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Author Topic: Sweet Potatoes  (Read 1567 times)

Offline bwallace23350

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Sweet Potatoes
« on: October 21, 2016, 09:15:49 AM »
Anyone got in tips on how to construct sweet potato beds? I want to plant a purple and orange flesh ones next year

Offline Acebird

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2016, 09:26:41 AM »
Anyone got in tips on how to construct sweet potato beds? I want to plant a purple and orange flesh ones next year
Sweet potatoes don't grow well up here but I would imagine it would be the same for regular potatoes.  It would depend on how many or big your field is and what equipment you have to use.  I use a potato plow on an old 600 ford tractor.  It is almost effortless compared to the fork and shovel.
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Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2016, 10:11:07 AM »
I was thinking of two 20x20 raised beds.

Offline gww

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2016, 11:28:35 AM »
I start a couple of sweet potatoes in a jar in water in the window above the kitchen sink.

I till a wide space in the garden and then use a hoe to make long hills (hard work).  After I am sure that a chance of frost is over but as early as posible (takes a while for them to grow) I plant the starts in the hill rows I have made.  I let them go as long as possible and watch the weather forecast and as soon as a frost is predicted, I run out and dig like crazy.  If it gets bit by frost it travels down through the green and rots the potato.  I hear you can cut the greenery off at ground level and it won't rot the potato.  I have never tried this but have let the tops get bairly bit with frost and lost a crop.
Good luck
gww

Offline Rurification

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2016, 02:44:10 PM »
My sweet potato beds are raised about 12 inches up.   8'x4'.   They like very rich soil, lots of manure, plenty of sand to break up our clay.     Also, some bird net all the way around to keep the deer from eating the greens to nothing. 

20 x20 would probably be fine as long as you can walk easily between rows.   
Robin Edmundson
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Offline gww

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2016, 04:01:38 PM »
rurification
I lived in kokomo indiana for about 4 years give or take.  I had the most beautiful dirt and not a drop of clay and I never found a rock.  I did find a couple of tree roots.  I didn't supliment my dirt.  It grew the most beautiful sweet potato tops I have ever saw but I did not get any root off of it.  I was amazed.    In MO the best I have had was in pretty poor clay dirt.  I find that each year is differrent and it is an odd year when I really do well.  I also think that if you have plenty of room which lots of poeple don't, If you plow up a new area it seems like your first year will really be good.  I have good vines this year and we have cut them back (my wife uses the stems in cooking some times) but I have not broke ground to see if I have any tattors yet.
Cheers
gww

Ps My tomatoes really were bad this year.  It might be my seeds.  We save seeds every year and I think they start losing the reason you planted them in the first place.  Heck, I know you take risk with saving hybred seed. 
Cheers
gww

Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2016, 04:06:50 PM »
Room is no problem. I could make those beds 100 x 100 with room to walk between them. I have 38 acres of pasture with only a few cows on them and the cows are only on the land during the summer.

So what I am gathering is to make it deep but not to rich or else they will make great green leaves but poor sweet potatoes?

Offline gww

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2016, 05:30:05 PM »
bw
I only know my experiance and so listening to others that are more successful might be in order.  I did find that my poor dirt did better but even then I don't consistantly grow good potatoes.  I just have some good years.  The best potatoes I saw was the first year my dad plowed a new place.  Some good 5 and 7 lb potatoes.  It could have just been perfect weather that year.  I haven't even looked this year but can say that I have a whole garden of raised beds with pure poop in them but the potatoes are in the non raised bed part of my garden.  I am not a great garener and just sorta do it every year but don't put a lot of sience to it.  I would dream of having the dirt I had in kokomo for most things but I didn't get any sweet potatoes in it.

Maby a couple more will chime in.
Good luck
gww

Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2016, 06:45:48 PM »
Well I might not raise the sweet potato beds but just outline them off. The soil itself is pretty poor. Now my other garden spot is fantastic soil but it just to be the spot that cows were fed out for over 30 years and I add manure to it every year.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2016, 09:48:52 PM »
Brian Cardinal
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Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2016, 08:00:59 AM »
Thanks

Offline GSF

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2016, 09:07:20 AM »
Good link Brian,

bw & others,

For years I've been wanting to do a sweet potato tower. It's a four sided structure somewhere around a foot or so square and as tall as the growing season allows. Three of the four sides are permanent and fastened into place. On the one side you have removable boards that slide up and out. Start with the bottom and plant your potatoes. Once the vines have got to growing add another board and dirt covering just about all the vine up. The vine will continue to grow and you'll continue to add dirt and boards. Once you reach the top leave it alone until harvest time. Then you cut the vines, remove the top board, brush out the dirt with your hand or something, then harvest. Repeat the process all the way down to the ground.
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Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2016, 09:53:57 AM »
NOw that sounds awesome. You got a plan for something like that?

