture..I use the food processor as it gets out the lumps easy!!!!
rjogden
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 8b)

April 22, 2013
2:05 PM

Post #9493445

This has probably already been posted, but...

To propagate, I first select healthy grocery store sweet potatoes that have started sprouting (usually because I waited too long to cook them). I fill a planter box to within a couple of inches from the top with clean, well-drained media. I put the whole potato on it's side on the media so that the end with the growing shoots has some open area around it (not up against the wall of the container). I then add enough moist fresh media so the bases of the shoots are about an inch or so deep.

In warm weather, the shoots will show definite signs of vigorous growth within a few days, and gently moving the soil aside you will see new roots forming along the length of each shoot.

When the shoots are a few inches long, I use my fingers to feel down to the point where they attach to the potato and gently break them off and lift them out. I then immediately put the newly removed shoots into another container of clean media and let them grow "a little", until I have enough of them to make it worthwhile putting them in the garden.

The only essential tricks are to start with disease-free stock and to make sure the media is warm. Aside from that there is no need to "baby" them; they really want to grow! This year I'm trying a purple-fleshed variety I got from a locally-owned grocery store.


This message was edited Apr 22, 2013 5:32 PM

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 23, 2013
12:56 PM

Post #9494586

grits - thanks for the recipe. :)

rjogden - how far in advance of setting the slips in the garden should I put the mother potato in a planter box?
grits74571
Talihina, OK

April 24, 2013
4:46 AM

Post #9495324

What matters about how far ahead to start the slips is warmth Back in the day they were started in the fall and left in huge raised beds until spring ..Heat was provided by a layer of rotting manure UNDER the growing media ..The bed was covered by a top made of treated muslin semi transparent this was in the days before plastics

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 24, 2013
3:25 PM

Post #9495904

Grew mine in an 18-gallon Rubbermaid tub last season. If I had known to not let the vine spill over and trail down the fence, I probably would've gotten fatter sweeties.

All in all, it was an exciting and successful experiment that I will repeat this year.

Hugs!

Linda

P.S. My neighbor dug out a shovelful of vines from his patch that seems to come back annually. I separated the "roots" and planted little plugs in the potting mix in the tubs. There were sizeable holes drilled in the bottom and lower sides of the tub for drainage. I did encounter a new creature to my garden, though. A "wire" worm...

P.S.S. The holes were made by grasshoppers...beware!

Hugs!

This message was edited Apr 24, 2013 4:27 PM

Thumbnail by Gymgirl   Thumbnail by Gymgirl   Thumbnail by Gymgirl   Thumbnail by Gymgirl   Thumbnail by Gymgirl
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HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 25, 2013
10:12 AM

Post #9496791

Gymgirl - our winters are much too cold for sweet potatoes to overwinter in the ground. Once the first fall frost hits, they have to be raised immediately. I have to keep a close eye on the weather forecast from October 1st.
grits74571
Talihina, OK

April 25, 2013
6:00 PM

Post #9497235

Tonight my garden class was all about propagating plants ..The star of our class is an 11 year old BTW today was her birthday she brought her tater in a jar and it had runners over a fool in lenght She kinda cringed when I cut off a runner and set it in a planting medium ,but she was the one wanted me to show her how to set it out..
rjogden
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 8b)

April 25, 2013
9:45 PM

Post #9497448

HoneybeeNC wrote:rjogden - how far in advance of setting the slips in the garden should I put the mother potato in a planter box?


What grits said. It depends entirely on the temperature. In hot weather the shoots grow like weeds (which I suppose they are, somewhere). In chilly weather they can sit without seeming to do much of anything for days.

-Rich

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 30, 2013
7:07 PM

Post #9503419

Planted 30 slips of Vardeman bush sweet potatoes today. We'll see how they do!
jomoncon
New Orleans, LA
(Zone 9a)

May 1, 2013
5:57 AM

Post #9503838

I'll probably plant my Beauregards this weekend, if I can ever get the raise bed finished with all the rain we've been having. I tried growing slips, but they looked kind of pathetic, so while at Home Depot, I spied a 6-pack of Beauregards from Bonnie for 2.99 and got them.

