Harvest Monday, February 27, 2012 – An Update

On my Harvest Monday, February 13 posting, I posted about rooting sweet potato slips for Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden. All four (4) sweet potatoes rooted. I potted them and will be taking them to Locust Grove’s greenhouse where I know they will be very happy.

This is what they looked like on January 26.
Left to right: Purple, Laceleaf, Georgia Jet and Frazier White.

This is what they looked like on February 23.

After I potted them on February 23.

Both varieties of my Chinese celery germinated well so did the mesclum (oops, missed a cell). Need to thin the mesclum but am waiting to see if I can recongize the different varieties. Would hate to thin and left with mostly one variety.
The spinach was a total failure. Only 3 seeds out of 48 germinated.

In one of my previous posts I mentioned that I read about growing peanuts sprouts and was going to give it a try. Another failure.

The health food store did not have raw peanuts so I decided to use the raw peanuts from the ethnic store. After 4 days of rinsing and draining nothing happened. Will do some more research to see what I missed.

Photo at right shows a cross section of the purpule sweet potato.

Copyright © by Norma Chang

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

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About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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64 Responses to Harvest Monday, February 27, 2012 – An Update

  1. Daphne says:

    I’ve got to start my sweet potatoes soon. I think I’m going to start them in water right before I leave on the trip. Then my townhouse mates only have to worry about keeping the water filled. I’m just starting supermarket varieties (probably Beauregard) and I’m hoping to find some Georgia Jet too in the markets.

  2. Beautiful color. Does it change much once cooked?

  3. kitsapfg says:

    I wish I could grow sweet potatoes here, but our summers are typically so cool that they are unhappy and never get to maturity. Your young plants are looking happy!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kitsapfg,
      Yes, they are looking happy. I actually took the sweet potatoes to Locust Grove this afternoon as I know they will be happier in a greenhouse environment.

  4. interessting technique with the sticks and the jar. maybe I am just going to do that, because I have some sweet potatoes lying around and its not a vegetable which is too comonly sold in the markets. plus its fun to watch edible plants grow. kind of magical at times. =)

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Helene,
      Yes, it is magical to watch plants grow. When you are rooting your sweet potato, make sure you have the correct end in the water. Here is some info:

      It is not the prettiest sweet potato but I think it will give you a good idea of which end should be immersed in the water.

  5. Those sweet potatoes look wonderful! I’ve been inspired by you to try my hand at growing some this year! I simply purchased one (organic) from a grocery store but haven’t done anything with it yet. I guess I should plop him in some water and see what sprouts, ha?

  6. Hi Norma, you have some beautiful seedlings here. My spinach is not doing well either, it’s outside though. I grow my own sprouts, but never tried peanuts. There is a good source I always go when I have sprout questions. I looked there and they have how to sprout peanuts too. http://sproutpeople.org/seeds/peanut.html Hope this would help.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Marina,
      Thanks and thanks for the link.
      What kind of sprouts do you grow and how do you use them?

      • Norma, I grow broccoli, alfalfa, cabbages, radishes, mung beans, dill, amaranth, chia, and there is another order on the way with some interesting seeds for sprouting. I use it in salads, soups (when it is served on a plate), stir fried sprouts. But mostly I top my food with sprouts: I like it crunchy and fresh. I just love sprouts!

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Marina,
        Sounds like you have quite a production line and quite a set up. Hopefully you will write a few post on sprouting, I could learn a gret deal from you. Do you get all your sprouting seeds from sprouts people or you grow and save your own seeds?

  7. Rick says:

    The sweet potatoes look fun!! We have never grown them around our place because none of us are really big fans of them.

    Will your lettuce starts go straight out to the garden or will they make a stop in the green house or a cold frame?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Rick,
      I have neither a greenhouse nor a cold frame. I am a windowsill gardener.
      My lettuce will be bumped up into little 3-inch pots, gradually hardened off then planted in the garden.

  8. Barbie says:

    Beautiful slips! I can’t wait to watch them mature and see your harvest from them. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barbie,
      Me too. I took them to Locust Grove this afternoon where they will be very happy in the greenhouse. Next week I may go over and pot up some of the slips. Hope I remember to take my camera to document the progress.

  9. Eri says:

    I hope I could do that too Norma, I have no space but I really want to.. Back in Greece i had a great vegetable garden…
    Have a nice week!

  10. Michelle says:

    That purple sweet potato is lovely!

  11. Mary says:

    I can tell you love to do this.It is wonderful to see things grow. It is always a pleasure to visit here. I hope youhavea great day. Blessings…Mary

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mary,
      Yes I do love gardening. That’s also why I grow sprouts in the winter, my winter indoor garden. Watching things grow is so magical and it teaches patience, you cannot rush the process.

  12. Norma, you inspired me – I bought a sweet potato and I’ve sprouted it like you described. It now has roots but no sign of leaves yet. I know I have my timing all wrong – we’re heading out of summer – but do you think I should keep it inside over winter or risk planting it once the leaves develop? Our coldest winter temperature is 3 degrees celsius, so we never get frost.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello L.
      The slips will be coming. The reason mine had leaves before the roots is because they were sprouting in storage.
      How long is your winter? I would probably pot up the slips as they become the correct lengths. Keep most indoors and put out a few just for experiment. If they make it, fine, if they don’t, you still have the remainder. 3 celcius is about 37 fahrenheit, I think a bit too cold for sweet potato.

