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Sweet Potatoes ??? Empty Sweet Potatoes ???

Post  chrstene on 6/9/2010, 1:23 pm

So I just started my FIRST square foot garden and I am so excited. We are in Spring Hill Fl. I did tomatoes, peppers, basil, oregano, cucumbers, parsley, eggplant.....

and as I was out shopping for these plants I saw a Sweet Potato plant...I hadn't researched it, but decided to get it anyway, couldn't resist !

Has anyone put Sweet Potatoes in a SFG ? from what i've read they are very "viney" and take up a lot of room. Would they grow up a trellis? I only bought one little "6 pack" of plants, but hate to waste them. Honestly, I only have 1 square left and I know it won't fit in there. Wondering if I should build a new box just for them ? Try planting them in the ground ?

Anyone have experience with sweet potatoes ?

Thanks in advance.
Christine
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Post  martha on 6/10/2010, 11:03 pm

bumping for renewed exposure. (Sorry, I have never grown them.)
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Post  Wyldflower on 6/10/2010, 11:13 pm

I haven't grown them in my SFG either... but I ~THINK~ there are varieties on sale that are ornamental sweet potato vines. They are really pretty, but aren't good for producing a crop. Did you get yours in the section with the vegetables, or was it with the flowers? I had the ornamentals in a hanging basket last year... both the green-leafed and the purple leafed types... and didn't find anything that looked sweet-potato-ish when I emptied the baskets.

I hope you ended up with the 'right' kind - and that they produce beautifully for you.
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Post  Chopper on 6/11/2010, 1:20 am

I have spent a lot of time reading about sweet potatoes for my garden. What I have gathered is that they spread a lot and are very viney. For that reason I decided they may go into a bed all by themselves. They need 100 days or so of heat - a long season essentially. They look easy enough to grow and from what I gather each plant should be good for 4 tubers or so. I am not sure if the SP vines can be or should be trellised.

I'll let you know next season. My own SP slips have another week or so before they are big enough to plant.
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Post  punaluuSFG on 6/11/2010, 4:44 am

I've grown sweet potatoes for the past two years, and they do quite well. I remember being amazed the first time digging my hand along the bottom of the SFG box and pulling up an almost 2' long one growing horizontally right along the bottom!

Christine, I would suggest building another box just for your sweet potatoes. They tend to want to take over the whole box. I had trellis, on both of my sweet potato beds, but I just let the vines bunch up in the box. When they start branching out too much, just trim them back. Don't forget the leaves are edible and nutritious.

Your weather in Florida might be similar to ours here in Hawaii. We grow things year-round. Sweet potatoes, kale, eggplant, etc, just keep growing, some I first planted three years ago!

Sweet potatoes also make great ground cover and grow well even in poor soil conditions. Part of our yard behind our house wasn't being used for anything (except for growing weeds). My boys and I dug it up and planted sweet potatoes. They are doing great, so I'm now using the SFG boxes for other things that prefer the Mel's mix.

Best wishes. Let us know how those sweet potatoes turn out.

Wes
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Post  chrstene on 6/11/2010, 7:15 am

Thank you SO much for your help ! I don't have many areas of sun in my yard (both a blessing and a curse I suppose) but I have found one area that I think might work for the sweet potatoes ! If they start growing maybe I can post some pics ! I just can't decide if it is worth building a box for them with Mel's Mix or just putting them in our ground. We have pretty sandy soil.
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