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No till sweet potatoes

 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 279
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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I have an area where a building stood until three years ago. I would like to grow sweet potatoes for food and ground cover. The area is currently covered by thick clover. Is there a way I can plant this as a no till area? Thank you
 
tel jetson
steward
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Location: woodland, washington
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you could bury the clover in mulch. wood chips, straw, rotten hay, spent mushroom substrate, something along those lines. the sweet potatoes will climb through the mulch without too much trouble and the clover will take substantially longer.
 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 279
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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Thanks Tel. I wanted the potatoes to get a firm start in this new area and prepare for take over. Thinking of making an area with lots of mulch and straw and see if it will take over from there into the clover.
 
tel jetson
steward
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your region is probably much better suited to sweet potatoes than mine. around here, sweet potatoes do fine, but they need some coddling. given a head start, they could handle clover just fine.

in North Carolina, I would guess that smothering the clover with mulch would be all you needed to have a dense sweet potato carpet that didn't allow any other plants to join in. the decomposing clover would add a nice boost of fertility under the mulch.
 
Scott Stiller
Posts: 279
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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This is just the kind of info I was looking for. Thank you for your time and knowledge. Scott
 
Melba Corbett
Posts: 164
Location: North Carolina
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Some of the best sweet potatoes I've ever grown, were in deep piles of hardwood leaves (not black walnut). The leaves keep down the weeds and grass and you don't want the clover coming through because roots of any kind of plants, other than the sweet potatoes themselves will pierce right through the tubers and damage them. Just wait until the weather is really warm before planting them. I'm in N.C. too, and I usually plant, here in the mountain area, about mid to late May. I stick the roots down into the dirt and have about three inches of rotted leaves up around the plants, with the leaves of the sweet potatoes sticking out. Keeps them moist in dry weather too. If it rains a lot, may keep them too wet, so raised beds work good in those conditions.
 
Scott Stiller
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Location: North Carolina zone 7
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Thank you Melba. I wonder if oak leaves from last fall would work too.
 
Melba Corbett
Posts: 164
Location: North Carolina
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Scott Stiller wrote:Thank you Melba. I wonder if oak leaves from last fall would work too.


Should. That's mostly what I use, and some are already slightly composted, some aren't. Best of luck.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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