Growing Things: Sweet Potatoes!

Woah! What? Wasn’t this a segment on “Tea Growing”?

You’re right, most astute of readers! And, like the natural world, the title has evolved. (AHAH!) See, I ran an experiment this year like I so like to do with gardening; two, actually. I don’t count the tomatoes because I’ve grown tomatoes before, to about equal levels of success as this year. THIS YEAR however, there were new pests involved, which I still don’t quite know the name of but they didn’t do much to the plants so whatever. The big name of the game THIS YEAR for the tomatoes was End Rot. Apparently, I SUUUUCK at maintaining the moistness of my garden soil. NEXT YEAR, I plan to run a little irrigation hose thingy to the raspberries and to the tomatoes, if I do tomatoes again. This hose thingy should help with that.

But this post isn’t about friggin tomatoes! This post is about SWEET POTATOES! My dogs absolutely love the shit out of some dehydrated sweet potato snacks, but these buggers are very expensive at the local-ish organic food mart. So, I thought this past Spring 2019, I ought to grow these! SO I DID!

I started by looking at a blog that I linked earlier this year in this very blog channel. Scroll back through the history book; I can’t be bothered to cycle you back. Basically I bought some organic sweet potatoes, dehydrated all but one for the pups, and nestled the remaining sucker into some aluminum bread pans and potting soil. Keep watered in sunlight, and you will soon find yourself in a forest of sproutlings: SLIPS, they’re called in the sweet potato world. Let these guys get to a decent size, twist ’em off, and set ’em in a low pan (or a plate, like I did) with some water to root them. Then, into the dirt!

You’re SUPPOSED to do one slip per 1.5 gallon pot.

What’ve we learned on this blog so far? I DON’T FOLLOW PLANT DIRECTIONS.

So I did one slip in a 1.5 gallon pot, just to see what the noise was all about. And then I plopped the rest of them (6 or so?) into a 20 gallon pot. EVENLY SPACED, give me a little benefit of the doubt. And then….I kept them watered, and let them do their thing.

Fast forward 100-ish days! Apparently that’s how long it takes sweet potatoes to germinate on average. I dumped the pots over (that’s why I did pots! VERY easy to harvest) and dug through the pile of potting soil. And what did we yield? 2.5 lbs of sweet potatoes from the slips of one potato!

SO, pretty good! Next year, I plan to line up a little army of like 10-12 1.5 gallon pots (because the potatoes from the 1.5 gallon pot WERE bigger, to be fair) and maybe give them 120-140 days instead. But color me encouraged, dear readers! Sweet potato farmer is looking like a good aim!

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