Offline gww

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2016, 12:31:36 PM »
I dug four plants and believe I am going to do very well this year.  I didn't dig them all because it is a bit wet in the garden right now and I don't think the potatoes last as well when you have to wash them compared to just brushing off the dirt.  I usually find the first part of the rows to have smaller sweet potatoes then when you get to the middle of the rows.  I don't know why this is but have a feeling good things are to come.  I am not planting the big orange ones but the ones that are redish on the out side and white on the in side.  They won't get to seven puonds but are going to be very good for what they are.  Has anyone ate the french fried sweep potatoes? 
Cheers
gww

Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2016, 03:43:23 PM »
 Has anyone ate the french fried sweep potatoes?  ................ Never even heard about it. Tell me more

Offline herbhome

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2016, 04:46:56 PM »
Has anyone ate the french fried sweep potatoes?  ................ Never even heard about it. Tell me more

Deelicious! :smile:

Offline gww

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2016, 05:13:41 PM »
bw
I just cut them up into french fries and fry them like I would regular french fries.  I put salt on mine like you would french fries, I have heard of people coating them in sugar like you would a donut but salt works for me.  My favorite way to eat them is to stir fry them in sugar.  It gives them a candy coating.  Some like to add a bit of cinnamon but I like it better with out or very very little.
Good eating.
gww

Offline Joe D

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2016, 01:36:57 AM »
Are you wanting to make beds to plant or to store over the winter.  Planting, I disc the ground lay out the rows, fertilize, and then plant the cut potatoes in the row.
Sweet potatoes are good most anyway, you can wash, poke some holes in it put in microwave until it is almost done take it out rub a little oil on it put in the oven to finish.  Then have some sausage, pork chop, ground beef or steak and your set.  I got a new recipe on sweet potato S'mores bars, using graham cracker crumbs, pecans, butter, sugar, cinnamon, salt, semisweet chocolate, red pepper, sweet potato milk, eggs ginger and miniature marshmallows.  Haven't made it yet but fixing to.
If you get down to north Miss., Vardaman, they grow lots of good sweet taters there.  I got 20 pound last week at a local store down here 50 cents a pound, they had crates.

Joe D

Offline jvalentour

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2016, 09:43:06 AM »
I threw 6 sweet potato plants in a first year raised bed 8x4 with poor soil.  I planted late spring, June I believe.  Should have planted a little earlier.
Got about 5 gallons of large potato.  Beauregard is the varietal I planted.
I put very little effort or water into the bed.  The soil was about 12 inched deep on top of hard pack clay and rock.  Most of the potato grew near the origional plant, some smalls grew from vines.  Most were harvested from 6-12 inches under the top.  I harvested early October.
This was my first year with SP.  Next year I will probably till up and area and not use the raised bed just to see the difference.
I live in a deer heavy area, I did not notice damage from deer to the SP but they did eat my cucumber and squash plants.
You need space to cure.

Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2016, 06:39:19 PM »
Thanks for all the tips. This is really giving me someting to work with.

Offline paus

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2016, 12:06:14 AM »
From the home of the "YAMBOREE" Gilmer Texas.  I have raised SP most of my life.  Bed out SP in late winter about 6-8 weeks before the guaranteed last frost. Sweet taters love warm days and nights, and sandy soil. When the "slips" or rooted SP sprouts, get about 8" tall they should have a root system that will start to grow immediately.  Plant them on a bed or raised bed or even in pots.  This is foreign to me as a small patch is 5 acres.  They do not like wet feet, the beauregard is a great variety, paus

