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Beginner Gardening Questions: sweet potato advice sought

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HeatherY
Kensington, NY

June 19, 2013
8:06 PM

Post #9565628

I just planted a my first batch of sweet potato sets!

I have told myself firmly that the instructions told me that the green plant part might look
sad for a while, that that is normal, but I thought that was only true before you
planted them.
I planted three days ago.
They are droopy, and the green edges are blackening on some of the
leaves. Will they live?
thanks
Heather
Diana_K
Contra Costa County, CA
(Zone 9b)

June 20, 2013
8:04 PM

Post #9566979

They should, but a few more tips:
When they are newly transplanted, rig up some shade for the hottest part of the day.
Mulch to keep the soil cooler.
Keep them moist. Depending on your soil they might need daily water. Remember, their roots are only very small, yet.
AdamAgain
SW, AR
(Zone 8a)

June 23, 2013
5:02 AM

Post #9569547

HY,
The sweet potato is truly a blessing, healthful and delicious, good for your body and pleasing to the taste buds.

The condition of the slip at set-out time is highly important. I like for mine to have a few small, green leaves and many hair (feeder) roots coming off the main root. The more feeder roots the better.
I don’t know what cultivar you planted—I am most familiar with the Beauregard—but the SP likes heat and humidity. Keep moist soil and patience. If the present leaves die back, new ones will emerge at soil level.

The SP is a fun plant to watch grow. As you have probably researched, it has a long growing season. At your latitude, it will be interesting to see if yours make it in under the frost wire.

Here’s wishing you and your yams a long, hot summer.
HeatherY
Kensington, NY

June 24, 2013
1:46 PM

Post #9571504

Hi Diana, the leaves are blacker now and the stems are shriveling, they look just awful!
Whole leaves blackened! We have had four dry hot days now quite hot (90 today) with maybe a passing shower like right now they get water each evening sometime in heat of day like 2 days ago I was panicking.
I will now try to rig some shade _ I planted them in full sun, mostly, thinking they would like that.
Adam A, I planted Georgia Jets, supposed to be fast-ish growing and very northern hardy.
NYC and the south western part of Long Island, well, think Mid Atlantic climate, don't think New England or Upstate NY. Frost does not arrive some years until December.

I will update this thread to tell if the beasties make it to the Autumn, but please don't ever wish a long hot summer upon a resident of a large city! I am just pathetically grateful that my Brooklyn is 7 degrees cooler that Manhattan and the Bronx today --too much concrete!
HeatherY
Kensington, NY

July 27, 2013
5:50 PM

Post #9613794

They made it - most of them - the vines are growing all over the place!

Pictures below

thanks for the good advice
Heather Y

Thumbnail by HeatherY   Thumbnail by HeatherY         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

HeatherY
Kensington, NY

November 8, 2013
9:36 PM

Post #9705090

Hi everyone, especially AA, who wanted to know how they did with the frost.

I got Georgia Jets or Centennials, noted for cold hardiness. In late September some of them started to poke their tops up through the soil -they were mostly a very good size. I pulled them up and carefully covered over some of the stringier-looking ones with soil, and two weeks later I got a few more.
Now it is early November, and though we have ad a couple of nights where we got down to about 34, most of the garden still looks pretty green, even the tomatoes! So I am letting the SP's grow. We will get 2- 3 more cold nights next week- but the daytimes keep getting up into the low 50s.

I try to water every other day - we have had a dry month and a half since September. It made the Autumn colors gorgeous, I must say!
AdamAgain
SW, AR
(Zone 8a)

November 12, 2013
4:54 AM

Post #9707319

HY,

I thank you for the feedback on your yam crop. I’m glad it made it in under the wire. (I finished supper last evening with a piece of tater pie.) Did yours bloom? The SP bloom is one of the prettiest colors in the plant world, to me . . . prettiest colors in any world.

I planted a crop of Centennials (Is that the one whose leaf favors a Mary Jane leaf? I can’t remember.) a few years ago and liked them. Now, around here, it’s mostly Beauregard. You have to go with the slips that are available. Some years none are available or higher than a cat’s back. Sis in SC mailed me some Beauregard slips two years ago. I grew my own slips for this year’s crop.

I dug in late August. We were blessed with an abundant crop, but some had a black skin blemish which I've never seen before. There were two things different this year: more rain than usual and I worked chicken litter in before set out. I probably won’t use the litter next year on all the crop . . . see what happens.

They are not true yams, I’ve heard or read, but I like the sound of the word. There’s a town over in East Texas (true SP-raising country). They have a festival every year at harvest time. They call it the “Yamboree.”

Pass the pie please.
HeatherY
Kensington, NY

January 15, 2014
9:01 PM

Post #9748880

Hi AA and happy new year to everyone.

My sp's did bloom, so very pretty!
My stringy ones (in the November post) never got dug up. "Holidaze" and head colds intervened. I am curious to see if there is any trace of them this spring.
HeatherY
Kensington, NY

April 22, 2014
4:07 PM

Post #9819103

No trace at all of the previous plants, not even decayed roots. It is almost time to place my
order for this year!
Heather Y.
HeatherY
Kensington, NY

April 22, 2014
4:10 PM

Post #9819104

Hey AA, guess what I found in the freezer? It was some mashed yam I saved so I could make
pie. Got any recipes, or should I just look up the Yamboree?
cheers
Heather
AdamAgain
SW, AR
(Zone 8a)

April 27, 2014
4:57 AM

Post #9822943

This is not pie, HY, but try:

Peel SP and cut it to French fry sizes onto a cookie sheet.
Slather pieces liberally with olive oil.
Put into a 375 degree over for an hour and half to two hours.

They’re like onions, the longer you cook them the sweeter they get; the sugar ratio rises as the moisture cooks off.

It’ a good winter’s day treat–helps heat the house. Eat to your little belly’s contentment, knowing that both ingredients are said to be healthy foods.

I checked the SP slip bed yesterday. Some are starting to peek through.

Have fun.

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