Sunday, October 25, 2009

growing sweet potatoes

It's easy to grow sweet potatoes. REALLY easy. It just takes a long time. Here's how I did it. Towards the middle of February I bought a couple of organic sweet potatoes from Whole Food market. I mistrusted what might be on the sweet potatoes at some of the more conventional stores. I didn't want to eat this, I wanted them to sprout. I brought them home and put them in a plastic dishwashing tub with a couple inches of damp dirt in it. I buried them half way into the dirt and put the tub in a warm place (top of frig). I left them there until they sprouted (only one of the potatoes sprouted, the other rotted). In a few weeks I had green leaves and put it in a mildly sunny warmish place, like next to a window. Keep the soil a bit damp and leave it like that until the weather outside is dependably warm. Early April is bit early, late April or May. Around then. It might grow like crazy, but that's ok. You can eat the extra leaves as greens. The phillipinos treat them like a delicacy. Actual planting--- roughly yank the slips (shoots?) from the mother sweet potato and immediately bury the hairy rootlike part of the slip in the dirt at least a foot apart from each other, maybe two feet. Now you ignore the plant until October. Watering if it is getting less than an inch of water a week, but even that isn't totally necessary. They love sunny hot weather and will try to take over the garden. They are sort of hard to mess up. In October, or whenever it gets around frost time dig them up, let them dry in the sun for a day and then put them in a big plastic bag, with the top left open. Put this in a warm place, like about 80 degrees. Leave for a couple weeks. This is called curing. After that just store them in a normal temperture place. They stay good for months.

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