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sweet potato question

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 9/3/2011, 10:23 am

Also bet you could glean some wonderful authentic recipes from your nephew's side of the family. MMMMM, you might be on to something truly wonderful. BTW, our little town of St. Helens is across the river and through the woods from Mt. St. Helens, but we had a great view of the mountain during both her most spectacular eruptions. And, Helen is very popular in our family, my great aunt, my mom both named Helen, and it's my middle name. Who'd a thunk it? Nonna

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  tnirisgirl on 9/3/2011, 10:38 am

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:Also bet you could glean some wonderful authentic recipes from your nephew's side of the family. MMMMM, you might be on to something truly wonderful. BTW, our little town of St. Helens is across the river and through the woods from Mt. St. Helens, but we had a great view of the mountain during both her most spectacular eruptions. And, Helen is very popular in our family, my great aunt, my mom both named Helen, and it's my middle name. Who'd a thunk it? Nonna



Definitely planning to talk with the nephew about recipes. He's cooks among his many other skills and talents. Will post any recipes I like over on the recipe thread.



As for names, sometimes life comes up with some amazing coincidences, doesn't it?

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I have a sweet pot. question too...

Post  capatl on 9/3/2011, 10:43 am

I have a sweet pot. that I got from the grocery store and nubs began to grow (I hadn't gotten around to cooking it, lol). Being totally new to gardening and knowing nothing about growing potatoes, I stuck it on the window sill, no water. It continues to grow. Can it continue like this till I can plant it in spring? Does it need water at some point? :?:

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  pattipan on 9/3/2011, 11:00 am

I did take a peek at my sweet potatoes when I pulled up the bean plants next to them (that was the first week of August). The taters were not very big then, so I am going to leave them to grow as long as possible. I will dig them before first frost and that's usually the first week of October, but I will keep an eye on the weather nonetheless.

My favorite way to eat them is baked/roasted whole in the skin. A pat of butter and topped with brown sugar or maple syrup. For a side dish we have pork chops or meatloaf -- ha!

We have a small mom & pop restaurant here and they are famous for their sweet potato fries. Deep fried and tossed in cinnamon sugar.

I also like to try the unusual. EatingWell.com has some wonderful recipes you might like. One of my favorites is the Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew.

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  tnirisgirl on 9/3/2011, 11:13 am

@pattipan wrote:
My favorite way to eat them is baked/roasted whole in the skin. A pat of butter and topped with brown sugar or maple syrup. For a side dish we have pork chops or meatloaf -- ha!

We have a small mom & pop restaurant here and they are famous for their sweet potato fries. Deep fried and tossed in cinnamon sugar.

I also like to try the unusual. EatingWell.com has some wonderful recipes you might like. One of my favorites is the Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew.

pattipan



That's no fair! I haven't had breakfast yet. Now I'm starving.



We had a restaurant here at one time that served baked SPs with butter and cinnamon and a side of pork chop, too.



Thanks, pattipan, I'll be checking the EatingWell site and the recipe link. Gotta go eat now!

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Sweet potatoes have taken over

Post  Squat_Johnson on 9/4/2011, 7:58 pm



I have 8 Beauregard sweet potato plants that have taken over one of my boxes. They are in a 12"
box and have grown up a 5 ft. trellis and spilled out 4 ft. on both
sides. I dug up a square last month, and was happy with about 3 lbs. of
sweet potatoes.

They turned out to be not so sweet though.

When do I harvest for the best flavor? Will they get sweeter if I wait until cold weather?

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Denese on 9/4/2011, 10:38 pm

Squat_Johnson, I'm sorry I don't know the answer to your question about the sweet taters, but I am impressed with your trellis construction. Do you have a pic without plants. I'd love to see them in more detail. Very Happy

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Lindacol on 9/4/2011, 10:55 pm

@Squat_Johnson wrote:

I have 8 Beauregard sweet potato plants that have taken over one of my boxes. They are in a 12"
box and have grown up a 5 ft. trellis and spilled out 4 ft. on both
sides. I dug up a square last month, and was happy with about 3 lbs. of
sweet potatoes.

