Throughout the year I had made quite a few promises to post updates about my many garden ventures/experiments. Today’s post is keeping one of the promises.
Some of you may remember the photo below (the purple sweet potato slip I planted on April 18, 2015 in a container for my daughter, Kathy, and wrote about on 4/20/15. Click on link to read post).
April is way too early to plant sweet potatoes outdoors in the Northeast which means bringing the container into my garage every night until around late-May when the nighttime temperature is warm enough and stabilized.
My daughter came for her plant around mid-May. All she had to do is give the sweet potato plant full sun, water, watch it grow and harvest before frost.
The photo below shows what that single sweet potato slip looked like on October 11, 2015 just prior to harvest.
Look at all those beautiful sweet potato leaves. It’s a shame my daughter did not harvest the leaves and cook them. (The 2 containers on the right rear are her fig trees, she picked 200+ figs from the 2 trees.)
Sweet potato plant was dumped out into the wheel barrow. Bump on the right caused the container to split open.
Photo below shows what caused the bump.
Yep, there was a sweet potato tuber trying to escape. It grew and pushed and split the container.
All of the sweet potatoes in the above photo are grown from the one potato slip.
Freshly dug sweet potatoes are not sweet. They should be cured to turn their starches into sugar, curing also heals the cuts and nicks in the skin. Ideally, sweet potato should be cured at 80-85°F at 80-90% humidity for about 10 days.
Personally, I place my cleaned sweet potatoes in a newspaper lined container, cover container with a clean dish towel and place container in my utility room. Since I do not have the ideal environment, my sweet potatoes take longer to cure, 2-3 weeks. I do check occasionally and remove any that show signs of decay. Once cured I store them in the basement where the temperature is about 60°F.
What caused the above sweet potato to grow like that?
CONCLUSION: Growing sweet potatoes in container is doable.
∗ You will need large straight-sided (prefer) container/tub
∗ Fill container/tub with a good potting mix and/or compost. Add some peat moss as sweet potatoes prefer a low pH. Grows best with soil pH between 5.0 to 6.0.
∗ Only one slip in each container. Give the plant full sun and do not allow soil to dry out.
∗ Harvest before frost.
WONDERING: Since purple sweet potatoes is a short season variety (90 days) would planting the slip in May instead of April give the same result?
NOTE: My very organized and methodical daughter took all the photos (except the 2nd one) and made the notes.
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Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Mondays