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sweet potato question

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Chopper on 2/5/2011, 10:42 pm

I am guessing that some places carry them but I used one from the store.

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Room for sweet potatoes

Post  Lindacol on 2/5/2011, 10:52 pm

How much room do you figure for sweet potatoes? And do they need deeper boxes similiar to potatoes?

I love sweet potatoes or are they called yams? The red skinned with orange inside ones.
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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Megan on 2/6/2011, 2:56 am

What we call sweet potatoes in the U.S. can be both golden or white inside, and are sometimes called sweet potatoes, and sometimes, yams. True "yams" are a different critter entirely. I believe they are very very large tubers and are a tropical crop not often seen in the U.S. if at all. (I am sure someone else can provide more detailed information about this.) The other factlet I have is that sweet potatoes grow down from the top, whereas potatoes grow up from the bottom.

I am rooting one from the store. Got plenty of roots so far. No shoots, but it's only February. Very Happy We'll see how it goes!
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Re: sweet potato question

Post  kimbertangleknot on 2/6/2011, 12:25 pm

Sweet potatoes = usually yellowish to orangish to redish interior (can even be purple), larger than a good sized russet. Can be cooked most ways like potatoes, roasted, boiled, steamed... Sweet potatoes can be grown 2 - 4 per square. Their tops are very vining and very pretty (so think about planting them on an outer square so they don't over take other squares). In the south here (NC), it's actually grown more for it's pretty vines than the potato in residential areas.

Yams = usually whitish to slightly yellowish flesh, usually very HUGE (think monster length squash huge) and near impossible to find in the US. Yams, if not cooked right can cause illness.

Generally, in the US, yams are sweet potatoes and sweet potatoes are sweet potatoes. If your lucky and find some of the non orange flesh I'd give them a try. They've got a slightly different taste than their orange cousins.

If you'd like more info, you can do a simple Wikipedia search to read up on them. I learned my info from school science and history believe it or not. One of those few things I retained. Hope it helps.
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Re: sweet potato question

Post  LaFee on 2/6/2011, 1:19 pm

I saw sweet potato chits this year for the first time in France. It's just now gotten to where it's pretty easy to find sweet potatoes (the African and Caribbean markets have always had them, but the "mainstream" groceries didn't for a long time). I had to tell the veggie lady at the market what to do with them -- she sells them, but didn't know what to do with them!

If *I* can find 'em, I KNOW you guys can!

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  mrsfish94 on 2/6/2011, 8:01 pm

Oh how I have fond memories of sweet potatoes.

I grew up on a dairy farm. The field next to ours was leased by a farmer who grew sweet potatoes. I don't remember how they planted them...which was usually done while I was at school. But, I do remember after the harvesters had left the field, my grandfather would gather us up and we would go get the sweet potatoes that were the rejects. (don't worry, we asked permission to get what was left...lol!) I remember digging for those potatoes. I would eat them raw out in the field. My grampa would peel the skin with a knife and I would eat it like an apple. If only children now could experience that.

Gee, I guess I need to start some sweet potatoes for my children to harvest...LOL!!!

Sorry, I just wanted to share a fond moment. Very Happy
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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Megan on 2/6/2011, 8:22 pm

What a great story! Thank you for sharing. Smile
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Re: sweet potato question

Post  kiwirose on 2/8/2011, 6:31 am

@Chopper wrote:
@miinva wrote:Did anyone who tried slips get sweet potatoes at harvest time?

I planted 5 slips in a 2X2 box of mel's mix. I had more sweet potatoes than I knew what to do with and they crowded the box.


how deep was your box? I haven't found anything that says you do or don't need a deeper box than usual - started trying to sprout mine on the weekend so fingers crossed - going to dedicate a 3x3 box this season and see what happens.

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Megan on 2/8/2011, 5:50 pm

My sweet potato has a nice set of roots on it now (in a mason jar of water), no sign of shoots yet. But it's alive! Very Happy
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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Chopper on 2/8/2011, 7:42 pm

@kiwirose wrote:
how deep was your box? I haven't found anything that says you do or don't need a deeper box than usual - started trying to sprout mine on the weekend so fingers crossed - going to dedicate a 3x3 box this season and see what happens.

It was a standard 6" deep box

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  camprn on 3/10/2011, 9:20 pm

bump
read from page one Wink
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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/10/2011, 10:22 pm

My little grocery store sweet potato, placed in water on Jan 14, 2011, has lots of roots and four sprouts and two leaves!