They turned out to be not so sweet though.

When do I harvest for the best flavor? Will they get sweeter if I wait until cold weather?



See this post for info on curing sweet potatoes which is supposed to improve the flavor:

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t7644-considering-sweet-potatoes#72231

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  pattipan on 9/4/2011, 11:29 pm

In addition to the info I gave in the post Lindacol gave the link for, I found this article on Purdue University Cooperative Extension site:

http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/HO-136.pdf

Quoting the part about curing sweet potatoes:
Sweet potatoes should be cured before storing to heal wounds and improve flavor. It is during the curing process that starch is converted to sugar. Cure sweet potatoes by holding them for about 10 days at 80-85°F and high relative humidity (85-90%). In the absence of better facilities, they can be cured near your furnace. If the curing area’s temperature is between 65-75°F, the curing period should last 2-3 weeks. To maintain the required high humidity (85-90% R.H.), stack storage crates or boxes and cover them with paper or heavy cloth. Packing in perforated plastic bags will also keep humidity high.

So curing will improve their sweetness, plus it will help them store better.

Side note: I think our drought conditions will be ending this week, thanks to Tropical Storm Lee. We just had the most glorious soaking rain, and more rain is on the way! I know some folks are worried about flooding from this storm system, but for us it is a Godsend. We have not had to mow grass since the mid-July! Maybe those sweet potatoes will get bigger now. I have been keeping them watered, but I think they like rain better than treated city water.

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very good information

Post  Vanessa on 9/8/2011, 4:32 pm

Very Happy

I am so glad to have this information. I never knew how to grow sweet potatoes. I am very excited, to try this now. My family loves sweet potatoes, and I make a mean sweet potatoe pie. Thanks again for the good information on growing sweet potatoes.

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Squat_Johnson on 9/25/2011, 1:41 pm

I cut the sweet potato vines today, and pulled back the dirt... Very Happy



They really like the soft Mel's Mix. They were in a 12" box, and needed most of that depth.


From eight plants, I got 96 lbs. I really don't know what I am going to do with even half of these... The biggest was 4lbs, 4 oz.


I drug the vines out in the yard, and ran over them with the mower several times. Then raked them onto a tarp. Compost pile is now doubled in size.

I have them curing under black plastic. I plan to run a heater in a spare room (when I am at the house, not unattended).


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Re: sweet potato question

Post  camprn on 9/25/2011, 2:03 pm

That is so AWESOME!!!! well done Sir! Mine never got going this year. Did you start your own slips? With any left over tubers, I bet the local food pantry would love a donation! Again, congratulations and thanks for sharing. Very Happy

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  sherryeo on 9/25/2011, 2:42 pm

Wow, SJ, those look like some fine sweet potatoes! I didn't think you needed an extra deep box to grow them, like you do regular potatoes, though! I eventually want to try to grow some myself, so may have to rethink how I plan to do that now.

Congrats on the great job!

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Glendale-gardener on 9/25/2011, 6:11 pm

Wow! Those look great! My leaves are starting to yellow now so I'll be harvesting soon- I guess I should get prepared for somewhere for them to cure, I planted 12 slips!

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  tnirisgirl on 9/26/2011, 12:44 am

I agree those are awesome. Your 4 lb ones make my 2 lb ones seem small now!

Great job!!!

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Squat_Johnson on 9/26/2011, 9:19 am

@camprn I tried to get slips to grow in a jar, but they never sprouted. I found Beauregard slips at Wal-Mart. In my spring garden, they were the last thing I planted.

I like the food pantry idea.

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  squaredeal on 11/26/2011, 10:43 pm

sweet potato article

Here's an article about the possibility of growing sweet potatoes in (outer) space ships. Pruning the vines and growing them on tomato cages saved space. Might be a useful idea for our boxes.