  13. mac says:

    The sweet potato sprouts are looking good, I grew the purple ones couple years ago, I think I’ll try to grow vines for greens this summer, there’s always a shortage of greens in my summer garden, and we eat a lot of them.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mac,
      I first started growing sweet potatoes for the vines and of course I did not get much tuber, now I am trying not to eat too much of the vines so that I can harvest some tubers.
      I read on the internet that not all sweet potato vines are edible. So far I have eaten all the varieties I grow and I am still writing.

  14. Jody says:

    You are an amazing gardener! We would like to save sweet potato slips. Maybe this year.

  15. Those potatoes look fabulous!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Alyssa,
      Yes, they do look fabulous. Took them to Locust Grove where they will much happier in the greenhouse than on my windowsill, the horticulturists were pleasantly surpsised.

  16. Purely.. Kay says:

    Just look at those sweet potatoes… they look absolutely wonderful. I wonder what delicious dishes you will make with them :). I loved reading this post today

  17. Sweet potatoes are my favorite!!! We live right next to the canyon and all kinds of animals stop by our yard and it’s pretty windy from the canyon. Otherwise I always wish to grow some of my favorite veggies in my backyard!

  18. Liz says:

    I love the 2nd photo down – they all look like they have their own personalities. My sweet potatoe vines are growing brilliantly but I’ve just realised that I have no idea when I can harvest. What would you recommend?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Liz,
      Are you able to locate the base of the original plant? If yes, observe to see if there is heaving of the soil, if yes, it means there is a tuber. Carefully dig that area to get to the tuber, being careful not to disturb the mother plant or any nearby smaller tubers (these will continue to develop).
      Here is the link to my original post:

  19. Those sweet potatoes look wonderful, I can hardly wait to see what kind of yield they will bring you. Sadly, my little roof top garden only consists of mini tomatoes and garlic (new this year). I can hardly wait to have to tend to them. I am hoping this summer will be as lovely as this past winter was!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      Me too. They are happily residing in Locust Grove’s greenhouse. I hope to pot up the slips that are ready next week. Must remember to bring my camera to document progress.

  20. maryhysong says:

    I’ve been checking the Beauregards at the grocery store but so far don’t see any with a hint of life; afraid they might be sprayed to prevent sprouts. Do you know of any good source for roots or slips, especially of the pretty purple variety?

  21. Charles says:

    Oh, it’s so fun – I love watching things grow… isn’t it such a wonderful feeling, raising something by hand like this? I bet you can’t wait until they’re bigger! 🙂

  22. Jessica says:

    Those are gorgeous, Norma! I really wish one day I could plant my own veggies too. And I just love fresh sweet potatoes, especially the color of that Georgia Jet, though I haven’t tried before. I wonder about the different sweetness among sweet potatoes… but I’m sure they’re all delicious!

  23. Hi Norma again!

    Just wanted to ask u if it doesnt harm the root if u pluck in wood sticks?

  24. I still find it fascinating to grow your own veggies 🙂 Its my dream to have my own garden patch one day ~ The purple potatoes looks great! I’d love to make a Chinese sweet soup with them 😀

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Daisy,
      I am sure you will have your own garden patch some day but how are you going to maintain it, weeding, watering, harvesting … when you are doing so much travelling?

  25. Andrea says:

    Hi Norma, your potatoes are coming along well and looks like you may have inspired a few of us to give them a try. ( a good project for kids too). Your seedlings are looking good too, surprise with the spinach seeds they are usually easy to germinate, good luck with the next sowing.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Andrea,
      The sweet potatoes are now happily living in the greenhouse at Locust Grove where I am a volunteer. My spinach seeds were from last year and they were not properly stored, that could be the reason, not sure though.

  26. Kevin says:

    I love the sweet potato rooting. What a great project to soothe the itch to garden over the winter!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kevin,
      It is a fun project and amazizng to watch them root and sprout.
      I have been growing sprouts to soothe the winter garden itch. Wrote a few post on sprouting mung beans, chick peas (garbanzo beans) and lentils that you might enjoy.
      Here are the links:



  27. prahaida says:

    Hi Norma,

    Thank you for your reply!:) Can’t see any rosebuds yet, but I’m sure they’re right around the corner.

    Your blog looks incredibly interesting, looking forward to having a read-through!

    Ida

  28. Diana says:

    Those sweet potatoes have different shape of leaves that will be easier to differentiate them later. I had trouble finding raw peanuts too. Wanted to have a go growing them last spring. Have a nice weekend.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Diana,
      Years ago I bought raw peanuts from the Asian market and had no problem getting them to grow. I believe because the FDA has approved irradiation of many foods we eat to control bacteria and to keep foods longer without spoiling, peanuts nowadays are probably treated by irradiation and therefore will not sprout. This is my guess.

  29. Mike says:

    Those purple colored sweet potatoes are amazing, I am going to have to pick some up one of these days and give them a try in our own garden. I saved over a whole bag of sweets from last years garden and am looking forward to getting them going pretty soon….some of them are already forming little sprouts.

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