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Sweet Potatoes...

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Sweet Potatoes...

Post  CarolinaGirl on 7/29/2012, 12:54 pm

When do you guys dig yours up? I currently have 6 store bought Beauregard slips growing on a trellis at the back of my bed. They've been in since probably the 20th or so of April so will def be at 90-95 days by Aug 1st. We've obviously been more than hot enough lol (which I've read has a lot to do with their growth... I can't wait for FALL OMG so tired of the staggering heat). I'd like to use the trellis for some fall beans/snap peas which according the local Ag extension should be planted by Aug 15 so def need to pull by then. Will I be pulling too early if I dig up at the beginning of Aug? I also figure with the heat/humidity we have I can just cure them outside under a clear plastic rubbermaid rather than trying to figure out something indoors.
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  littlejo on 7/29/2012, 1:13 pm

Just giving my opinion here, but,since we live close, I believe that cool weather makes them sweeter, Oh well, I'm not the ext service. I think I'd just snip them or unwind if you can off the trelis, pretend the potatoes are not there, add some compost to the squares, and go ahead and plant your beans. I also believe that Aug. is too hot to plant peas. Maybe Oct. when the beans are coming off?

Or, you could dig a square in Aug. and see if the potatoes have made, if so, you could dig up first.
Jo
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  CarolinaGirl on 7/29/2012, 1:27 pm

@littlejo wrote:Just giving my opinion here, but,since we live close, I believe that cool weather makes them sweeter, Oh well, I'm not the ext service. I think I'd just snip them or unwind if you can off the trelis, pretend the potatoes are not there, add some compost to the squares, and go ahead and plant your beans. I also believe that Aug. is too hot to plant peas. Maybe Oct. when the beans are coming off?

Or, you could dig a square in Aug. and see if the potatoes have made, if so, you could dig up first.
Jo

Oh I was under the impression that it was the curing and then proper storage process that brought out the sweetness? Hmm maybe I'll carefully root around in the back corner of the box and see what I feel and then make a decision lol.
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  CarolinaGirl on 7/29/2012, 1:50 pm

Ok I couldn't help myself... I went out and dug up the back corner plant. Although I noticed sweet potatoes sticking up out of the dirt on another plant before I even started digging around lol so I made sure to cover those up!! Three potatoes, two small and a big one! Here they are:

I expected the potatoes to be spread out in the dirt along the roots, but they seem to all be close the surface and right off the tap root? The two smaller potatoes were "wrapped" up by the big one and growing in a clump right at the base of the plant, just under a shallow layer of soil.
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  littlejo on 7/29/2012, 2:18 pm

It depends on the variety, where they make their potatoes. Most, if trellised, will make 3 potatoes, right where the main slip is planted. But some varieties only make potatoes far from the slip.
Last yr. I planted the slips about 2 in. apart, in 1 'row' in an 8 ft bed. I planted other things, bush beans, onion, etc. I did not trellis them. I had about 50 lbs. Some were small, like a large carrot. Everywhere that the potatoe vine roots again, it will put on potatoes, but they are normaly smaller. We just ate the last of them in May, cannot wait!

I'm growing 6 types of sw potato (5 I ordered), will see if they are any good! Maybe I can share some slips if they are good.
Jo


Last edited by littlejo on 7/29/2012, 2:19 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling!)
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  walshevak on 7/29/2012, 6:00 pm

I don't know the answers, this is my first year trying sweet potatos. But though I'd put up a picture of my Beauregards that I left at home. It will interesting to see what I have when I get back home in Sep. I put them on the bins to foil the rabbits.



BTW, I also thought the curing was when the sweetness developed. The farmers in my area seem to harvest in late AUG - nowhere near cool weather. I live in a town with a sweet potato festival. BUT, I really know nothing about them except how to enjoy eating.