Offline divemaster1963

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2016, 12:21:29 PM »
the way my family has grown any potato has been towers. we used tractor tires and strted from groud up. let them grow till tops where up the placed another tire and filled till just tops showing. get them to about 5 tires high then when ready to harvest just knock them over always got the bigest harvest from doing this. you can even use wire compost towers. have even planted tomatos out the sides of them and let them hang down cucnbers even grow great down the sides. when season ends just add more compost to top for next year.

john

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2016, 12:35:44 PM »
John,
When you added another tire, did you add sprouts? How many plants did you put in each stack?
Do new potatoes grow in each layer from the same plant?
Jim
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Offline divemaster1963

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2016, 12:51:46 PM »
John,
When you added another tire, did you add sprouts? How many plants did you put in each stack?
Do new potatoes grow in each layer from the same plant?
Jim
hey jim just added dirt to cover folage till top third. just likeplanting tomatoes. roots and spuds will develop from the stems covered by dirt. you will triple your yeild per plant. if the soil is rich enough one plant  for 20 inch tires. tractor tires maybe two or three. (farm tractor) tractor trailer ( one maybe two)

john

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2016, 11:59:44 PM »
Thanks John,
That sounds like a good trick. I will have to try it.
Jim
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Offline Eric Bosworth

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2016, 09:23:36 AM »
I haven't read all the posts in this thread but my results with sweet potatoes were not real good. One thing that I think would have helped would be something for the vines to climb. What happened to me was that the vines started growing roots in the grass next to the grow bed and the tubers never got real big. The plants looked really healthy but I just didn't get any crop. I also think that the deeper the bed the better. I have a raised cold frame that I think I could start them in early with the top closed and then open it up when the weather gets warmer and the plants get bigger. Then I could put lattice up the side of my wood shed and it could climb over the summer. The problem with that is my wife usually plants something else in the cold frame like beets and Swiss chard that will grow when we still get hard freezes.

I grow in straight up aged manure. The lady that lives down the street from my parents has her own personal petting zoo and needs someplace to put the fertilizer so I go collect it with my tractor. I just wish I had a dumping trailer. Loading is easy with the bucket of the tractor. Unloading is a pain.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2016, 10:23:19 AM »
You can't get the ground warm enough for long enough for sweet potatoes in NY.

lay metal roofing in your trailer or truck before you load it with manure.  You may have to screw a bar on the end of the panels so you can chain it off to a tree and slowly drive away leaving the majority of the pile sliding on the ground with the panel.  Once it is on the ground you can scrap it off the panel with the bucket.  If it is in a pick up bed don't pull it all the way out just far enough so the free end of the panel tips down to the ground.  It should act like a dump trailer.
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2016, 12:44:30 PM »
You can't get the ground warm enough for long enough for sweet potatoes in NY.

lay metal roofing in your trailer or truck before you load it with manure.  You may have to screw a bar on the end of the panels so you can chain it off to a tree and slowly drive away leaving the majority of the pile sliding on the ground with the panel.  Once it is on the ground you can scrap it off the panel with the bucket.  If it is in a pick up bed don't pull it all the way out just far enough so the free end of the panel tips down to the ground.  It should act like a dump trailer.
I like that Idea. Thanks for sharing. I am going to try to connect several panels with the ones on the sides angled up to keep the material from remaining on the sides of the truck.
Jim
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2016, 02:17:42 PM »
Just watch out for too much material that it bends and kinks the unsupported panel  or tears out the connecting bar.  You can put plastic under the panel to make it slide better.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Eric Bosworth

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Re: Sweet Potatoes
« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2016, 02:58:42 PM »
You can't get the ground warm enough for long enough for sweet potatoes in NY.

lay metal roofing in your trailer or truck before you load it with manure.  You may have to screw a bar on the end of the panels so you can chain it off to a tree and slowly drive away leaving the majority of the pile sliding on the ground with the panel.  Once it is on the ground you can scrap it off the panel with the bucket.  If it is in a pick up bed don't pull it all the way out just far enough so the free end of the panel tips down to the ground.  It should act like a dump trailer.
Why didn't I think of that? If I do that with the big trailer next spring I should be able to do one trip and be done. I do need to get some plywood to make the sides taller but that should work great. I took a welding class once and it was mentioned how nobody ever overloads trailers. :happy: Certainly not my Dad. I think he has totally rebuilt his wood trailer 3 or 4 times and yet he refuses to give up on it.
All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns; that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party. ---Mao Tse Tung

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