This is my first try at raising SPs also.
Jo-Ann

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 1, 2013
7:27 AM

Post #9503966

A word of warning. Don't add too much nitrogen to your planting medium, or you'll end up with lush growth and stunted tubers...
rjogden
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 8b)

May 1, 2013
10:43 PM

Post #9504945

jomoncon wrote:I'll probably plant my Beauregards this weekend, if I can ever get the raise bed finished with all the rain we've been having.

Send us some!!!
jomoncon
New Orleans, LA
(Zone 9a)

May 2, 2013
9:52 AM

Post #9505372

Gymgirl wrote:A word of warning. Don't add too much nitrogen to your planting medium, or you'll end up with lush growth and stunted tubers...


Linda, I knew about not adding too much nitrogen, but what about other nutrients? The LSU Ag Center has an excellent file on growing SPs at home, and they recommend an 8-24-24 fertilizer. As if I could find that! I'll look around for hopefully organic fertilizer that has something close to those numbers.

http://www.lsuagcenter.com/nr/rdonlyres/069bcd8f-9469-4843-9cf9-c4a7921bced3/26607/pub2144sweetpotatoes.pdf



rjogden wrote:
Send us some!!!


I hope our crop will be enough for just DH & I. We go through a lot of SPs.
Jo-Ann

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 2, 2013
11:35 AM

Post #9505483

Jo-Ann,
That 8-24-24 is a 1-3-3 ratio (using the "8" as the least common denominator). I think if you can search for something close to that ratio, you can fairly triple it.

I think...

Linda
rjogden
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 8b)

May 3, 2013
10:45 PM

Post #9507436

jomoncon wrote:I hope our crop will be enough for just DH & I. We go through a lot of SPs.
Jo-Ann

I meant the rain, but that's OK. We're getting a lot (finally).
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 4, 2013
12:27 PM

Post #9507974

We need rain badly, even when it rains all around us it doesn't rain here.
grits74571
Talihina, OK

May 4, 2013
7:10 PM

Post #9508408

I know that Hi-Yeild sells super phosphate as well as potash seperately so I think the important # is the phosphate as it promotes root growth...
grits74571
Talihina, OK

May 5, 2013
1:00 PM

Post #9509237

The tubers I have planted in my cold frame are coming on pretty good if we could just get out of this crazy yo-yo weather pattern ..I raised a lot of vines last year but the weather was so hot and dry the roots just didn't get big enough could be this hard rocky ground think I will put mine in a new raised bed
grits74571
Talihina, OK

May 28, 2013
7:00 PM

Post #9537711

my sweet potato slips are big enough to set out and i do not have a raised bed ready woe is me

Solace

Solace
Monte Vista, CO
(Zone 4a)

May 28, 2013
10:06 PM

Post #9537893

Well, it's better than getting them frozen, which is what happened to mine. I even covered them. Sigh. I'm still watering them, hoping they'll come back, but my hopes are dimming.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 29, 2013
5:01 AM

Post #9538018

I think slips are pretty delicate; once they're gone they're gone. The first time we ordered some we didn't realize that they needed to be planted RIGHT AWAY, and by the time we opened the package all we had was a soggy mess - which is why we ended up buying Maple Leaf from the farmstand down the road. Couldn't believe how inexpensive they were, too.
Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

May 29, 2013
2:31 PM

Post #9538599

I find it easier to order them rather than raise my own which goes great some years and not as good some other years. I got mine from Steele Plant Company and I get mine on May 17 or 18. This year it was May 18th and I was looking for them to arrive. I had my ridges all ready and left them in water overnite and they didn't miss a step.

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 29, 2013
4:10 PM

Post #9538708

Did I mention that the local cottontails love sweet potato slips? They chewed (and apparently ate) all my slips to the ground. Since then I've had about 8 of the slips recover and start putting on a few leaves. Of course, they are widely scattered in the area where I originally planted. I may try to move them while they are small... hopefully the rabbits have moved on. I do know that my dogs are catching (and eating) the small ones. I told my daughter-- "That's what dogs do. It isn't wrong or bad that they catch and kill things." That should at least help control future generations.

