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question about sweet potatoes

 
Leah Sattler
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I had some sweet potatoes that started sprouting in my pantry in late july. On a lark I broke off the peices and planted them out. They are flourishing. however I have read that some cultivars can take as long as 9 months to mature. Since these were just store bought sweet taters does anyone know what cultivar it likely is and how long it needs to make tubers? I certainly don't have 9 months worth of frost free days ahead of me. just curious if I have a chance at getting some tubers.
 
                            
Posts: 22
Location: FL
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Searched around on google, most sites like this one said around 120 till harvest.
 
Leah Sattler
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Awe shucks the cool weather will stunt them before that most likely. But there is a tiny bit of hope. I've never done sweet potatoes before. They seem so happy that I am going to devote some space to them on a more planned basis next year. Thanks!
 
                            
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Location: FL
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Went to go pickup an Engel mini-fridge I bought (uses about the same watt hours as an incandescent lightbulb) and the seller had a nice sweet potato patch in her backyard. She said you can actually eat the leaves and she uses them in her salad all the time. Tried some and it kind of tasted a bit like kale.
 
Leah Sattler
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cool! maybe I can get something out of them at least. They sure are doing good. I'm excited to have a real go at them next year. I'm going to cut out some sod to make room today.
 
Dave Boehnlein
Posts: 294
Location: Orcas Island, WA
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Sweet potato greens are actually extremely nutritious (I believe they're high in iron & protein). You see them for sale at farmer's markets in Hawaii all the time.

Check out this article for some ideas on how to prepare them: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/mighty-appetite/2007/10/a_sweet_potato_twofer.html

Enjoy!

Dave
 
Susan Monroe
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Location: Western WA
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I have some sprouted sweeties also, and am going to try to keep them indoors for the winter.  After all, sweet potatoes are often grown indoors in school rooms in a jar of water.  Maybe, maybe....

My "plan" is to put them out when it warms up in spring.  We shall see.

Gardening is a learning experience.

Sue
 
Leah Sattler
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they're blooming they're blooming! are they like irish taters that set tubers near blooming?
 
Susan Monroe
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Location: Western WA
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All I can find out in a quick search is that they bloom in the short days of winter and, depending upon variety, can take from two to nine months to produce tubers, which leaves a lot of leeway.  I used a grocery store tuber and don't know what kind it is, where it was grown, or how long it takes to produce tubers. 

I guess that's a good argument for buying slips of known varieties.

Sue
 
Leah Sattler
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SueinWA wrote:
  I used a grocery store tuber and don't know what kind it is, where it was grown, or how long it takes to produce tubers. 

I guess that's a good argument for buying slips of known varieties.

Sue


Mine were just store bought also. Next year I'll do it right and order some slips.
 
                              
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I tried growing them last year and got lots of greens but not much sweet potatoes so asked around.  Farmer Frank, who runs the CSA I belong to, grows them as a die back perrenial.  The leaves die back in winter but the roots don't.  He never digs up all the sweet potatoes.  We get sweet potatoes in our shares in late spring so maybe this gives them a jump start. I'm in desert SW so probably warmer winters than you but thought I'd throw it out there
 
                                
Posts: 55
Location: Savannah, GA
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When I lived in SW Florida I planted some grocery store sweet potatoes that sprouted. I just planted the whole potato. They grew like crazy and were the only vegetable type plant that grew through the summer. The tomatoes pooped out and died but the sweets just kept going. When the leaves died back in the fall I dug them up, ate the medium size tubers and replanted both the really big ones and the little ones. They came up the next spring and grew again the next summer. They tasted good, but some were a little fibrous. Then I moved.
 
Emil Spoerri
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The leaves are stiff competition for my favorite cooking green, nettles. But I don't need to play favorites, one is ready in the spring and the other all summer long!
 
Larisa Walk
Posts: 134
Location: South of Winona, Minnesota
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Here in in the frozen northlands of SE Minnnesota we grow "Georgia Jet" sweet potatoes successfully. In warm summers they do really well, with store-bought-sized tubers, but in cooler summers they reach only an inch or so in diameter. They taste the same either way. We spent so many years gardening without thinking that they could possibly grow here! Now we grow between 20 and 30 hills, making from 1 to 2 big plastic insulated "ice chests" full of tubers. We "cure" them indoors after very gently removing only the really thick caked-on soil. Curing is just keeping them moist and warm for a week or so before closing the cooler lids and storing them in our cool (55-65-degree F) pantry.

Bob Dahse.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Location: Oakland, CA
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If they don't produce a good yield this year, might it be worthwhile to leave them in the ground so they have a head start next year? Or would they spend the second year making seeds instead of tubers?
 
Emil Spoerri
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
If they don't produce a good yield this year, might it be worthwhile to leave them in the ground so they have a head start next year? Or would they spend the second year making seeds instead of tubers?


They probably won't keep in most cases if soil drops bellow 50 degrees. I guess sepp holzer had some way of making his hugelculture hot enough that he could harvest sweet potatoes out in the middle of winter.
 
                        
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Location: sub-tropics downunder
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if it is the common pinkish coloured model they seem to grow quicker and more prolific per vine, most of us start with viable store bought tubers, my prefference the red/purple skin or the white skinned models (better flavour), they grow slower. for winter how would they go if you mulched heavily say out about 2 foot from stems, and use whole biscuits of hay/straw or heavy loose layer to 20"s, we used to do it this way for haevy frost areas, push the vines up so the mulch is right up against the stems, the tops will die off but early the next summer you can pull the mulch back a little and they will come away again.

they don't spend any season just growing seed the tubers just keep on growing we have had them 7 kilograms and bigger in sandy loam.

see how we strike them on our web page presentation.

len
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
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I love the asian varieties of sweet potato... mostly purplish skin with yellowish flesh.  Down here they are fully perennial, keep leaves all year, though they definitely prefer the summer heat and rain.

I eat the greens regularly.  Put them in soups & stir fry.  I'll even sautee just the leaves in toasted sesame oil & sea salt.  Nice way to really enjoy the flavor where it can get lost in other dishes. 

Small tubers are fine.  If you want to get a head start on next year, sprout one of the tubers in the middle of winter.  Gardenlen's instructions are good.  By springtime you will have nice long slips for a head start.
 
charles watt
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I just discovered some growing on the side of my house, O'Henry variety  I believe. I didn't know what it was till I found a three inch sweet potato under some leaf mulch. Too bad I had cleared most of the vine from the side of  my house. Left a little though, hoping it will come back.
 
Delilah Gill
Posts: 35
Location: Southern Georgia
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Consider growing sweet potatoes for another reason. At the base of each leaf is a tiny pocket of necter. Beneficial insects drink from it when their normal food isn't available.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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