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Sweet Potatoes

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Post  countrynaturals 12/16/2017, 12:07 pm

Dug 'em up. Nuthin' there.  Sad If I ever grow them again, I will have plenty of tulle on hand. There were more than a dozen little stunted tubers that should have been nice fat 'taters if the grasshoppers had left them alone. Sweet Potatoes - Page 7 950477
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Post  No_Such_Reality 12/16/2017, 5:36 pm

That's a bummer.
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Post  sanderson 11/8/2018, 2:19 am

The sweet potatoes vines are still green and growing. However, it's possible we may get frost (not a freeze). Is it time for me to harvest them? Thanks

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Post  yolos 11/8/2018, 1:11 pm

@sanderson wrote:The sweet potatoes vines are still green and growing.  However, it's possible we may get frost (not a freeze).  Is it time for me to harvest them?  Thanks
Not necessarily.  If you do not think the tubers are big enough, you can leave them in the ground and then only harvest them the morning following a frost if the vines have been affected.  So you could leave them in the ground and if you have a frost that damages the vines, then you can harvest them at that time.

Here are a few comments from articles about frost and sweet potatoes.

Frost and cold weather can hurt sweet potatoes at harvest time even though you might think they're insulated underground. When frost kills and blackens the vines above ground, decay can start in on the dead vines and pass down to the roots. If your sweet potato plants suffer a frost one night, cut the vines off right above the soil first thing the next morning. This may let you leave the potatoes in the ground for a few more days without injury.


When cold weather and frost withers the sweet potato vines, carefully dig up the tubers for winter storage.


 If a frost is in the forecast, water the sweet potato vines thoroughly, and then suspend plastic sheeting over bamboo stakes to protect the vines from the cold temperatures. Weigh down the plastic around the edges with rocks or boards to prevent the cold air from infiltrating your temporary greenhouse. An outdoor-rated lamp or large-bulb holiday lights wound amid the vines add a few degrees of warmth under the plastic.
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Post  sanderson 11/8/2018, 1:24 pm

Thank you, Yolos.

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Post  trolleydriver 4/26/2019, 8:32 am

I would like to try growing sweet potatoes but there are several problems for me:
1. A local supplier sells slips that are ready to plant but they are very expensive ... $4.50 Canadian each.
2. Short growing season.
3. Nowhere to cure the potatoes at the required conditions for 10 days. 

So it looks like I will have to pass on this experiment.
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Post  MrBooker 4/26/2019, 8:41 am

@trolleydriver wrote:I would like to try growing sweet potatoes but there are several problems for me:
1. A local supplier sells slips that are ready to plant but they are very expensive ... $4.50 Canadian each.
2. Short growing season.
3. Nowhere to cure the potatoes at the required conditions for 10 days. 

So it looks like I will have to pass on this experiment.

Wow... We get a 6 pak of sweet potatoes for $369. I grow sweet potatoes every year and don't worry about curing them. If I were you Trolly, I would go for it.
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Post  countrynaturals 4/26/2019, 10:18 am

I just grabbed an organic sweet potato from the grocery store and sprouted it. I must have gotten over 20 beautiful plants from that one spud. They grew beautifully, but the deer destroyed them before they could produce, so I don't know how the story would have ended. Sad
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Post  trolleydriver 4/26/2019, 10:25 am

@countrynaturals wrote:I just grabbed an organic sweet potato from the grocery store and sprouted it. I must have gotten over 20 beautiful plants from that one spud. They grew beautifully, but the deer destroyed them before they could produce, so I don't know how the story would have ended. Sad
I should try that if it is not already too late to sprout them.
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Post  countrynaturals 4/26/2019, 10:32 am

@trolleydriver wrote:
@countrynaturals wrote:I just grabbed an organic sweet potato from the grocery store and sprouted it. I must have gotten over 20 beautiful plants from that one spud. They grew beautifully, but the deer destroyed them before they could produce, so I don't know how the story would have ended. Sad
I should try that if it is not already too late to sprout them.
It is a little late, but if you plant them out in a cold frame or something to extend the season, you might still get away with it.
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Post  MrBooker 4/26/2019, 11:40 am

Sweet potato plants aren't even being sold in S/W Illinois yet. Nursery said maybe next week.
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Post  trolleydriver 4/26/2019, 1:58 pm

@MrBooker wrote:Sweet potato plants aren't even being sold in S/W Illinois yet. Nursery said maybe next week.
They don't sell slips here until close to the end of May. I was thinking it may be too late to start slips.
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Post  trolleydriver 4/26/2019, 3:15 pm

Couldn't find organic sweet potatoes in two stores I visited. So I bought some regular ones that were grown in the USA. I'll try sprouting one as an experiment and Mrs TD and I will eat the others.
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Post  MrBooker 4/26/2019, 3:54 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:Couldn't find organic sweet potatoes in two stores I visited. So I bought some regular ones that were grown in the USA. I'll try sprouting one as an experiment and Mrs TD and I will eat the others.
Looks like you still have some cold weather coming Trolly. I wouldn't get too excited yet.
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Post  trolleydriver 4/26/2019, 4:49 pm

@MrBooker wrote:
@trolleydriver wrote:Couldn't find organic sweet potatoes in two stores I visited. So I bought some regular ones that were grown in the USA. I'll try sprouting one as an experiment and Mrs TD and I will eat the others.
Looks like you still have some cold weather coming Trolly. I wouldn't get too excited yet.
I would like to have slips ready for transplanting by first week of June.
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Post  sanderson 4/27/2019, 4:03 am

TD, Get those halves into some water, now! I'll try to remind you to start them April 1st next year. I'm just now planting the slips I grew. Don't worry about them not being "organic". What you produce will be organic. You can let the skins dry in the garage and then brush off the remaining dirt. They should be fine in bags in the mud room or laundry room. It took 3 summers before I got some honkers! Maybe a mini-green house will extend your season like Mr. Booker said.