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  1airdoc on 1/12/2012, 11:21 am

Last year I bought some SP slips sort of late on a whim, then realized how much space they'd take up, so I was reluctant to put them all in my SFG. I ended up planting one in the SFG, two in large containers with other ornamental plants, and one directly into the ground (poor quality red clay with chert). All of them grew well and produced prolific, attractive vines (be ready for that if you haven't grown them before - the vines will take over if you don't plan for them). The plants in the containers got only partial sun, and they produced a few potatoes. The SFG plant didn't do much better. The one planted directly in the ground, however, was the most prolific! I probably got about 4 lb total.

We eat SP's pretty regularly as they are said to be more nutritious, have more fiber, and have a MUCH lower glycemic index than white potatoes. I'm hoping to have better luck with them this year. I may try containers out in the sun this year, as it was difficult to dig those potatoes out of the clay at the end of the summer.

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Squat_Johnson on 1/12/2012, 1:20 pm

I am going to put my sweet potatoes in Mel's Mix again. They did great, and were very easy to _pull_ from the ground. I dug some with a trowel, but most came up easily with a tug.

Look on page 6 of this if you haven't grown these before. They need some space.

Update - I donated 40 lbs to the local food pantry. They were tickled, said they don't get many fresh veggies.

Some of my stored sweet potatoes are now sprouting. I am eager to grow my own slips this time around...

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  camprn on 1/12/2012, 4:05 pm

@Squat_Johnson wrote:I am going to put my sweet potatoes in Mel's Mix again. They did great, and were very easy to _pull_ from the ground. I dug some with a trowel, but most came up easily with a tug.

Look on page 6 of this if you haven't grown these before. They need some space.

Update - I donated 40 lbs to the local food pantry. They were tickled, said they don't get many fresh veggies.

Some of my stored sweet potatoes are now sprouting. I am eager to grow my own slips this time around...
It's so nice of you to donate food, all the pantries are low on resources and I thank you for the donation to feed your hungry neighbors! I think I am going to build sweet potatoes their own box. Hooray for Free Slips!!!

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  ericam on 2/28/2012, 9:40 pm

Just to be sure I really understand....

I have a sweet potato that has sprouted in the pantry and from what I've read here I break off the shoots and put them in water until they form roots and then they can go in the garden. Is that right?

How long should the shoots be before you break them off?

The longest shoot is probably about 4-5" long (not very good with inches so that's a guess).


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Re: sweet potato question

Post  littlejo on 2/28/2012, 10:03 pm

You can take the potatoe that is sprouted and put in a glass of water, with toothpicks poked in sides to keep the top 1/2 out of water, or lay in a flower pot of dirt and bareley cover and let the slips grow til about 10 to 12 inches long. Break slip from the potato and plant in garden. It will grow roots there and will not have the shock of rooting then moving again. If it is too cool in your area to put in ground, put some black plastic on MM and just cut a hole for the slip.

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  Chopper on 2/28/2012, 11:04 pm

+1 for littlejo.

The slips have little nodules that eventually become roots. They do not have to be roots when you plant them but you probably want the leaves to be a little more hardy. I would say 6-10" is adequate. I had read 7" at one point and I am sure there is a lot of variation but I would not go less than 6.

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Re: sweet potato question

Post  ericam on 3/1/2012, 6:42 am

Thanks littlejo and Chopper

I've put it in a vase in my window to try and encourage the shoots to grow straight. Waiting for it to grow a bit longer will give me a chance to figure out where I'm going to plant them! Laughing

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Strawberry pop-up planter for sweet potatoes?

Post  Bobbi on 4/24/2012, 10:07 am

I purchased a Gardman 12" diameter x 24" high pop up strawberry planter made from tough woven polyethylene that has 8 planting holes (around the sides) and 6 drainage holes (along the bottom). I decided not to use it for my strawberry plants, have become very interested in growing sweet potatoes and wonder if I could use it by planting the 6" sweet potato shoots in 4 of the planting holes. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Re: sweet potato question

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