Harvest Monday, April 13, 2015 – Bumping Up Snap Peas Seedlings + Sweet Potatoes Slips

Was absent from Harvest Monday for the past 2 weeks as there was nothing in the garden  to write about (ground was either still frozen and/or too wet) and the seedlings were coming along oh so slowly.

Needed to see some spring colors so wrote about the Observatory Garden at Central Park on 3/30/15.

Needed some cheers and smiles so wrote about the Delacorte Music Clock (also at Central Park) on 4/6/15.

Set foot in the veggie garden for the first time last Monday, it was a beautiful day to garden and I was so ready to get my hands dirty but the soil was still too wet so no work was done. Rained the next few days making the soil even wetter (soggy) and the week felt like winter instead of spring. There was no rain over the weekend and yesterday was a gorgeous day. Checked the veggie beds and decided to allow the soil to dry out a bit more. Today ought to be a good day to tidy up the garden, fertilize the garlic plants, reset the strawberry plants (if needed) and fertilize, plant out some seedlings, etc. as rain is predicted for tomorrow.

∗ ∗ ∗

Last year I decided to start my snow pea seeds indoor in 4-inch pots and transplanted the seedlings from the 4-inch pots directly into the garden early April. Was very successful and am doing the same again this year.

But due to the prolonged winter then the rain my garden was still not workable so decided to separate the seedlings individually (before they get too large and the roots are all tangled) then potted them up into biodegradable pots (my sister, Joyce, gave me the idea) allowing me to transplant the seedlings (pot and all) into the garden, as soon as the ground is ready (may be later this week) with minimum roots disturbance.

sugar daddy snap pea seedlings (07340)

A Sample of the Sugar Daddy Snap Peas Seedlings. Top row: in 4-inch pots. Bottom row: transplanted into biodegradable pots.

Bumping up the snap peas seedlings into individual pots is an extra step that I prefer not to take, but a gardener does what a gardener needs to do (under the circumstances) since old man winter refused to depart.

∗ ∗ ∗

I started rooting both the Purple and the Georgia Jet Sweet Potatoes on the same day, but as you can see from the photo below, the Purple’s slips (left) are ready for rooting but the Georgia Jet (right) needs more time.

sweet potato slips (07352)

Left: Purple Sweet Potato. Right: Georgia Jet Sweet Potato

Will be removing the purple sweet potato slips that are ready and plant them directly into containers (can also first root in water).

To learn more about starting sweet potato slips, click here.
To learn which end of the sweet potato to immerse in water, click here. Immersing the wrong end in water will result in rotted sweet potato and no slips.

∗ ∗ ∗

Had a large Purple SP and a large Georgie Jet SP that started to sprout.

Thinking: What if I cut off the sprouting part of each and root them in pro-mix, what will happen? Below are the results.

sweet potato slips (07354)

Left: Purple Sweet Potato. Right: Georgie Jet Sweet Potato

sweet potato slips (07358)

Left: Frazier White Sweet Potato. Right: Purple Sweet Potato. All those sprouts will grow into slips (did not have a cut off section of the Georgia Jet SP for the photo).

Had a Frazier White Sweet Potato with a long skinny section that was also sprouting so decided to also grow slips from the sprouts.

Conclusion: A whole sweet potato is not necessary for growing slips. In the future I will cut off and plant the sprouting end of the SP and feast on the rest.

∗ ∗ ∗

Failed experiment? May be may be not.

Some of you may recall from my 3/16/15 (click on link and scroll down) post my attempt at trying to root a pencil thin Okinawan sweet potato, to date, nothing is happening.

Okinawan sweet potato (07361)

Rooting Okinawan Sweet Potato

Uncovered the SP tuber and it is still firm but nothing is going on, no roots no sprouts, will continue to observe and see if eventually it will sprout.

∗ ∗ ∗

Yeah!!!!! I had color in my garden, one (1) single miniature iris.

miniature iris (07341)

Miniature Iris

Was not happy with the above photo but when I went to take another the next morning, my one and only flower was gone, a deer had it for breakfast or was it dinner?

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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

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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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46 Responses to Harvest Monday, April 13, 2015 – Bumping Up Snap Peas Seedlings + Sweet Potatoes Slips

  1. daphnegould says:

    My sweet potatoes are sprouting too easily this year. Always before the Garnet takes months to sprout so I started it in January. But I put them near a warmer spot so they sprouted really fast. Now I’ve got slips I had to pot up. I much prefer to plant all my slips straight into the garden. But I suppose better too many and too fast than too few which happens sometimes too.

  2. I love how you sprouted your sweet potatoes. Think I shall have to try that too.
    Have a wonderful and happy week Norma.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  3. Angie@Angie's Recipes says:

    Those sweet potato slips are totally cool! I tried it last year and it didn’t work out. Have to try it again!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Angie,
      Your need to immerse the correct end in water otherwise it will not sprout.

      • Angie@Angie's Recipes says:

        Thanks, Norma. I did check your updated post on the correct way of immersing potato. Gotta get some organic potatoes to try. Is it too late to immerse them now?
        p.s I got my coconut blossom sugar from amazon and ordered my grains directly from our local growers.

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Angie,
        Depends on the variety, in my area it is not too late though iffy but I can only grow the short season variety. Choose a SP that is starting to sprout it will produce usable slips faster.
        Thanks for the products info.

  4. kim says:

    My garlic is coming up and about 10 inches high, what do you fertilize them with and how often?
    One thing about moving south is spring comes nice and early, my daffodils are nearly done but the azaleas are just getting showy and I am getting my annuals planted to attack butterflies and hummingbirds. Not all of my peas came up in the garden do you think it is too late to plant more?
    I hope you can get out to garden soon, what is happening at Locust Grove?

