Thursday, June 13, 2013

garden, sweet potato edition

We just harvested our second batch of sweet potatoes. This huge pile came from a single potato we planted back in the fall. The vines spread quickly in the garden (the nutritious leaves make for a tasty sauté) and as they set down roots, some of them turned into tubers. And those tubers include some giants: the conch-shaped one in the photo is about the size of a conch shell (over nine inches long). Sweet potatoes are about as easy a crop as you'll ever encounter: they required no maintenance or irrigation, and spread throughout the shallow and loose soil. However, they are not without their problems...



those are some big potatoes!
One problem we encountered with the sweet potato is that the vine attracted white flies, which led to some sooty mold on the ground around them, which is just kind of icky. Since sweet potatoes are a great summer cover crop in the subtropics, we decided to pull up the vines, which were covering an area over 100 sq. ft. in the garden, harvest the potatoes, and replant the small ones to start the summer crop. We'll see how quickly they grow.

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