Kay


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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  CarolinaGirl on 8/13/2012, 12:17 pm

Pulled the other five plants today. I got potatoes from 4 of them... something had gotten to the last plant I pulled and they were mushy and filled with bugs (yuck!). I feel like I got a pretty good haul for my first season gardening.
We also picked the last watermelon yesterday and it came in at 29.2lbs:
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  Carrot-top on 8/16/2012, 12:33 am

Looks like you have a HAUL, CarolinaGirl!! cheers Way to go!! Makes me want to plant some Smile
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  No_Such_Reality on 8/17/2012, 4:45 pm

My Okinawan purple sweet potatoes are flowering. They've been in their containers since the middle of June so only about 60 days since transplant. It's been pretty good heat (70-80-90) and I figure another 45 days. There's also that heat unit calculation you can do. See Sandhill's 4th item

I'm going 45 days because an youtube video has a guy with purple sweet potatoes in Hawaiian who was saying that's what his grandma says, 45 days from the flowers.

I'm going with what Grandma says. Very Happy

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Sweet Potatoes

Post  Bud Alexis on 8/17/2012, 7:43 pm

I am trying to grow sweet potatoes for the first time. I am getting lots of vines and lots of roots, but no sign of a potato. They have been planted since June. Thought I was following online directions. Any advice out there.
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  cheyannarach on 8/17/2012, 9:16 pm

I don't really have any advice but they sound like they are a lot better off than my half eaten sweet potato plants, first I had trouble with cutworms and now the deer found them, ugh. Anyways I heard that it's the heat units that are the most important factor in getting the taters to form. I am assuming that being in Louisiana you are getting plenty of heat units so maybe they just need more time!
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  cheyannarach on 8/17/2012, 9:25 pm

@CarolinaGirl wrote:
@littlejo wrote:Just giving my opinion here, but,since we live close, I believe that cool weather makes them sweeter, Oh well, I'm not the ext service. I think I'd just snip them or unwind if you can off the trelis, pretend the potatoes are not there, add some compost to the squares, and go ahead and plant your beans. I also believe that Aug. is too hot to plant peas. Maybe Oct. when the beans are coming off?

Or, you could dig a square in Aug. and see if the potatoes have made, if so, you could dig up first.
Jo

Oh I was under the impression that it was the curing and then proper storage process that brought out the sweetness? Hmm maybe I'll carefully root around in the back corner of the box and see what I feel and then make a decision lol.

I don't know if this applies to sweet potatoes or not but it does make carrots, parsnips, brussle sprouts so I could see how that would make sense. Looks like a great haul carolina girl!
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  littlejo on 8/17/2012, 10:51 pm

@Bud Alexis wrote:I am trying to grow sweet potatoes for the first time. I am getting lots of vines and lots of roots, but no sign of a potato. They have been planted since June. Thought I was following online directions. Any advice out there.
Bud, I had a long post written, but, you got moved before I hit send and my post is in the wind. Too much rain, cool nites, too much 'good' compost(sw. potatoes don't like rich soil), will delay tubers making, plus variety makes a difference too. Some make the taters right by the plant, some will make tubers at the 'end' of the root.
Jo
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  greatgranny on 8/18/2012, 1:17 pm

I'm in zone 4. Have been looking at to possibly planting some next year. Knowing that my growing season is way shorter - would it be wise to start the plants indoors and then keep them in my mini-greenhouse outdoors until the soil temp is warm enough? Is there a particular type that is better than another for shorter seasons? I was looking at the Beauregard variety. Do you think it would make it here?
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  cheyannarach on 8/18/2012, 1:35 pm

Greatgranny, Beauregards are one of the shortest seasoned sweet potatoes but they don't transplant well. I found out this year if you order them online they won't even ship them to you until they think it's the proper planting time. I got mine about mid June and ordered them at the beginning of May. Another reason it takes so long to get them is because the slips are grown in the spring and shipped quickly after they are ready so they have to wait for their soil to warm up as well. If I were you I would plant them in the greenhouse and leave they there all summer, sweet potatoes need a certain amount of heat units to produce tubers and do not like low night time temps. So I think you would be successful if you grew them in a greenhouse!
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  littlejo on 8/18/2012, 2:50 pm