Two little leaves


With Roots
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Re: sweet potato question

Post  camprn on 3/11/2011, 6:06 am

That's awesome! The one I am trying to sprout is doing absolutely nothing. I suppose I should compost the old tuber and begin anew. Very Happy
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sprayed?

Post  ander217 on 3/11/2011, 8:15 am

Camp, maybe yours was sprayed with "desprouting stuff".

The one I sprouted last year went crazy. I kept breaking off the slips and rooting them in a jar of water, and it just kept putting out more sprouts. (Good thing, though. The voles ate them as fast as we set them out.) I got over two dozen slips from one tuber but by the end of summer we had only three or four plants left in the garden.
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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Smartchick on 3/11/2011, 1:40 pm

Count me in on the Sweet Potato sprouting experiment this year! I went to the basement last week to see if the sweet potatoes I grew 2 years ago (yep, two years) were even edible and lo and behold, two of them were sprouted already so I plopped them in water to see what happens (I ate the other three - and yes, they were still viable and yummy). I figure I'm not out anything if they don't work. I did grow them in my SFG in a regular 6" box from commercially bought slips that year. There is a picture on here on another thread of the giant ones that came out of my box that first year - two were over 2lbs each!
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Re: sweet potato question

Post  camprn on 3/11/2011, 7:51 pm

@ander217 wrote:Camp, maybe yours was sprayed with "desprouting stuff".
ok I'll go get some more.
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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Megan on 3/11/2011, 7:53 pm

My two sweet taters are still going. One still has nice sprouts, no roots... the one with roots but no sprouts has finally generated something that may turn into a sprout. I'll try to take pictures tomorrow. One is a "white" yam, the other is a yellow one.
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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Chopper on 3/12/2011, 3:39 am

Once the leafy part is about 6" long or so THAT is what you plant. You can cut it off of the potato and put it in its own jar of water until root show, or plant as is. Once it is 6" long it will likely have roots anyway. You do NOT plant the sweet potato itself. Just the leafy part - that is the "slip".

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  clfraser on 4/15/2011, 10:46 pm

When is it too late to plant sweet potato slips?
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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Chopper on 4/15/2011, 11:03 pm

It needs a lot of heat, so it depends on how long you can count on it staying hot. That said, I planted mine later in the summer with the idea of picking them fresh for Thanksgiving in Nov - and I did! A full three and a half months of pretty decent heat should do.

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  clfraser on 4/15/2011, 11:06 pm

Well we are still wearing shorts here around Halloween and on my Wedding Day (December 31) I was wearing Flip Flops and a t-shirt. I think I am going to try to plant some. I will have to get some slips though, not sure if should try from a store bought one or try getting my hands on slips right away.
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Re: sweet potato question

Post  pattipan on 4/15/2011, 11:41 pm

Those of you that have grown sweet potatoes in your SFG, what size box did you grow them in? Anyone have pictures of their sweet potatoes growing in the SFG? Inquiring gardeners want to know...

Thanks!
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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Glendale-gardener on 5/29/2011, 1:49 am

I just finally got my SP slips in the mail. I ordered from The Maine Potato Lady and there was a shipment delay because of a harvest problem or something. Anyway, I am ready to plant. After reading this thread- I'm guessing that a regular depth bed is okay? Is 6 inches really deep enough for the potato to have room to grow? Any tips for a sweet potato newbie?
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Re: sweet potato question

Post  sceleste54 on 5/29/2011, 3:27 am

This is a most excellent article.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/growing-sweet-potatoes-zm0z11zsto.aspx
I had no idea they had to be "cured" !! I was given some roots by a local gardener. I didn't know any better so I cut them in big pieces and put them in cups of water. I then planted the entire chunk in the ground after the sprouts and roots appeared. So far the resulting plants look quite healthy. It remains to be seen if I get any potatoes !! Smile

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Chopper on 5/29/2011, 5:12 am

@Glendale-gardener wrote:I just finally got my SP slips in the mail. I ordered from The Maine Potato Lady and there was a shipment delay because of a harvest problem or something. Anyway, I am ready to plant. After reading this thread- I'm guessing that a regular depth bed is okay? Is 6 inches really deep enough for the potato to have room to grow? Any tips for a sweet potato newbie?

I planted 5 slips in a 2X2 box (one per square and one in the middle - I couldn't help myself). It was 6" deep settling to about 4-5". I had no problems and got lots and lots of sweet potatoes. I did trim the vines a bit when they starting falling out of the box and into the grass - just for neatness.

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Re: sweet potato question

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