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Old June 12, 2007   #1
FlipTX
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Default Houston Sweet Potato progress 2007

I got my slips from Sand Hill yesterday. So including the slips I started from a storebought sweet potato, I'll be planting:

Japanese - Large, semi-bush, pink-red skin, pale orange flesh
Korean Purple - Vining, purple skin, white flesh, very sweet
Laceleaf - Semi-bush, pink skin, pale orange flesh
Violetta - Vining, bright purple skin, white flesh, "superbly sweet"

Right now all the new slips are in cups of moist peat moss, recuperating from their trip in the shipping box. I'll be planting them in the ground and in pots over the next few days. This is my first time growing sweet potatoes so I'm pretty anxious!
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Old June 12, 2007   #2
houseodessey
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I'm getting 25 assorted slips this week from a member of another board. I was under the impression that I was starting too late so I'm glad to see another Texan who is just getting theirs. How do you plan on planting them? It seems there are various theories as to what is best with SP's.
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Old June 12, 2007   #3
FlipTX
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I'll be growing most of them in containers, since my garden is so small. I make "imitation ProMix", basically. I need to read up on sweet potato culture while my slips are having their spa treatment in their cups.

My preference would have been to plant these suckers in mid-late April, but I wanted to grow some unusual varieties from Sand Hill so that's why I'm planting so late. I'm not worried about an early frost killing the plants but putting them out in the super-inferno we've been having recently makes them a bit wilty. I don't know if that's a problem or not.
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Old June 12, 2007   #4
houseodessey
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I thought they were supposed to go out earlier but I didn't have the room in April. They're going where the cole crops were up until a few weeks ago. It'll be nice to compare notes with someone else, even if I have only a modest harvest. I'll let you know which varieties I get when they arrive. Hopefully at least one of them will like the heat or at least tolerate it. Good luck!
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Old June 12, 2007   #5
FlipTX
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Good luck to you, too! I expect a pretty moderate harvest here, too, but that's OK because I don't know where I'd store all the sweet potatoes if I had a bumper crop.

I think it'll be just fine for us planting relatively "late". I expect to start harvesting in mid-late September, long before the soil gets too chilly for sweet potatoes.

Whereabouts in TX are you?
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Old June 13, 2007   #6
houseodessey
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If you have a bumper crop, I'd be willing to bet you could give a few away. I'm in Fort Worth.
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Old June 16, 2007   #7
houseodessey
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I planted 3 orange oakleaf, 3 nugget, 4 wakenda, 7 purple, 7 violetta, 6 korean purple and 4 peach mystery sweet potatoes today. We have cooler temps and rain forecasted for the next few days so I'm hopeful that they'll get established nicely before the heat comes back. This has been a great gardening year for TX, as far as weather is concerned.

Question. What, if anything can I plant right now that will do okay from seed? I have some bare spots that are driving me absolutely batty.
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Old June 16, 2007   #8
FlipTX
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Since we're both growing Violetta and Korean Purple, it'll be interesting to compare notes!

As for what you can plant now, I think anything in the cowpea family (blackeye peas, yardlong beans, etc) would do well. Watermelon, too, if you have good drainage.
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Old June 24, 2007   #9
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Most of the slips have been planted now. A couple of them died, including one of the Violetta slips, sad to say. I'm hoping the other one that survived grows fast enough for me to take a cutting from it to plant.

I'll post pictures tomorrow.
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Old July 16, 2007   #10
caascher2
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All of the slips I received from Sandhill are growing well. When do you know when to pick them? I know no time soon just anticipating.
Thanks,
Carol
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Old July 18, 2007   #11
FlipTX
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Quote:
When do you know when to pick them?
The Sand Hill descriptions for my particular varieties say 90 days but that's an estimate. That puts me at mid September, so I figure I'll wait until then and start poking around in the soil to see what looks ready.

One of my Violetta and one of my Korean Purple plants died. That was half of my total crop for those two. It was probably all the rain we got. That's also why I haven't been able to post any pictures yet. My yard's been swampy for weeks.
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Old August 17, 2007   #12
houseodessey
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One of my plants is flowering. The rest are just okay or struggling, especially the oak leafed types. Overall, I'm great w/ the foliage but wondering when to harvest them. I've not dug around them at all. Any advice, Flip?
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Old September 29, 2007   #13
FlipTX
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Well, my sweet potato crop was a bust.

I got a handful of decent sized taters out of the vines I grew from store-bought root, but only one of edible size from the plants I got from Sand Hill. (I don't blame Sand Hill. The plants were healthy except for the couple that died early on. I think I just didn't provide optimum conditions for potato development.) Ah well. At least it was sort of fun to see the vines growing all over the place.
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