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Old September 18, 2015   #1
Farmette
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Default Sweet potatoes, black plastic and water

Planted my sp this yr, put down black plastic first. Read that it helped warm up soil and keep sp from rooting all over creating too many small sp. Have drip system under plastic. Now I am hoping I've done the right thing with the plastic. Some sp varieties tubers are very close to top of soil. I put row cover on top the other day to keep heat in as we are starting to cool off. Now we are having a lot of rain, so I am worried that the large amt of water will sit on the plastic and create a problem. I want the tubers to put on bulk in the next month. So, should I rip holes in the plastic to drain the water. I am somewhat nervous about this harvest as the last 2 Yrs were not really successful sp Yrs for me. Any input on my methods will be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old September 18, 2015   #2
barefootgardener
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmette View Post
Planted my sp this yr, put down black plastic first. Read that it helped warm up soil and keep sp from rooting all over creating too many small sp. Have drip system under plastic. Now I am hoping I've done the right thing with the plastic. Some sp varieties tubers are very close to top of soil. I put row cover on top the other day to keep heat in as we are starting to cool off. Now we are having a lot of rain, so I am worried that the large amt of water will sit on the plastic and create a problem. I want the tubers to put on bulk in the next month. So, should I rip holes in the plastic to drain the water. I am somewhat nervous about this harvest as the last 2 Yrs were not really successful sp Yrs for me. Any input on my methods will be appreciated. Thanks!
I would be interested in knowing also. I wish you the best with your sweet potatoes, and hope you keep us informed of your harvest and post a few pictures.

I planted some sp this year also. This is my first year growing them and I did not use black plastic, although maybe I should have. We had a light frost last Saturday, and half my plants turned brown. I decided to dig them up because my husband wants to work up the soil now that my potatoes and tomatoes are finished. I had some small sweet potatoes, but I was still impressed I got any at all. The vines did run underground and all around. We had a long heat wave and I had a hard time trying to keep everything watered. I am not sure if I will use the garden space to plant them again, but I might grow a few in a large raised bed and properly take care of them next time.

Here is a partial picture of my sp harvest.. Hope you don't mind me posting..




Ginny

Last edited by barefootgardener; September 18, 2015 at 10:11 PM.
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Old September 18, 2015   #3
Cole_Robbie
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Not that you can do it now, but for future reference, building a ridge of soil under the plastic would make the water run off. My grandparents have a layer to pull behind a tractor. Smaller tractors won't pull it very well, because it has a big dirt scoop to make a ridge under the plastic. When it's working correctly, it makes a nice raised ridge, and water won't stand on the plastic.
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Old September 18, 2015   #4
AlittleSalt
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Farmette, I think it is cool that you are growing Sweet Potatoes in Wisconsin. My little bit of knowledge about sweet potatoes grown locally is in East Texas. This link is pretty good http://traveltips.usatoday.com/golde...as-106632.html

I personally, would let out extra water, but I don't grow sweet potatoes anymore. In November and December they will sell for 20 cents per pound here.

I wish I could help more. The link above is the area where my step Mother of 36 years grew up - she loved that area more than life and everyone else.
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Old September 19, 2015   #5
Worth1
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Wow Salt I just looked the area up.
It is dried up like so many other small Texas towns in the state.
There must be hundreds if not thousands of them.
A friend of mine lives in Structure you wont find it on a map.
The only thing I know about sweet potatoes in my dad grew them and cows like to eat the vines.

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Old September 20, 2015   #6
Hellmanns
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Here in Ky. sweet potatoes get HUGE when grown under black plastic mulch. I especially like the variety,Beauregard for their smoothness, productivity and good storage life.
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Old September 21, 2015   #7
Cole_Robbie
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My grandparents always grew Beauregard. My mom and step-dad still do.

There's an expensive, patented variety called Covington that I would like to try, but have not yet done so: http://www.sweetpotatoplant.com/shop/covington/
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Old September 21, 2015   #8
Farmette
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Thanks for the replies. I will post pictures once I harvest and appreciate Barefoots photo. Those are similar to what I've gotten previously, with the exception of Beauregard, which I have grown in the past. I grew them for their reputation of being easy to grow and that they would get large. I decided to try some others this year. Cole, I did make ridges as you describe, in my raised bed, though. However, the soil evened out over time. I checked for excess water and there is none on the plastic. It will be interesting to see how these turn out. I'd love to be able to grow sp as successfully as they do in Texas. I may go back to Beauregard, but just needed to try some new ones, although I think they are all early varieties.
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