Thursday, November 12, 2009

Harvesting Sweet Potatoes

Oct 26, before frost.  This sweet potato plant was about 20 feet in diameter.

Nov. 11.  We had 21 degrees on Oct. 30.  Sweet potatoes are more frost-sensitive than tomatoes or peppers.

Happy harvester with part of his crop.  This plant had a disappointingly small crop, considering that it occupied a large part of the garden for the entire growing season.  The last time I grew sweet potatoes in a serious way, in the early 90s, I grew half a dozen different varieties.  The yields per plant ranged from massive to almost nothing, so it's important to find just the right variety for your particular location.  I grew this plant from a sweet potato Laura bought at the Co-op last spring.  It started to sprout after sitting on the shelf for a month, so I planted it in a pot and set it in a sunny window to grow.  I planted it out in the garden in early May.

Laura and Nancy with the biggest sweet potato.  This variety has purple skin and very light yellow -- almost white -- flesh.  The flavor is not too sweet, which I like because I prefer regular potatoes.  If I ever expand my garden I'll plant several different varieties and see how they perform.  The yield would have to be a lot higher than this variety to make it worth my while.