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-   -   First ever Sweet Potato Harvest (http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=49804)

SQWIBB November 11, 2019 02:16 PM

First ever Sweet Potato Harvest
 
I couldn't be happier with this test run, I started some slips from an old sweet potato and planted 3 slips in one of my raised beds.
I'll most likely try 9-12 slips next season.
These truly are a set it and forget it plant, other than pinching a few flowers here and there and directing/trimming vines a few times, and that's it, gotta love that!

I waited till the first frost before harvesting, however the leaves weren't wilted much, I think next season I'll harvest after a hard frost and the leaves are wilted.

[YOUTUBE]wXNx06ww8UA[/YOUTUBE]

Rajun Gardener November 11, 2019 02:48 PM

Nice harvest for 3 slips, you can't beat recycling old potatoes!!!

GoDawgs November 11, 2019 03:49 PM

That was a nice haul from just three slips! Congratulations! Pretty sweets and nice size too.

MrsJustice November 12, 2019 01:39 PM

Congratulations. Big harvest. You farm like me, by using your hands. My Dr. just found out we Farm by hands last year and was shocked.

Nan_PA_6b November 12, 2019 06:18 PM

I envy you your dirt, if you can dig in it by hand. Fighting clay up here.

Worth1 November 12, 2019 07:17 PM

Nice harvest.

zendog November 12, 2019 09:35 PM

Great job! I think growing sweet potatoes is pretty addictive.

I always encourage people to try growing sweet potato vines under their tomatoes. The vines spread out and make a great "living mulch", suppressing the weeds and keeping the soil cool and shaded in our hot summers. I dig the sweet potatoes right after I pick the last tomatoes before frost. This year I harvested two 5-gallon buckets full.

I also eat the greens throughout the summer when most of my other greens have already gone to seed.

I got started the same way as you, with a potato that was laying on my counter and started to grow.

MrsJustice November 13, 2019 08:39 AM

[QUOTE=zendog;749569]Great job! I think growing sweet potatoes is pretty addictive.

I always encourage people to try growing sweet potato vines under their tomatoes. The vines spread out and make a great "living mulch", suppressing the weeds and keeping the soil cool and shaded in our hot summers. I dig the sweet potatoes right after I pick the last tomatoes before frost. This year I harvested two 5-gallon buckets full.

I also eat the greens throughout the summer when most of my other greens have already gone to seed.

I got started the same way as you, with a potato that was laying on my counter and started to grow.[/QUOTE]

I will try your "Sweet Potato +=+under the Tomatoes" Ideal next year. I will truly use the Native Americans Farming Secrets to keep any Pest away, Amen!!!

MuddyBuckets November 19, 2019 02:28 PM

Nice harvest from 3 slips! Thanks for the tip on planting between tomatoes to create a living mulch with the vines. Have you tried planting them between pepper plants?

zendog November 26, 2019 12:05 PM

[QUOTE=MuddyBuckets;749935]Have you tried planting them between pepper plants?[/QUOTE]
I have grown sweet potatoes between my pepper plants as well as the tomatoes as described above. The only thing with peppers is they don't grow as tall and some of the lower branches can hang down into the sweet potato vines when they load up with peppers. But as long as you keep an eye on it, it works great. I just make sure to plant the slips far enough away from the roots of the peppers or tomatoes I'm growing under to make sure they aren't competing too much with the plants.

For tomatoes, I'm growing mostly single or double stem so most of the plant is well above the sweet potato vines. I'm not sure it would work as well for dwarfs or smaller determinate varieties.

b54red December 27, 2019 03:17 AM

A few years back I had a few volunteer sweet potatoes pop up in my bell pepper bed and just allowed them to grow. I ended up getting more sweet potatoes out of that bed under the peppers than when the bed was dedicated solely to sweet potatoes the year before. I have since put a few slips in my bell pepper beds every year since with great results both for the potatoes and bell peppers. They do sometimes try climbing up my plants but I just clip the vines if they become a problem and I keep them trimmed at the edge of my raised beds with a hedge clipper.

I have also had them in my tomato beds with fairly good results but they fared poorly under okra. The okra shaded the vines too much and since I do lean and lower with my tomatoes it was a bit too messy for me to deal with easily. There seems to be a symbiotic relationship that really works for both plants when sweet potatoes are planted with bell peppers. I have seen my bell peppers produce more and stay healthier longer with the potato vines under them and at the same time the potato vines seem to produce more when running under the bells.

Bill

SQWIBB December 27, 2019 10:33 AM

b54, That's very interesting. I will also be experimenting with the slips under peppers and tomatoes next season.

Father'sDaughter December 27, 2019 03:12 PM

Bill and SQWIBB, what's the spacing on your tomato plants? I would love to grow sweet potatoes, but am tight on space. Growing them between tomato plants sounds like it might be a solution!

zendog December 27, 2019 08:55 PM

I have a series of 3x9 raised beds and grow tomatoes on one foot centers (starting 6" from the edge to fit a total of 9 plants) as single stems as a row down the back of the beds, then plant 3 or 4 hills of sweet potatoes at the front of the bed, usually with 2-3 slips per hill. For the peppers, I plant 6 pepper plants down the center of the 3x9 bed and then plant 2 hills on each side of them for a total of 4 hills of sweets. With the peppers, I grew the more bush type vine variety called Vardman and under the tomatoes I grow a beautiful blue sweet potato that vines like crazy. I think as long as you don't let your tomatoes be such bushy beasts they totally shade the sweet tators you should get some potatoes, but I definitely notice that the more shaded the vines for a given hill is the less productive.

I believe one of the reasons the approach works well is that the sweet potatoes shade the soil and keep it from drying out and overheating. When the soil is hot, the tomato plants are less able to take up the moisture and nutrients in the soil, so it really seems to help keep them healthier through the summer heat. And when they really get going the sweet potato vines do a great job of suppressing the weeds as well.

GoDawgs December 28, 2019 12:08 PM

I played with growing an extra slip in a hill at the end of a fallow bed on a trellis and it worked really well. By going vertical this hill didn't take up much room at all. I just had to direct the vines on occasion which just took a few seconds. The vines eventually covered the trellis.

[IMG]https://i.imgur.com/NDMUH1c.jpg[/IMG]


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