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Jicama, Sweet Potatoes, and Raised Bed Blocks

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Jicama, Sweet Potatoes, and Raised Bed Blocks

Post  ChasingAnnie on Sun 14 May 2017 - 14:04

Hi all,

I'm going to try planting jicama (first time ever) and sweet potatoes.  I figured raised beds dedicated to these root crops might be the way to go. Do any of you have any 
experience or advice? How deep should I make the beds (I figure these should probably be a little deeper?), any modifications to Mel's Mix, advice on spacing or just general advice? I read that sweet potatoes like "sandy soil" so I was thinking of adding a little sand...but I don't know. I'm also torn about how deep to make my bed and how to space everything. I bought heirloom sweet potato slips. They are a combination of purple sweet potatoes, pink sweet potatoes, and Jersey sweet potatoes. I'm crossing my fingers that things go well.

Also, I have noticed these raised bed corner blocks at Home Depot: 

They are under $3 bucks a pop and seem like a good deal.  Have any of you tried them? 

TIA!
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Re: Jicama, Sweet Potatoes, and Raised Bed Blocks

Post  yolos on Sun 14 May 2017 - 20:36


I made one bed last year using the blocks.  They were fairly easy to set up unless you have a very uneven site and then it was a little challenging to get all level.  But I think they look real nice and with two stacked high it is just right for sweet potatoes.  They take a 2" x 6" ( 1.75 x 5.5) board so two stacked high give you 11 inch height.  See my thread assembling this bed.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t20590-home-depot-planter-wall-block?highlight=wall+block
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Re: Jicama, Sweet Potatoes, and Raised Bed Blocks

Post  ChasingAnnie on Sun 14 May 2017 - 21:02

Yalos- that looks amazing! Do you think I could get away without the center piece across? I want to work on this project now! Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Jicama, Sweet Potatoes, and Raised Bed Blocks

Post  yolos on Sun 14 May 2017 - 21:09

@ChasingAnnie wrote:Yalos- that looks amazing! Do you think I could get away without the center piece across? I want to work on this project now! Thanks for sharing.
I think it all depends on the length of the bed.  I made my bed to fit between the columns in the existing fence so it had to be 6 feet long.  I think I read somewhere that the max length you should make it without a center piece is 4 feet long.  But I am not so sure that I actually read that.   thinking

I just looked at the home depot description of the blocks.  It appears as though the blocks are placed about every 4 feet along the length.  If it is any longer than 4 feet, then another block is used in the middle.  It looks like you do not need the cross piece of wood but maybe the extra block in the middle of the sides.  thinking


Here is a copy of the installation instructions.  They do not mention the lenght of the bed but every picture seems to be 4 foot lengths between blocks.
http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/pdfImages/c1/c1f866c9-434d-46ed-90a7-efaf896e709e.pdf


There is a video at the Home Depot site showing someone installing the bed.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Oldcastle-8-in-x-8-in-x-6-in-Tan-Brown-Planter-Wall-Block-16202336/206501693

Ok, final answer.  I looked thru the installation instructions again and I did see one bed that was 6 feet long and it did not have an extra block or cross piece in the center of the long side.  So I guess it all depends on how long/wide you make the bed.
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Re: Jicama, Sweet Potatoes, and Raised Bed Blocks

Post  ChasingAnnie on Sun 14 May 2017 - 21:46

Thank you Yalos. I was thinking of making it 8ft long, cut into 2- 4ff. pieces with a block in the middle. I just wasn't sure about the wooden piece across the middle. .
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Re: Jicama, Sweet Potatoes, and Raised Bed Blocks

Post  CapeCoddess on Mon 15 May 2017 - 8:41

Annie, please keep us updated on how your 8 ft bed does if you decide not to put a block in the middle.  I'd really like to know how far we can take them.

CC
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Re: Jicama, Sweet Potatoes, and Raised Bed Blocks

Post  sanderson on Mon 15 May 2017 - 13:27

My thought on a 4' x 8' bed with 6 blocks and no middle board is that it would work. There are holes in the middle of each block where a 2' piece of rebar could be driven, holding the sides in place. You would only need three 2" x 8" of boards, each cut in half, 6 blocks and 6 pieces of the fattest pieces of rebar that actually fit into the holes. Test a piece of rebar in the block while you are at the store.

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Re: Jicama, Sweet Potatoes, and Raised Bed Blocks

Post  ChasingAnnie on Mon 15 May 2017 - 13:30

Thanks for the feedback! Do any of you have words of wisdom from growing jicama and sweet potatoes?
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Re: Jicama, Sweet Potatoes, and Raised Bed Blocks

Post  sanderson on Mon 15 May 2017 - 13:37


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Re: Jicama, Sweet Potatoes, and Raised Bed Blocks

Post  yolos on Mon 15 May 2017 - 15:50

Sweet potatoes like it hot and sunny and the days to harvest is long depending on what variety you are growing.  If you are growing vinning sweet potatoes and you do not have enough room, they can be easily trellised.  These are Beauregard Sweet Potatoes.


This is what sweet potatoes look like growing under the soil.  So they do need some depth to produce good size spuds.  If they do not have enough depth to grow in, then they will sometimes push up out of the ground.  If that happens, you can just cover them with straw or mulch or soil.


Here are a few previous threads on Sweet Potatoes.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t2619-sweet-potato-question?highlight=sweet+potato

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t20001-sweet-potatoes?highlight=sweet+potato
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