You might try planting in 5 gal bucket, then you coud move them around without transpanting. If you can, choose a variety that is bush type, makes it easier to move. I will have some later on, you could just keep the slips as a houseplant til time to plant.
Take a look at this site, they are good for growing info but are slow/late in getting slips to you.
Jo
http://www.sandhillpreservation.com/pages/sweetpotato_catalog.html
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  greatgranny on 8/18/2012, 3:24 pm

@cheyannarach wrote:Greatgranny, Beauregards are one of the shortest seasoned sweet potatoes but they don't transplant well. I found out this year if you order them online they won't even ship them to you until they think it's the proper planting time. I got mine about mid June and ordered them at the beginning of May. Another reason it takes so long to get them is because the slips are grown in the spring and shipped quickly after they are ready so they have to wait for their soil to warm up as well. If I were you I would plant them in the greenhouse and leave they there all summer, sweet potatoes need a certain amount of heat units to produce tubers and do not like low night time temps. So I think you would be successful if you grew them in a greenhouse!

When purchasing sweet potatoes in the grocery store I haven't ever seen the variety mentioned. (maybe I just wasn't paying attention) Would it be best to go to a whole foods location for this?
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  littlejo on 8/18/2012, 5:24 pm

I would see if the manager could tell you what variety it is. Don't tell him you plan on growing them! Just get one that tastes good. In past yrs, they had some that were sort of bland, but the ones now are ok. Do you think the grocery has Beauregards?
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  cheyannarach on 8/18/2012, 6:14 pm

thinking I am not sure if you can grow the ones at the grocery store, all I have bought were the sweet potato slips online and they are kind of spendy.
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  littlejo on 8/18/2012, 7:05 pm

I grew the ones from the grocery last yr. but they were not beauregards. They were orange skinned and orange flesh, probaby Jewel? Beauregards have a purple skin and orange flesh. The ones I grew last yr. gave me about 50 lbs from a 4 x 8 bed, and they sure were sweet and moist when cooked. We ate the last of them in May.
Jo
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  cheyannarach on 8/18/2012, 8:23 pm

Wow, how do you grow them from the store? Like potatoes?
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  littlejo on 8/18/2012, 10:00 pm

You just take the sw. potato and put in dirt or damp peatmoss(I did this) or you can put tooth picks halfway in sides and put in a glass of water. It takes several weeks for roots to start growing. You now have grown a 'slip'. Just break off of the main sw. potato to plant!

Jo
Ps: I've been to several sites and they cannot agree what color the skin of the beauregard is, I may have grown it, don't know.
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  cheyannarach on 8/18/2012, 10:25 pm

Thanks Littlejo! I think I will try this next year! I had no idea!
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  Bud Alexis on 8/20/2012, 7:22 pm

Mine started from one I got out of the grocery. Noticed it had little buds, like a white potato, so I put it in some water and when the buds started putting out I divided the potato and placed them in shallow water. All the buds made roots, and I planted them. As they vined out, I would cover sections with my Mels Mix and so forth. Now I have vines growing everywhere. I feel like being in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. I keep on covering up sections and it keeps on growing. I think they will try to take over my yard and house next. Still no sign of a potato yet.
Bud
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Re: Sweet Potatoes...

Post  littlejo on 8/20/2012, 9:34 pm

Bud, they don't grow on top the ground! Try to keep the vines in a sort of controled area, for you will have to dig to get to the potatoes, of course MM makes it easy to 'dig' the potatoes with your hands.
I saw the ones that have been dug, so I went out and dug around 1 plant. I found 1 about 6in x 1.5, even tho I didn't plant till June 26th.
Jo
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