Summer's coming

annbeck62
annbeck62 Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭✭

I know summer's right around the corner when I start my sweet potato slips :)


Comments

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,396 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow! I've never been able to start any. I bought 4 sweet potato plants instead of trying to get some going this year.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭✭

    @kbmbillups1 you have to make sure you start with an organic sweet potato. Conventional ones are sprayed with some type of anti-sprotting chemical so they last longer in the grocery store.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,602 admin

    I need to see if I can still order some short season slips. I can grow beautiful plants from the store bought sweet potatoes, but nothing much is produced. Our season is too short.

    Did you know that you can keep these indoors as a houseplant & have it available to root clips in spring for outdoor gardening? Considering that the sweet potato (not yam) has edible leaves & is obviously compostable, you could contain these indoors very well.

    If you don't want to bring insects inside, just keep a slip behind (inside) as a houseplant, from the start.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 1,028 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning I had not thought about overwintering them to make slips that's a great idea. Last year I planted many slips. I didn't get a lot of potatoes but an abundant amount of greens. I use them both raw and cooked. I find them very mild tasting. Where I am we have to grow traditional crops in the winter season because it's too hot in the summer. There are a few, but not many greens that do well in the heat Sweet potatoes seem to thrive so I grow a lot of them.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have never had much luck with sweet potatoes. I know a lot of people say that they just doing grow well in our zone. I had a friend that planted some that started slips on its own on his kitchen counter. They took off! He couldn't keep up with them. He gave me some slips the next year and they all failed. I won't give up but it was very discouraging.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭

    More evidence that summer is in sight: I transplanted some tomatoes outside yesterday! It's a bit risky this early, but there is no frost in the forecast, and I can use a row cover if one appears.

    Even if I lose all of these plants, it's no big deal. I will just transplant more.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sweet potatoes and yams are not the same thing, but you would never know it from the way grocery stores label them.

    They can be prepared and eaten in similar ways, so in early America, slaves from Africa adopted the sweet potato in their diet to replace the African yams they had been eating in Africa.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sweet potatoes are hard to grow in cool climates. They like really, really hot soil. Like 90F or 100F soil. I haven't even tried to grow them in New England, but the books I read suggest it is possible if you put down black plastic to pre-warm the soil in spring, and keep the soil covered around the plants so that it will heat up far above ambient temperature.

    They are great food crops in climates like the American Deep South. Unlike "regular potatoes, you can eat the leaves and stems as well as the tuber.