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The continuing sweet potato roundup …uh… continues?

September 17, 2013

This season I’ve learned a little more about these things.

  • “Bush” varieties like Vardaman remain tamable in comparison to traditional vining ones.
    While herbs may respond incredibly to a daily dose of drip irrigation, sweet potatoes don’t like is so much
  • If you plant traditional vining types in a raised bed with a wooden border, they escape nonetheless.
  • Beauregard and especially Georgia Jet will have large satellite tubers a couple feet out from where the main hill is and they like to hide deeply.
  • If you placed a raised bed on the hardest pan clay your garden area has, then fill it up with perfect soil mix with lots of organic matter, most of the tubers will ignore your efforts and become subterranean stalagmites that anchor deep into the clay/chert substrate.
  • Every other hill of “Georgia Jet” will contain a resident three-mile-island/Fukushima mega-tater the size of your head.
  • Digging sweet potatoes from a bordered raised bed take patience to complete without stabbing or breaking any tubers.

How is it done?
First, find the bed under the sea of vines:

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(Found one)

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I cut and peel back the vines at a corner then remove some soil by hand to check the edges for tubers before plunging in the fork.

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Things speed up once you can get the fork working though

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And with a couple small hills remaining, this is what the curing bins look like on the back porch:

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Geez… I think next year I may go with something that isn’t so prolific, like maybe guppiers of rabbits. 😉

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 17, 2013 11:33 pm

    Sweet potatoes or Yams? Looks like you’ve got enough there to feed Pickett’s Division.

  2. September 18, 2013 5:31 am

    Sweet Potatoes. Yams are a completely unrelated family (closer relation to a lilies or grasses) and are from Africa / Asia. Sweet potatoes are of the morning glory family. Confusion started way back when, slaves of African descent referred to sweet potatoes as yams. Confusion reigns ever since… 😉

  3. September 18, 2013 11:51 pm

    Superb!! I got to reading about sweet potatoes a few years ago because I was confused about yellow/orange etc. I found out the same thing… You’re the first person I’ve encountered that knew the difference!

  4. September 24, 2013 8:24 pm

    Professor Google educates me on demand

    • September 24, 2013 9:49 pm

      Well put…. I like that!! Probably gonna steal it & use it!!

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