Harvest Monday, October 14, 2013 + Container Purple Sweet Potato Update

Decided it was time to dig in my containers purple sweet potatoes, and was also able to gather enough tender vines for a meal at the same time.

These are from the 2 slips I planted in 18-inch diameter pots in early June (1 slip to a pot).

Purple sweet potato (5863)

Purple Sweet Potatoes & Sweet Potato Vines
The 3 tubers on the right (from 1 slip) weighed 1¾ pounds total
The 2 tubers on the left (from 1 slip also) weighed 1½ pounds total

The total yield was only 3¼ pounds, not great. Should I have planted more than 1 slip in a pot? Would I have better yield? Or would that be too crowded? Perhaps I would get more but smaller tubers, which is what I prefer.

Wondering if I harvest the tubers (without damaging the plant) as soon as they reach edible size will the plant continue to produce more tubers?

I also cut the tender vines a few times during the growing season for eating, did that affect the yield?

Will experiment next year to compare results.

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Heirloom tomatoes (5866)


Last of the slicing tomatoes. Pulled up all the plants. So long toms, until next year. Going to miss you.

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Cherry tomatoes, jasper (F1) (5881)

Cherry Tomatoes – Jasper (F1)

Cherry tomatoes refuse to give up, if there is no frost, I am in for more harvest, a lot more harvests. (The above is only 1 plant, took the photo after I harvested.) Did not like them at the beginning of the harvest season, thought the skin was a bit tough, but have grown to love them. They are so sweet, it’s like eating candy.

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Miscellaneous Harvest

Garden greens (5873)

Left to right: Chinese Broccoli, Chinese Chives, White Chinese Celery, Broccoli, Cilantro
Front: Cauliflower

Should have harvest the Chinese broccoli sooner, while the flowers were at the bud stage. The broccoli are all side shoots. That tiny head of cauliflower was supposed to be broccoli.

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Last of the perfect Asian pears and strawberries. There are still 7 – 8 Asian pears on the tree, but all are badly damaged by stink bugs.

Strawberry & Asian pear (5858)

Strawberry & Asian Pear

Strawberries (5875)I know, I know. Had shown a single strawberry in a previous post, but this one is sooooo perfect, and it is October. To be picking strawberry at this time of the year, even if it is only one, is a thrill.

There are a few green ones on the plant still, hope they ripen. Not seeing many birds around (a good thing) so will not need to share.

This strawberry plant is definitely a keeper. Need to locate the off springs (runners) and propagate more plants.

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Copyright © by Norma Chang. All Rights Reserved. Do not use/repost any photos and/or articles without permission.

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

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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57 Responses to Harvest Monday, October 14, 2013 + Container Purple Sweet Potato Update

  1. Wow, strawberries in October? amazing. I love purple sweet potatoes roughly chopped and roasted. Yum.

    • Theresa L Chu says:

      So interesting about the leaves of the sweet potato and they are most delicious. My friend seem to do very well with them. I am fascinated by the way she started rooting them with the leaves!! I would like to know if Winter melon prefers acidic soil? Thanks Norma. Enjoy your garden.Theresa

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Theresa,
        Yes, sweet potato leaves are delicious and highly nutritious too. Let me know if you would like to plant some, I start rooting my sweet potato slips in February.
        I don’t know if winter melon prefer acidic soil, yours are doing well, so whatever you are doing just continue.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Maureen,
      Hard to believe, isn’t it. Hope the green ones turn red. This has been a wacky garden year.

  2. I love those sweet potato leaves! My mum used to make a stir-fry with garlic for the lunch and it was always first gone as we all LOVE it.

  3. Daphne says:

    I wonder why the harvest was low in the pots. I would think pots would create a big harvest as they get much warmer than the ground. I’ve always thought I ought to add pots of sweet potatoes, but I’m sure I could kill even those in a pot from lack of water.

  4. I’m so impressed with your harvest! Your cherry tomato bush has gone gang busters! It’s amazing you can still get another harvest given the month!

  5. Patsy says:

    Your cherry tomato plant looks so large and healthy! Mine don’t even look like that in mid-summer! Beautiful strawberry and Asian pear. I am more and more convinced I need to try growing sweet potatoes, they look so good (and I do love to cook with them!)

  6. Barbie says:

    I am constantly harvesting my poatoes and I’ve never seen any draw back to it. After the first 45 days I wouldn’t add any nutrients though. All you’ll get is more leaves and no tubers. Sweet potatoes don’t need much in the way of nutrients. I did notice my purple sweets produced much slower than the others, so it would stand to suit that you would have to wait longer for larger spuds. If you take the smaller tubers the plant is likely to continue to try to reform the tiny tubers along it’s roots. Also you can root just the vines and keep them growing for the winter inside without having to start slips from the tuber… 😉 I do this more for ease because I only need them out of the garden for 2 months, but for you I could see rooting the vines (and encouraging leaf growth through fertilizing) for winter greens indoors in a sunny window.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Barbie,
      Thanks for answering my questions. Our growing season is so short, there may not be sufficient time for the small tubers to grow to edible size, will be trying next year though. I tried growing the vine indoor as a houseplant last year but without success. Our winter is just too long.

