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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.
Brian Cardinal
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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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Beekeeping since 2012

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
Just do it

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.
When the law no longer protects you from the corrupt, but protects the corrupt from you - then you know your nation is doomed.

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.