The Great sweet potato experiment! 2010

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Goldfinger

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #150 on: July 12, 2010, 19:38 »
Just a quick question, Does that mean you don't get sweet potatoes 'til NEXT year  :blink:??

I've had to give away 2 potatoes with about 15+ shoots on each thinking you'll get a crop this year. (I've got no space anywhere so did a good deed).

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pairofacres

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #151 on: July 12, 2010, 19:47 »
They should (finger's crossed) produce a crop this year.

Aelf's apparently taking an approach I considered and overwintering them. I toyed with the idea, but I think you'll need somewhere spacious to keep them if you do it, as once they get going, they grow quite quickly! It'll be interesting to see if it works, as I'm planning on starting them early next year in a propagator, but think I might struggle, as mine didn't take off until we started getting some prolonged sun.

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Trillium

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #152 on: July 12, 2010, 20:18 »
My sweet potatoes are about the same size as pairofaces. The problem with overwintering them is that once the weather cools off from quite hot and sunny, the plants will simply go into a sort of limbo, and if they're hit at all with less than 40F temps, they'll die off. They truly are a hot weather plant, a tropical.

As for our plants, with time and sun, they'll continue to spread their topcover to keep their roots cool so good spacing is needed. I won't dig up mine until frost hits the leaves.

Starting them in the propagator next year is a good idea. And keep those tubers in water watered - they'll continue to sprout for another couple of years.

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Paul Plots

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #153 on: July 13, 2010, 00:28 »
I am so looking forward to trying this next year if only I can remember to get going with it at the right time.

Thanks everyone... It has made interesting reading.  :happy:

Still watching  ;)
Never keep your wish-bone where your back-bone ought to be.

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harry

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #154 on: July 13, 2010, 09:12 »
Mine are in grow bags outside the foliage is quite high now :blush:
Hurray finally retired
two plots now 31A and 35A

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aelf

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #155 on: July 13, 2010, 13:01 »
I'm only considering overwintering them because they were so slow in getting started and the plants are very small. I'll move them to a heated window sill in the autumn.
There's more comfrey here than you can shake a stick at!

http://www.wedigforvictory.co.uk/dig_icon.gif[/img]

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Goldfinger

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #156 on: July 13, 2010, 19:25 »
They should (finger's crossed) produce a crop this year.

Aelf's apparently taking an approach I considered and overwintering them. I toyed with the idea, but I think you'll need somewhere spacious to keep them if you do it, as once they get going, they grow quite quickly! It'll be interesting to see if it works, as I'm planning on starting them early next year in a propagator, but think I might struggle, as mine didn't take off until we started getting some prolonged sun.

Phew! Though I'd done all that work for nothing til next year...

Anyway, Ive got 4 in a large tub (ex cattle mineral lick tub, HUGE, so plenty space), but only 2 on the ground and since they went in, I feel as if they've stopped growing.  ??? ???

Maybe they're waiting for the 'proper' summer sun.  unless that bit we had a few weeks ago was it....  :(

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1st time veg grower

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #157 on: July 13, 2010, 20:56 »
I have one in my greenhouse in a potato bag which was planted out just over a week ago and has so far done nothing. Three that were planted out under cloches in a raised bed two weeks ago and are becoming slightly bushy and one planted in a bin under a cloche about three weeks ago which is about double the size of them. None of them are anywhere near the size of pairofaces! :D

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pairofacres

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #158 on: August 30, 2010, 10:07 »
Anyone got any thoughts on when to (attempt!) harvesting yet?

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Trillium

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #159 on: August 30, 2010, 14:49 »
Like regular potatoes, when you start to see a bit of dieback. They take a while to form so don't rush to harvest. I'm going to have a peek under mine today and then water them, it's been so dry the last few weeks.

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pairofacres

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #160 on: August 30, 2010, 22:10 »
What do you about drying/curing them Trillium? I've heard you need to leave them out in the sun for a few days for the skin to cure off? The way the weather's changing over here, I'm a bit nervous about getting the opportunity before autumn sets in!

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Trillium

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #161 on: August 30, 2010, 23:15 »
This bit from Iowa State Univ. covers it better than I can:

Sweet potatoes should be harvested just before or after a vine killing frost. Dig roots carefully to avoid skinning or bruising the roots. Before storing cure the sweet potatoes to promote healing of wounds and improve flavor. Place the sweet potatoes in an area with a temperature of 80 to 85 F and high relative humidity for approximately 10 days. A high relative humidity can be provided by placing the roots in storage crates or boxes and covering them with paper or heavy cloth. Packing in perforated plastic bags will also keep humidity high. Roots can also be cured near a furnace for 2 to 3 weeks. Once cured, store roots in a dark location with temperatures of 55 to 60 F. Good storage results can be obtained by wrapping cured sweet potatoes in newspaper and storing them in a cool closet. Freezing or canning are other storage alternatives.

Note that it doesn't say anything about needing to cure in the sun, just high humidity. One no-no is to store them in cellars which are often too cool. Closets should work just fine.

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harry

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #162 on: October 14, 2010, 12:48 »
As anyone harvested their sweet potatoes yet I'm going to dig one of mine this weekend :ohmy: :lol:

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Goldfinger

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #163 on: October 14, 2010, 19:13 »

Lifted mine about 2 weeks ago, TOTAL DISAPPOINTMENT!!!!  >:(  >:(  >:(

Fed, watered them, kept them in the sun, done all I could and they hadn't even showed signs of swelling up from the thickness of a fine root!

Maybe it is too cold in these parts, or it was just a poor summer.

Won't be doing it again, sorry.  :(   :(

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rainbow1

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Re: The Great sweet potato experiment!
« Reply #164 on: October 14, 2010, 19:19 »
I shared my slips with a friend and she has already had supermarket sized tubers. I'm still waiting but feel a bit like I'm playing Russian roulette with the weather. Been more than a week since I was at the plot but the leaves were only just starting to yellow.



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