    Happy Spring

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kim,
      I use either Plant Tone or Garden Tone organic granular fertilizer by Espoma. Your garden center should carry it. I get mine from Adams. I top dress the plants now and fertilizer with fish emulsion liquid fertilizer 2-3 times during the growing season. About growing peas, ask at your garden center or call your local cooperative extension.
      With all the accumulated snow and rain, planting is very late at Locust Grove will send you photos later when things are growing and/or blooming. How about coming back for a visit?????

  5. Amira says:

    What a lovely sweet potatoes’ sprouts .. your post is so informative. Sorry about your lovely flower but at least it went for a great cause 🙂

  6. Margaret says:

    How many weeks are you sweet potatoes? Mine is going on 5 weeks now and is not even as advanced as the one on the right. It’s a supermarket potato, so have no idea about the variety but am hoping that it speeds up the pace now that the days (and my windowsill) are warming up.

  7. My Purple sweet potatoes are rooting and growing faster than the others. Like Daphne, mine are ahead of schedule and I will have to pot them up soon.

  8. mac says:

    My Purple SP just begun to put out tiny sprouts after I move the bowl to the south windowsill. Pot up the Okinawan SP slips you sent me, hope you didn’t sent me all your OKW slips.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Mac,
      I am looking forward to learning if you are successful with the Okinawan SP. Dave, Our Happy Acres, gave up on it. I am trying one more year but only planting 2 slips.

      • mac says:

        I’m thinking about planting the slips in a 15 gallon grow bag, the potatoes did well in there, it’s easier to harvest that way, what do you think?

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Mac,
        The purple SP will do well in the grow bag, I have successfully grown one in a 20-inch diameter container. Don’t know about the Okinawan SP. Try one in container and another in the ground to compare.

  9. Lady Lilith says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your flower. All the hard work and a deer had it for breakfast.

  10. hotlyspiced says:

    Old man winter certainly has been vicious this year. I do love the touch of colour in your garden. Has all the snow melted? It surely took a long time to go. I hope the rain stops and the sunshine appears and the temps warm. Looking forward to seeing the results of your efforts xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charlie,
      The snow is all gone but the grounds up to yesterday were not completely thawed. Tried to insert my peony rings and the posts would only go so deep will have to re-insert later in the week or next.

  11. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says:

    I am always in awe of how much you are able to do. I did try to root the wrong end of a sweet potato once and another time I got the right end but put it in a place I don’t normally frequent and I swear I had a vine that was taking over the world. I love to garden but I’m easily distracted. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Maureen,
      Right now you have too much on your plate. You do everything so well I am sure you will be an excellent gardener when you are older and not have so much to attend to.

  12. Sophie33 says:

    Your miniature iris is looking truly wonderful! Waw!
    Your sweet potato plants to be are growing & growing! Yes, that is what you want, right? x
    Mayby, next year, i will sow my pea plants first indoors too! 😉

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Sophie,
      I remove each sweet potato slip when it reaches 6 inches or more and root then plant in the garden.
      I am more successful starting my peas in containers than direct sowing in the ground.

  13. Those pesky deers eat all the flowered where we live too! Sure was a brutiful color!

  14. You are going to have to plant way more sweet potatoes if my boys are coming for dinner and you are planning on preparing sweet potato greens. LOL I think it is so awesome how they just sprout like that. I will have to buy a bushel of that at the wet market when it comes into season.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Bam,
      Planting a long row of SP. Ready and waiting for you and your boys :). I imagine you can get many different varieties of SP in HK.

      • Good Plan norma, they would take out at least one whole row during one meal. Yes we get all kinds of different sweet potato green varieties in HK. Their leaves are all shaped a little differently. Have a super day and take care.

      • Norma Chang says:

        Hello Bam,
        That will be OK, the vines grow very fast. A super day to you too.

  15. The deer ate my favorite flower? You should’ve hunted it down and made it give it back lol. Just kidding. You are truly an inspiration when it comes to gardening Ms. Norma.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kay,
      If I remember correctly purple is your favorite color also. There are 7 deer that come to visit 2-3 times a day, would not know which one if the thief.

  16. Juliana says:

    Norma, the sweet potatoes are so pretty..I just wish I had enough space to plant everything I would like to…until then, I am enjoying everything that you are growing…thank you!
    Have a great rest of the week 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Juliana,
      Sweet potato can be grown successfully in a vary large container, I used a 20 inch diameter pot and got a few pounds of SP and got to eat some of the vines as well. A great rest of week to you too.

  17. I am excited for all of your garden posts now that I am actually gardening this year!! 🙂

  18. I am so excited for all your garden posts! I fell in love with your sweet potatoes…:)
    I wish you a wonderful week, dear!

  19. Eva Taylor says:

    This past weekend brought out the fearsome little crocuses, such a welcome sign of spring. Yesterday the temperatures fell and last night it had begun to rain and hasn’t/will not stop for a while. We were able to clean up the back on Saturday but the front yard was was too windy and Sunday was way too cold. I have my fingers crossed that we’ll have a nice summer, but I’m not holding my breath.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      Glad to learn your crocuses are blooming, I lost most of mine so this fall I should replant. Rained whole day today and very cold, was going to clean and put away my winter coats, sure glad I didn’t, needed it today. More rain tonight and tomorrow. I thought spring was here to stay.

  20. shenANNAgans says:

    Think we are in for a winter like the one you’ve just finished. Sigh! Its brutal already. Double sigh! Very much looking forward to seeing your garden come to life over the Spring. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Anna,
      I hope your winter is no where close to the dreadful winter we just had, do you get snow? I am waiting for our weather to settle down so I can get some plants into the ground.

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