David
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 29, 2013
8:07 PM

Post #9538973

I have too have everything fenced or the rabbits and the deer wouldn't let me have a garden. I fenced the rabbits out before the deer.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 30, 2013
4:17 AM

Post #9539145

We have fencing AND a barn cat, which helps with the rabbits I'm sure. I know that for a brief period when we were without a cat we had a muskrat eating up all the plants in our pond!

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 1, 2013
9:01 AM

Post #9541935

I may actually get some sweet potatoes after all! Since some of the plants regrew and some of the plants from last year volunteered new growth, I was able to transplant or recover 20 plants. Hopefully I will be able to keep the rabbits away...
grits74571
Talihina, OK

June 1, 2013
10:59 AM

Post #9542049

set out some runners yesterday at several locations from starts I grew in a homemade grow bed made from a plastic barrel now just need to make a bed just for sweet taters
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

November 21, 2013
8:27 PM

Post #9714036

OK you folks from the South, we up here can no longer get the ORANGE potato which I all my life have called Sweet Potato. We now can get RED, which I always called yams, and think they are watery. Now we get RED or WHITE. Don't know where the white came from, but I understand that you all grow the orange??

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

November 22, 2013
6:01 AM

Post #9714206

The most commonly grown sweet potato variety is Beauregard, I think. It is dark orange o the outside and bright orange on the inside. Sweet potatoes come in a variety of colors.

Sweet potatoes are not related to yams. Yams are African and much larger, not as sweet and usually white on the inside (although there are other colors, like purple.) Even though the sign at the grocery store may say "yams," it is unlikely you'll find them unless you are in an ethnic market catering to either African or Caribbean customers.

But people in the south call sweet potatoes "yams" all the time, too.

This message was edited Nov 22, 2013 12:16 PM

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

November 22, 2013
6:23 AM

Post #9714216

Our favorite sweet potatoes are Maple Leaf. Their leaves look like their namesake and they're dark orange and very sweet. Unfortunately voles like them too.
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


November 22, 2013
7:36 AM

Post #9714253

Agree: I don't know whether you are asking for skin color or flesh color. Orange fleshed sweet potatoes are the majority found in the super markets. Today Beauregard is the most popular, but you may also find Covington or Carolina Ruby all have red skins and deep orange flesh. Popular a few years ago were Centennial (Orange skin-orange flesh) and Jewel ( copper skin- orange flesh). Carvers have tannish sking and light orange flesh. At one time yellow fleshed varieties were popular and grown commercially in New Jersey and Maryland. These are drier than the orange flesh varieties, but to get them you will probably have to grow your own. Most readily available are Nancy Hall and O'Henry. Of course Sandhill Preservation has a vast array of varieties.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

November 22, 2013
11:16 AM

Post #9714364

OK, do any of you know anything about the white skinned? I do not know the color of the flesh as I just got them yesterday and won't cook them until day before T'giving. I believe these are the easiest to grow in the North. Think they have replaced the bulk of the orange skinned in the markets up here. I am so sorry to lose the Orange skinned and flesh ones. Those were the best for years. But, will certainly try the whites for now.

Will let you all know how they turn out. Thanks for all of your information.
Farmerdill
Augusta, GA
(Zone 8a)


November 22, 2013
1:18 PM

Post #9714433

All the white skinned varieties that I know about have white flesh. Most of these are almost as dry as an Irish potato.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

November 22, 2013
1:26 PM

Post #9714441

Oh wonderful. Thanks,
Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

November 23, 2013
9:41 AM

Post #9715017

I raised a variety from Sand Hill that was called Ivis I believe...much better than White Triumph or Chokers. It was very smooth, uniform, and the tubers were on the smaller side. Only problem was that they lacked good sweetness and therefore they tasted like Irish potatoes.
grits74571
Talihina, OK