Maybe you can try growing them in storage totes like I do? The sun heats the MM up so much that I have to wrap with aluminum foil. You can use the sun warming to your advantage.

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Post  trolleydriver 4/27/2019, 8:23 am

I found an article about sprouting non-organic sweet potatoes to get slips. It involves soaking the potato in ascorbic acid to remove any inhibitors that may have been applied to prevent sprouting. The acid bath is made by crushing some vitamin C tablets in water. After the soak the potato is rinsed off. Then it is planted horizontally in potting mix in a container with holes in the bottom. The container (I put it in another container) is then placed on a heat mat. This method should provide more vigorous slips. I'm always up for a good experiment. Let's see what happens.
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Post  No_Such_Reality 4/27/2019, 10:20 am

Ive always found being careless and just leaving the sweet potatoes, potatoes and onions in proximity to.each other in the hanging baskets in the kitchen makes everything sprout regardless of which store or whether its organic or not.
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Post  OhioGardener 4/27/2019, 11:07 am

By spring our sweet potatoes in storage are starting to sprout. Just moving them out into daylight causes the sprouts to start turning green. Easy to pop them off, putting them into water, and starting root development.

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Post  countrynaturals 5/17/2019, 6:06 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:Dug 'em up. Nuthin' there.  Sad If I ever grow them again, I will have plenty of tulle on hand. There were more than a dozen little stunted tubers that should have been nice fat 'taters if the grasshoppers had left them alone. Sweet Potatoes - Page 7 950477
WRONG AGAIN! It was deer that got 'em -- not grasshoppers. Mad
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Post  countrynaturals 5/18/2019, 12:42 pm

@OhioGardener wrote:By spring our sweet potatoes in storage are starting to sprout. Just moving them out into daylight causes the sprouts to start turning green. Easy to pop them off, putting them into water, and starting root development.
Interesting -- you pop off the sprouts first, then root them. I root them first, then cut them out. I'm starting to think these puppies are indestructible.

When I was getting ready to start this year's crop, Hubby spotted my "brood" potato and wanted it for dinner. I cut off the butt end and gave the rest to him. I knowingly planted too little material upside down in a mug of water. Even standing on their heads, these guys happily produce beautiful babies. I love you
Sweet Potatoes - Page 7 Sweetp12
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Post  MrBooker 5/18/2019, 1:53 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:
@OhioGardener wrote:By spring our sweet potatoes in storage are starting to sprout. Just moving them out into daylight causes the sprouts to start turning green. Easy to pop them off, putting them into water, and starting root development.
Interesting -- you pop off the sprouts first, then root them. I root them first, then cut them out. I'm starting to think these puppies are indestructible.

When I was getting ready to start this year's crop, Hubby spotted my "brood" potato and wanted it for dinner. I cut off the butt end and gave the rest to him. I knowingly planted too little material upside down in a mug of water. Even standing on their heads, these guys happily produce beautiful babies. I love you
Sweet Potatoes - Page 7 Sweetp12
My mom used to sprout sweet potatoes in her kitchen window just to have the green vines hanging down above her sink in the winter time.
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Post  countrynaturals 5/18/2019, 2:24 pm

MrB wrote:My mom used to sprout sweet potatoes in her kitchen window just to have the green vines hanging down above her sink in the winter time.

Exactly! They're beautiful. Also, the cats love to drink that water. I wish I'd thought of it, sooner. I just potted up all my starts and should have left one out for the cats. Sad 

Here are my results:

Obviously enough roots to plant the mama.
Sweet Potatoes - Page 7 Sweetp13

It was a bit of a pain to get the babies separated from the mama with roots intact. Maybe next year I'll try OG's way -- sounds easier to cut them out before they have roots.
Sweet Potatoes - Page 7 Sweetp14

Not sure if I potted mama up right, but here she is in a 1 gal. pot.
Sweet Potatoes - Page 7 Sweetp15

Here are the babies. Now I have to go un-pot one of them to make "cat drinking water".  Rolling Eyes  

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Post  sanderson 5/21/2019, 2:21 am

Suz, you can just gently snap the slips off and put in a half cup of water, whether they have roots or not. They will all produce roots and then you can plant them.

I tried an experiment planting small, budding sweet potatoes, and the result were Franken taters. I recommend taking momma out of the pot and just planting the slip.


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Post  countrynaturals 5/21/2019, 10:12 am

@sanderson wrote: I recommend taking momma out of the pot and just planting the slip.
I think I'll do that, and wash off momma to put back in fresh water for the cats. They absolutely love it. Trouble is, the tater starts getting mushy after awhile. I'm not sure what the attraction is. Maybe just a slice of any veggie in the bottom of the water bowl would be nice for them. Alsways a mystery to solve. AARRGGHH! Here comes the rain, again. I feel guilty saying I'm sick of it, but . . .
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