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Author Topic: The Great sweet potato experiment! 2010  (Read 28703 times)

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aelf

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The Great sweet potato experiment! 2010
« on: January 19, 2010, 14:35 »
started this today:

I have on my window cill a pyrex dish full of water with two shop-bought sweet potato tubers floating in it. The plan (following advice from this very forum!) is to leave them there for 2-3 weeks until they start to sprout, then cut off the sprouting plants and pot them on. Then transplant them into potato grow bags in the greenhouse and see if I get a crop in the summer.

Anyone else want to play? We could see who gets the biggest yeilds?!  :)
« Last Edit: February 05, 2011, 20:05 by mumofstig »
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Beetroot queen

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2010, 14:39 »
I think I may have a go, would love to grow some. :D

noshed

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2010, 14:45 »
I might have another go this year, I was quite pleased last year. But I ate them all - didn't keep any for this year!
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Trillium

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2010, 15:40 »
Aelf, I don't know that you want the tubers floating in the water. Normally a pointed end with the least amount of nodes is suspended in a jar/cup/whatever of water, often held up with 3 toothpicks inserted around the centre at the vertical halfway point. This allows the top half to stay out of water to put out sprouts, otherwise the tubers could flip, become slimey and give you no sprouts at all.

Here are some good pix to give you the idea:

http://grandbobsgarden.blogspot.com/2009/05/how-to-grow-beautiful-sweet-potato-vine.html

And count me in as I have 2 potatoes with loads of sprouts ready for pinching off. BTW, a sprouted tuber will keep sprouting 3-5 years if kept moist at the bottom.   


aelf

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2010, 16:43 »
Thanks Trillium, I will amend the plan to suit! I can already taste those lovely sweet potatoes, straight off the BBQ mmmmmmmmm!

madcat

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2010, 18:33 »
Do you have to have a greenhouse to grow them in England?  I would love to try but the warmest place I have is a large coldframe.
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Cazzy

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2010, 19:01 »
I'll play  :D

Do you have a link to the info on this site pls?

I'll pick up my sweet pots on Thursday.
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Trillium

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2010, 19:12 »
Do you have to have a greenhouse to grow them in England?  I would love to try but the warmest place I have is a large coldframe.

They do need warmth to grow well so inside a large coldframe will work or if you have raised beds, use hoops and poly to make a small polytunnel for them. That or a sheltered sunny spot in your garden/plot. They sulk if they get too cold or shady. A friend who grows veg in a part shade garden here cannot grow sweet potatoes as they need full sun.

Cazzy, what link were you referring to? the potato pix? That's all the fellow has is the start up pix. Once there are some reasonable sized sprouts growing on the potato, you gently grasp the single sprout unit at the base and gently twist it off the main spud. That, or pinch a tiny bit of spud off with the top growth. Put these in their own small jar of fresh water and wait until they sprout. Once they're rooting, pot them up and keep them warm until you can harden them off before going outside.

mumofstig

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2010, 20:09 »
Stop it stop it :ohmy: you are making me want to try growing them ::) :lol: :lol:

(and I've already got too much planned) :blush:
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Cazzy

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2010, 21:15 »
Thanks Trillium.  That sounds easy enough.


jazzbyrd

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2010, 14:18 »
I want to try too have to go and buy a sweet potato first!!

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Trillium

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2010, 00:55 »
Thought I'd mention this now so all the 'competitors' will know because I'm sure I'll forget later.

Sweet potatoes are extremely sensitive to cool weather so I suspect most UKrs will have to grow them in cold frames, under cloches, mini polytunnels or whatever for most of the season. They need anywhere from 100 to 120 days to mature from planting out, and protective covers to conserve heat around the plants  will probably be needed towards the end. Sweet potatoes are reasonably drought tolerant but good sized potatoes come from regular watering and they must be kept weed free all season. Black plastic on the soil is a good choice.

Harvest before frost because cool soil temperatures can reduce the quality and storage capacity of the sweet potatoes. When harvesting, it is best to cut and remove the vines before digging.

Be careful while digging the sweet potatoes, as they will skin very easily. Also avoid rough handling as the sweet potatoes are easily bruised.

Once harvested, sweet potatoes should be cured to heal wounds and to convert some of the starch in the roots to sugar. The optimal conditions for curing are to expose the roots to 85 ̊F and 90-percent humidity for one week. Few home gardeners can supply these conditions, so place the sweet potatoes in the warmest room in the house, usually the kitchen, for 14 days. No curing will occur at temperatures below 70 ̊F. When sweet potatoes are put into storage, they must stay no lower than 50F or the sugars will revert to starches (permanently). Fridges are death to storing sweet potatoes.

Good luck to everyone.
 

mumofstig

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2010, 10:46 »
Quote
expose the roots to 85 ̊F and 90-percent humidity for one week. Few home gardeners can supply these conditions, so place the sweet potatoes in the warmest room in the house, usually the kitchen, for 14 days. No curing will occur at temperatures below 70 ̊F.

Not much chance of us getting those temperatures Trillium, makes me wonder if they are even worth trying   ::)

Trillium

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2010, 16:35 »
The suggestions for warmth are keeping them close to a furnace, a woodstove that's in use, top of a fridge if you haven't that many potatoes, the kitchen stove, etc. As for humidity, they can sit in a closed poly bag with some gravel at the bottom and a bit of water; the gravel so the potatoes don't sit directly on the water. True, its a bit of a fiddle but trust me, organic sweet potatoes are so much superior to most shop potatoes that its worth the extra effort.

Cazzy

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2010, 19:44 »
Suspended my sweet potato in water on Thursday, i'm thinking my kitchen window cill might be too cold though.

Any advice on how deep the container will need to be for final planting?

 


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