November 24, 2013
5:20 AM

Post #9715468

We have had a super season for the Sweet taters up here in SE Oklahoma I don't reall have a good spot for them but the best spot in my yard was in the Hugelkulture bed I put in last winter the down side of the Hugelkulture bed was that I could not keep myself from adding plants as the seasons progress and I wound with an over crowded bed ...Note to self less is more..Yeah like that is gonna happen LOL

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 28, 2013
7:20 PM

Post #9718340

I wondered how that little bed had done! My dau asks me when I am goin to quit stuffin her beds with plants she isnt sure what are. chuckl.Glad that bed did ya right.
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

November 30, 2013
5:54 AM

Post #9718865

Mother Earth rewarded my first efforts to grow Sweet Potatoes with 91, from 6 slips! I bought "Ginseng" slips from Southern Exposure Seeds, and they are just FINE! Some are HUGE, all are bursting with incredible flavor. I've made four pies from the little ones so far...what a successful experiment. Can't image why I would ever stray from SSE now...
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

November 30, 2013
11:24 AM

Post #9718989

Gracye, what zone are you? I am thinking of trying them, there are a couple for short season varieties, and was curious about when do you order from the Southern Exposure Seeds. Do you place your order now for next spring? I couldn't find it on their site. Thanks
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

December 2, 2013
11:17 AM

Post #9720138

I am in Zone 7a. Southern Exposure tells you when you'll get delivery for your zone! They are new to me, about two years now, and I am just going through the whole growing year, this Spring. They have not come out with the 2014 offerings yet, I see.
They have some COOL things, like their growing advice/charts, and that garden planner...think I'll take the plunge with that planner.
Look around the site - you'll learn alot, and it'll make you feel more secure about your choices. It did for me, as I made a BIG STEP away from my father's ole selections, which are now mainly owned by Monsanto :(.
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

December 2, 2013
11:23 AM

Post #9720140

I have to add...right at this minute, I have 8 HUGE Sweet Potatoes roasting in the oven. I like to roast them in some oil, wrapped in heavy-duty aluminum, for 2 hours or more. They kinda carmelize this way.
Then I let them cool off, slip the paper-thin skins off, and mash and freeze them.
No problem having sweet potato pies or casseroles with the great crunchy oatmeal/pecan topping...and so healthy! What a joy, this gardening love of ours!

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

December 2, 2013
2:36 PM

Post #9720229

Gracye, that's a great way to preserve sweet potatoes if you don't think they'll last in the basement. I should try that. What's your recipe for sweet potato casserole with oatmeal/pecan topping? Sounds delicious!
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

December 2, 2013
3:46 PM

Post #9720265

Yes, that sounds delish. I would like to hear it too.
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

December 2, 2013
3:55 PM

Post #9720274

Awe, you all flatter me. I just throw stuff together, like my grandmother did, and it turns out just fine!
Just get ye a cookbook from your church, or find one in an antique shop (that's the treasure trove of old local cookbooks!), and have at it!
You can take the recipe of some type of fruit crumble for your topping. Substitute away! I use ground pecan meal for part of the flour...
Then, look at what recipes call for when making puddings from scratch. Again, substitute away! Except for eggs. Get them organic, and from your local farm market if possible.
I have a secret for anything sweet potato, however. I use just a DASH, and I mean NO MORE, of organic black walnut flavoring. Oh my! Have fun!
Just ate one of those sweet potatoes I roasted. It has gotten sweeter! Can't touch it with spices or God forbid, sugar.
Since this is my first year of growing/harvesting, I am kinda winging it. I just believe in Murphy's Law, and would surely hate for my sweet potatoes to go bad after all that great growing and now bragging...lol!
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

December 2, 2013
4:26 PM

Post #9720305

Gracye,

Oh, you are one of those huh? LOL, I think that attitude rubs off on people. If you use those instructions many times pretty soon you are one yourself.

A friend said for Jalapeno Pepper Jelly, a bowl of this and 2 bowls of that and 3 bowls of sugar. LOL, it is always amazing to me when things turn out as good as they do.

