Rained Friday and Saturday, on and off (mostly on) softly and steadily, not enough to end the drought but good enough to give the grounds a decent soaking. Lawn looks greener already, trees, shrubs and annuals are happy so are my veggies.
Harvested my container grown Okinawan sweet Potatoes.
Got a total of 4½ pounds from 1 plant. It may not seem like much but for me it is a success. You see Okinawan SP is a late variety that requires 130-140 days to form edible tubers. In the Hudson Valley where I live we do not have that many growing days.
This actually is my 3rd attempt at growing Okinawan Sweet Potatoes. The first was July 2014 when I planted 2 slips in containers and all I harvested were a few pencil-size tubers. Last year I planted 2 slips in the garden mid-May and actually harvested a few good size tubers, 2 pounds total, click here and scroll down for photo.
This year I decided to grow the Okinawan SP in container and also start earlier to see if I will get a better yield. Planted 1 slip in a 15 gallons black (for better heat absorption, SP loves heat) plastic container late April. The container spent the days on my sunny driveway and the nights in the garage. This ritual continued until around mid-May when the weather was warm enough for the SP to remain outdoor (day and night) on the south side of the house where it received full sun.
After cutting away all the vines I dug around carefully and removed the loosened potting mix and fine roots. Surprise! I encountered the tuber in the photo below. Kept digging as the tuber was buried deep into the potting mix. Whew, glad I got it out in one piece. Check out the length of this baby (15 inches) in the first photo.
I then turned the container over and below is what appeared. Yes, more tubers, not as large as the one in the above photo but still good edible sizes.
Had to carefully untangle the roots so as not to break too many of the tubers.
Harvested a total of 4½ pounds. The tuber at the top weighed 2 pounds.
Next year I will again plant 1 slip in a container and also 1 maybe 2 in the garden for comparison.I will also choose a much deeper container and hopefully I will get straighter and less root tangled tubers.
I read that adding phosphate to the soil will increase the size and yield so am going to amend the soil with rock phosphate.
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Also experimented with growing Ginseng Red Sweet Potato in container. This is my first experience growing Ginseng Red SP so had no idea what to expect. And,
Thinking: Ginseng Red SP being a semi-bush plant would make a great ornamental plant in a container. The leaves are very attractive (edible also) and at the end of the season harvest the tubers for food, an all around winner.
Had one very large tuber, a few good size tubers and many pencil-sized tubers. Guessing those pencil-sized tubers would size up if the container was larger. Will repeat again next year using a larger container.
Harvested a total of 3½ pounds from 1 slip. Tuber on the left weighed 1¾ pounds.
The photo below is also of Ginseng Red SP that was planted in the ground at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden. The tubers had more room to grow so were much larger and more uniform in size compared to my container grown tubers.
Next year I am going to again plant 1 slip in a larger container and 1, maybe more, in the ground for comparison.
Am curing both the Okinawan and Ginseng Red SP.
Understand the flavor of the Ginseng Red will improve if kept for 6 week. They will be a special treat at the Thanksgiving table.
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Goji Berries mystery solved.
The Goji shrub was full of unripened berries and I was so looking forward to a bountiful harvest of those red beauties. Then one day, while watering, noticed there were very few berries on the shrub, what happened? Couple days later when I approached the garden a flock of birds flew out of the Goji shrub, aha, birds, they were the thieves. Next year I will need to net the plant to save the berries.
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