Harvest Monday, July 10, 2017 – Sweet Potato Experiment #2 + Seedlings Update + …..

My sweet potato containers (and other containers as well) are placed among my shrubs and perennials.

Below is a Purple Sweet Potato, an early variety SP with very vigorous growing vine. Previous years I allow the vines to roam freely. This not only makes the area very untidy the vines also suffocate some of my perennials.

Thinking: What if I train the vines to grow vertically on trellises? Sitting in the shed is an unused tomato cage that fits just right in the Purple SP container. Worth a try.

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Sweet Potato, Purple, growing in container

As you can see from the above photo the Purple SP vines are, so far, staying vertical.

Had a broken folding wire fence laying around, took it apart and it was just right for the container below.

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Sweet Potato, Wilma’s, growing in container

Wilma’s, a gift from Mary N, is another early variety SP. A semi-bush variety that I am growing for the first time. It probably will not overwhelm my shrubs and perennials, but decided to give the vines support as well since I have the broken fence.

Shall post progress photos, of both, periodically and harvest results.

∗ ∗ ∗

Most of the seeds started late June germinated. Two of the lettuces, Bronze Mignonette and Schweitzer Mescher did poorly (although both germinated well for spring planting) and one, Cimmaron, failed to germinate.

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Since many of the seeds were old I over-seeded the cells. Guess what? Except for the 3 lettuces mentioned above, just about all of the seeds germinated.

While the seedlings were still small and have not yet developed a strong root system, decided to very carefully tease out the extras and transplanted them (patiently into blueberries container sans lids) to see how many will survive.

As the photo below illustrates, all have survived so far.

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In a week or 2 I will know for sure if all the above seedlings make it, if they do, I will have extras to share with my garden friends at LGHVG.

∗ ∗ ∗

Container Peppermint Swiss Chard and Red Winter Kale continue to grow well.

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Peppermint Swiss Chard

Ribs of the container chard are not as thick as the ones grown in the ground but tender and delicious just the same.

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Red Winter Kale

Should harvest some of the kale this week.

∗ ∗ ∗

Chinese Chives aka Garlic Chives was the only non-camera shy harvest for the week. Also had a bit of chive flowers.

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Chinese Chives aka Garlic Chives and Chive Scapes

Some of the chives and all of the chive flowers went into scrambled eggs. Shared the remainder with a friend who happened to drop by.

Other harvests for the week were: Red Amaranth, Beet green, Red Giant Mustard, 2 small onions and a handful of snap peas.

Will pull the snap peas vines this week (even though there are a few flowers on some of the vines, not worth keeping).

∗ ∗ ∗

Got a few raspberries that the birds missed.

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The raspberries disappeared as soon as their photo was taken.

∗ ∗ ∗

Blackberry bush is laden with berries.

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Blackberry, Thornless

The challenge now is getting to the ripe berries before the birds.

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Blackberry, Thornless

Previous years I tried netting the berry bush, but that made it a pain to harvest not to mention there is always one bird that will find a way to get under the netting and I have to release it, adding insult to injuries.

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

Do visit Dave at Our Happy Acres for more Harvest Monday

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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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14 Responses to Harvest Monday, July 10, 2017 – Sweet Potato Experiment #2 + Seedlings Update + …..

  1. wow those raspberries are so plump and juicy! I miss garlic chives. Grew them once, but the result was disappointing…maybe I didn’t use the right soil.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Angie,
      Garlic chives are easy to grow and not at all fussy with regards to soil. Were you growing your garlic chives in container? Do give it another try.

  2. Margaret says:

    Look at all those raspberries! I’m currently in the process of cleaning up the berry rows as grass has just taken them over and they are suffering – I also noticed that the soil in that area is very sandy which is strange since our property tends to loam or clay. That may explain why the berries have not taken off as much as I would have thought since I don’t really water them that much but rely primarily on rain. Great idea for the sweet potato vines, btw – no sweets for me this year as the resident bunnies unfortunately ate all my seedlings.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Margaret,
      Those darn bunnies. May be the SP seedlings will re-grow. I have a family living among my Japanese anemones and they are eating my beet greens and some other seedlings, had to put up protective barriers.

  3. Norma, my SP vines climbed up the tomato cages last year, though it wasn’t intentional on my part. I bet they will climb up yours and keep going and going!

  4. maryhysong says:

    I just didn’t get any sweet potatoes put in this year, not enough time or space. I grew some in large pots last year and they did well on top of a warm rock wall, but in a pot again i will only put one vine. Two were too crowded and the potatoes were small

  5. Maggie says:

    Hello Norma, I HAVE to reply today!!!! You are a very fortunate person: you got a few berries for yourself!!!! We are not so lucky!!! As you know we have 3 huge cherry trees in our garden – not one single cherry this year because of the frost in the spring! So we thought we can get some red currants from the one plant we have……when we came on Sunday there were only the leafs left…..and on the gooseberry bush we picked 4 berries!!!! Isn’t this terrible?? But we are not the only ones…….there are almost no cherries in Germany this year, they import them ( very expensive ) from Turkey or Italy. Thank God that we have some left in the freezer! I hope the rest of your plants will satisfy you! Love from Maggie

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Maggie,
      so sorry to learn about your cherry trees and the other fruit crops. I had the same problem last year with my Asian pears, not a single pear due to untimely frost in the spring. Hoping for a harvest this year.

  6. Eva Taylor says:

    What a shame that the birds get most of your raspberries. Figgy looks like he is going to net us a tidy sum this year…finally! The rains in the spring have made growth in the garden enormous, everything is overgrown and huge. I am just waiting for things to stop flowering and I’ll take the shears to them; it really doesn’t seem to hurt when I cut them back!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      Glad to hear the good news about Figgy, bet you can’t wait to taste that first tree ripened fig 🙂 Yes, plants, both desirable and undesirable, are very happy this year with the rain.

  7. We’ve just had to put netting up on all our tomatoes and strawberries as a cheeky bat or curlew has got a taste for them, so not enjoying the difficulty with harvesting.

    Good to see you at least got a handful of raspberries to try, they look incredible.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Anna,
      Sorry too learn about your tomatoes and strawberries, I know what you mean by the difficulty with harvesting the netted fruits. My big problem now is rabbits, need to find a solution real quick.

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