I've never heard of black Walnut flavoring. Will see if Penzys have it. Would never find it up here. Thanks, Jen
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

December 4, 2013
5:40 PM

Post #9721544

Hello Jen, Black Walnut flavoring is VERY RARE. There are various types, though, when you DO find it. Amazon or eBay has it.
That pepper jelly is a great glaze on ham loaf, or baked ham...I am an artist, so life is FULL of experiments and substitutions! Enjoy!
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

December 4, 2013
10:22 PM

Post #9721656

I looked at Penzeys and they have the Black Walnut Extract (I think extract). Also Black Cherry and others that sound really cool.
grits74571
Talihina, OK

December 5, 2013
12:39 PM

Post #9721941

I have been eating sweet taters all of my life and for my taste the best eating is the Garnet or other of the Jewel family Just starting to find the Garnet slips here in Ok.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

December 5, 2013
4:03 PM

Post #9722119

Those sound like pretty long growing seasons Grits. When I looked at the Southern Seed Exchange, the only ones I think we could grow up here were in the oranges. Those are the ones we used to be able to buy up here. And I love them. Someone in the family here, and I am not going to mention any names, lol, like Bob, bought white ones. Can't remember who but someone on here said they taste like dry Irish potatoes. LOL, doesn't sound very appetizing does it? I cooked the ones that were more reddish, so guess I will have to eat the whites for Christmas.
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

December 5, 2013
4:53 PM

Post #9722146

The thing that really scared me about growing sweet potatoes is the harvesting, of all things! SESE (Southern Exposure Seed Exchange) said: "Cure by keeping them at 90 percent relative humidity and 85┬░F for seven to ten days. A furnace room or space heater can provide the right storage condition."
90% humidity? YIKES! THEN, 85%? DOUBLE YIKES!
Out of desperation, and not having any root cellar or basement (water table is way too high), my dear husband and I toted all 91 of those sweet potatoes upstairs to our attic. No other place to store them, honestly.
All is fine.
My uncle, who has gardened forever, says that, after the first frost, you should remove the vines, and leave them in the ground. And, he should know...next year, I'm going to try this with a couple of mine at least...he said that the death of the vine goes into the roots, which is NOT what we want.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

December 5, 2013
5:09 PM

Post #9722155

They would freeze here. Now I used to do that in Seattle with my dahlias and it worked just fine. But they are a zone 8. Wouldn't that be nice? What zone did you say you are Gracye? How about a humidifier? And a space heater? In the bathroom? Now, wouldn't that work? For how many days?? LOL, not sure if you could go in there in that heat and wet. I wonder what that does for them. And then what do you do with them?

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

December 5, 2013
5:32 PM

Post #9722171

Gracye, I was put off by those instructions, too, because by the time the vines are yellowing the temperature is cooling down around here. But we just put ours in the greenhouse for about ten days, leaving the heater set so it would go on if the temperature dropped below fifty at night, and they cured well.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

December 5, 2013
5:43 PM

Post #9722192

What about humidity? I suppose this time of year it is pretty damp?

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

December 6, 2013
4:04 AM

Post #9722392

Not so much here when it's getting cooler outside.
Gracye
Warrenton, VA

December 7, 2013
4:07 AM

Post #9723087

I am in Zone 7a. I look forward to the Spring, and all that the growing season brings. As for right now, I am off to Harper's Ferry West (by gawd) Virginia, where it probably is snowing!
I love Winter as well. Guess you could say that I get my love for the earth from my (ex-hippies alert!) earth sign, Taurus!
Bless you, one and all!
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

December 7, 2013
12:04 PM

Post #9723362

Gracye, hope you took your camera with you. You need to show us the places you go to. Places we have heard about, but never been to. Too far clear out here. Altho, I have been to Arlington, VA a few times, but always on business when we never have to time to sight see.

Do you get snow Gracye? I don't mind the snow, but just get tired of it after the 4th or 5th month. Sometimes our snowy winters last that long.

Have fun.

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