Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sweet Potato Harvest

This year's sweet potato harvest.
A month ago we harvested all of our sweet potatoes.  We love sweet potatoes in our family.  This was our first year grown them.  We started them from slips early in the year.  We harvested over 11 lbs, though we would have had more but about half of our slips were planted far to late.  We only started these from two sweet potatoes, we also gave away a bunch of slips.  Unfortunately some of the slips were quickly overshadowed by other larger plants and did not produce much. 

Sweet potatoes are very nutritious and store well.  After what we learned this year, we will be starting a whole lot of slips next year.  We'll plant them everywhere.

All in all it was a great success., below are some highlights from what we learned.
  • Sweet potatoes really prefer a lot of sunlight.  The slips we planted in the shade of a fence and those that were overtaken by tomatillo's or tomatoes did not do well.  
  • We planted a lot too late which limited our production.
  • Planting them as part of a polyculture increases production
  • They grow well in many types of soils, even very poor soils
  • They can fill in many gaps in your garden beds
  • Once you establish a them, you can continue to propagate them from starting slips from your harvest.
  • You can also bring in some vines and over winter them. 
  • Store bought sweet potatoes won't always produce slips, try for some locally grown ones.
  • Start your slips early, get them in early  
Slips are very easy to start and each slip can grow several potatoes each.  They are very hearty once established, we had some that produced a lot of pretty sweet potato blossoms which is unusual. Honeybees love sweet potato blossoms.
This was a long one, it would have been huge with a little more time.
Another long one, this is almost 3 feet long!

No comments: