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Sweet potatoes growing

 
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Hi
I am thinking of growing sweet potatoes as an experiment .  Looking at the beneficial side of the nutrients in them , boiling vs steaming or in the oven .
Do the sweet potato suffer from the Colorado beetle ?.

Gave up growing normal potatoes as the Colorado beetle hit them hard .

Any help advice please
 
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so how i usually eat sweet potato is steamed. This is mostly because of how little time it takes to cook them this way(maybe 10 minutes). Some times we saute them after we steam them.

I do not know what the beetle will do to sweet potato. All i do is plant, and then harvest them, with very little effort inbetween. I water them maybe every 4 days once they are established. This year they are going to grow in the green house because of how much warmer the greenhouse is. The sweet potatoes like it hot.

I believe sweet potato is really easy to grow, normal potatoes grow really well here with sweet potatoes being more of a "we grow it because we can" We dedicate a 10 foot row to it every year and we manage to get sweet potato slips off of last years crop. So it is a very closed loop system.

Where is it you reside Malcolm?
 
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jordan barton wrote:
so how i usually eat sweet potato is steamed. This is mostly because of how little time it takes to cook them this way(maybe 10 minutes). Some times we saute them after we steam them.



This reminds me of a bit of food writing by George Washington Carver that has influenced me heavily:

George Washington Carver, old USDA advice, & why I quit nuking sweet potatoes for OMG! better flavor

Here he's quoting someone else:

"The delicate flavor of a sweet potato is lost if it is not cooked properly. Steaming develops and preserves the flavor better than boiling, and baking better than steaming. A sweet potato cooked quickly is not well cooked. Time is an essential element. Twenty minutes may serve to bake a sweet potato so that a hungry man can eat it, but if flavor is an object, it should be kept in the oven an hour.”

 
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Following the thread in hopes of gaining knowledge...
This is my first year trying to grow edible sweet potatoes (I've only grown the ornamental vine kind in the past). So far, I'm still trying to figure out how to get them to sprout, LOL. I bought 3 "seed potatoes" and left them in the window for a couple of weeks, and am starting to see some purple nubs on one end on a couple. From my understanding, I need to put them in a glass of water, with the nubby end up? From there the nubs should grow little plantlets with roots (slips) that I remove to plant in the garden, then discard the original seed potato once it stops making slips?

Sorry for asking my own questions on your thread. Not trying to hijack it, but hopefully my comment will help bump it on the recent threads list, and we can both gain some new knowledge in our quests to grow sweet potatoes
 
jordan barton
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Dan Boone wrote:

jordan barton wrote:
so how i usually eat sweet potato is steamed. This is mostly because of how little time it takes to cook them this way(maybe 10 minutes). Some times we saute them after we steam them.



This reminds me of a bit of food writing by George Washington Carver that has influenced me heavily:

George Washington Carver, old USDA advice, & why I quit nuking sweet potatoes for OMG! better flavor

Here he's quoting someone else:

"The delicate flavor of a sweet potato is lost if it is not cooked properly. Steaming develops and preserves the flavor better than boiling, and baking better than steaming. A sweet potato cooked quickly is not well cooked. Time is an essential element. Twenty minutes may serve to bake a sweet potato so that a hungry man can eat it, but if flavor is an object, it should be kept in the oven an hour.”



Yea i find them divine steamed.... but yea they are mostly steamed and than sauteed with onions. so i would say i cook them for about 30 minutes when i saute them.

Our oven is a huge 6 burners with a oven you could fit a 50 pound turkey in. Needless to say it takes way to much propane to heat it for one meal.

At this point this is what works haha. Maybe one day i will get a toaster oven and use our solar!
 
jordan barton
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Kc Simmons wrote:Following the thread in hopes of gaining knowledge...
This is my first year trying to grow edible sweet potatoes (I've only grown the ornamental vine kind in the past). So far, I'm still trying to figure out how to get them to sprout, LOL. I bought 3 "seed potatoes" and left them in the window for a couple of weeks, and am starting to see some purple nubs on one end on a couple. From my understanding, I need to put them in a glass of water, with the nubby end up? From there the nubs should grow little plantlets with roots (slips) that I remove to plant in the garden, then discard the original seed potato once it stops making slips?

Sorry for asking my own questions on your thread. Not trying to hijack it, but hopefully my comment will help bump it on the recent threads list, and we can both gain some new knowledge in our quests to grow sweet potatoes



Even tho i think this should be moved to this own thread i will try and answer it.

This year i received sweet potato slips from our neighbour. They were quite small in diameter(thin?). They were maybe 6-8 inches long. All i did was stick them in a few inches of water on the counter to get them to root and than i put them in pots for when it gets warmer.

The previous year i put my sweet potatoes which were sprouting like yours into a potting tray filled with soil. I kept them in a windowsill and they were buried about half way. They were on their side flat.
Once the sweet potato had vines 6"-8" tall i than put them into separate pots if they had their own roots. Otherwise i did as above and rooted them first.
 
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Potatoes and sweet potatoes are not very closely related so I suspect that the potato beetles may not be a problem.
 
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Malcom,

I can’t tell you if Sweet potatoes have the beetle problem, but deer, rabbits and just about anything that likes green stuff will happily step over the best grass to eat the sweet potato vines.  They are super easy to grow as long as you have heat.  Just get some type of fencing around them.

Eric
 
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Absolutely, rabbits, deer, ground hogs, any furry critter that is know to bother a garden will chomp on sweet potatoes. Underground things like moles or voles or whatever they are will get the roots. You have to keep them protected as best you can. I grow a lot of mine in pots for various reasons but it also helps protect the roots. A good thing in  my experience is even if the vines are pretty badly damaged by critters they still produce pretty good.  

I've never seen a potato beetle on my sweet potatoes but sweet potatoes and potatoes are very different species. I'd say they are related about the same way as grass and oak trees are, they are both plants.

Japanese beetles on the other hand can be a very serious problem. It's weird but they seem to prefer some plants over others, especially those with darker colored or purple leaves are attacked badly where a light green one is hardly bothered at all. I just pick them off as best I can, again some damage to vines does not seem to hurt root production too much, or none at all that I can see. I also am a pest of the greens, the young growth tips are quite tasty.

As far as how to cook them you will just have to experiment and see what you like best. There are lots of different kinds and I think weather and soil also effect the flavor. Some are very sweet and some hardly at all. My favorite is a very sweet one baked whole and dry, not sealed up in foil or anything. I like them just tender enough to cut with a fork and eat them plain, the woman here likes them mushy with butter. I also like the non-sweet ones fried with onions or garlic. I also like the sweet ones raw.

I've heard that ones from the grocery are sometimes treated with wax or something and it keeps them from sprouting slips but I don't know.  Generally they are pretty easy to sprout and different people do it different ways, some put them in jars of water. I start mine in a shallow tray of moist sand laying on their side with about 2/3 sticking out. If yours are developing the little purple nubs they will probably soon have slips.
 
Malcolm Thomas
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Thank you for the hints and tips . We are in Spain and the Coloradio beetle hit hard a couple years ago and wasted time and effort in the patch .  We do not use any spray  just water and let it grow , so i had this idea about sweet potato . It sounds a pretty good crop to grow.
I have never tasted one and am curious about the flavour .  Not much problem with animals here as the growing area is protected,  the only underground problem is the mole, but this year it seems to have dug its way about 100yds further away from the patch.
 
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Colorado beetles will attack anything in the Solanum family, so tomatoes and capsicums and chillies will also be attacked. As our growing season is too short for sweet potatoes to form edible tubers, I only grow them for leaves, and Colorado beetles have never attacked them. In fact by growing barriers of non Solanum crops between potatoes, you can greatly reduce the beetles.
 
Malcolm Thomas
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Ok many thanks for the advice from you all.
 
We've gotta get close enough to that helmet to pull the choke on it's engine and flood his mind! Or, we could just read this tiny ad:
how do we get more backing of the brk?
https://permies.com/t/145583/backing-brk
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