  7. Stoney Acres says:

    Oh we missed our strawberries this year. But the good news is the new patch is looking great for next year. I wish I could help with your sweet potato questions but we can’t grow them here so I have no experience to share.

  8. Kim says:

    Glad you got some strawberries before the animals got them!
    Looks like some great harvest this year.

    Happy Gardening

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kim,
      Garden doing pretty good this year, some things better than others, but that’s what happens every year, cannot complain. How is your area community garden idea coming along? Hope you are able to get a plot.

  9. That really is a perfect strawberry, Norma! And my mama loooves those kinds of sweet potatoes!

  10. Wow, the jasper cherry tomato made me think of sun dried tomato…..

  11. ChgoJohn says:

    It’s Columbus Day, Norma, and your garden is still going strong. That’s some harvest of tomatoes. My cherries were the first to go and the others will have to be pulled this week. And you have a strawberry? How wonderful is that?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Yes, this year’s wacky weather has made for an unusual gardening year. Going to locate all the runners from that one strawberry plant so I can make a patch.

  12. Cherry tomatoes are amazing, aren’t they Norma? Ours produce year round!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Celia,
      Cherry tomato producing year round, lucky you. I will lose the plant at first frost. Frost is late in coming to my garden this year and I am not complaining.

  13. Excellent, Norma! I’m rooting for the cherry tomatoes to keep on giving you harvests. Mine are still going, too, over 8 ft tall now! Can’t complain, right? Your potted sweet potatoes did better than the Okinawan I grew in ground last year!

  14. Kristy says:

    I am amazed at the strawberry and the tomatoes this late in the year. And I had no idea there were purple sweet potatoes! I love how much I learn from you Norma. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kristy,
      We are learning from each other. Havesting strawberry and tomatoes from the garden at this time of year is very unusual, I think it is due to this year’s wacky weather.

  15. hotlyspiced says:

    When I buy sweet potatoes they are enormous but if I buy the organic ones they are very small by comparison. I’m starting to be weary of massive sweet potatoes. I love the look of your nashi pear and your strawberry of course. I hope the cherry tomatoes keep on keeping on for you xx

  16. Great harvest Norma! I love purple sweet potatoes, especially in my curry.

  17. Eva Taylor says:

    What a great harvest. I’m definitely planting mini tomatoes next year! Sounds like stink bugs are an American thing, I don’t think we have them here. A friend who lives in Kentucky was inundated with them, they came down the flu of her fireplace! So gross. I don’t do well with bugs in the best of times.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      Make sure you get the determinate variety of tomato is you are planting in a pot. But if you don’t mind the plant climbing on your deck railing or there is room for a trellis the indeterminate variety will give you better yield.
      Lucky you, no stink bugs, they are very destructive.

  18. Dave says:

    I have never grown sweet potatoes in containers. It will be interesting to see the results of your experiments.Yes, a strawberry in October is a special treat indeed!

  19. Your harvest looks fantastic! Had me salivating at the thought of taking a bite of those cherry tomatoes!

  20. cquek says:

    we always steam the purple sweet potatoes. love it.

  21. wok with ray says:

    Potato leaves are the best and brings back lots of memories of my childhood. My parents will just steam them and dip it in vinegar with shrimp paste and lots of rice. Thank you, Norma and I hope you are having a wonderful week! 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Ray,
      Glad my post brought back fond memories of your childhood. Never had sweet potato leaves with vinegar and shrimp paste, I just stir-fry with garlic and ginger, will remember to give that a try next year. A wonderful week to you too.

  22. Maybe you will have tomatoes until November. I love to eat cherry tomatoes when they are still warm and sweet from the vine. It is a real treat. Fresh herbs and lots of goodies to end up in your wok this week! Have a super week and take care, BAM

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Bam,
      I hope so. Night time temp is forecasted to be in the 30’s in a few days, but since the plant is by a stonewall, who knows, maybe the warmth of wall will keep it warm and cozy through the night.

  23. Wonderful tomato haul till next year!

  24. You definitely have the garden I could only dream of! I would love to have all those cherry tomatoes.. what will you do with them once you’ve harvested them? Do you have a favorite recipe?

  25. Wow, those sweet potatoes look gorgeous! I have a total black thumb, I can’t grow anything. Jealous!

  26. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Norma, I always enjoy viewing your latest harvest; and that you liken eating cherry tomatoes to eating candy! They look absolutely gorgeous, so tiny and brightly-coloured.

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