Do you want to feel like a five year old again? Grow and harvest sweet potatoes! This year I added two new garden beds to my main garden. I purchased sweet potato slips at Hansons Nursery in Rhinelander, WI http://www.hansonsgardenvillage.com/ on a rare trip up north by myself. It was the first time I was without family, dogs or time constraints and I went a little garden shopping crazy. I loved it, every penny well spent, especially the milk weed plants.
Anyways, back to sweet potatoes. Unlike regular potatoes, with sweet potatoes you plant the slips which are the green shoots that grow off of sweet potatoes. Like other potatoes, it is usually best to use seed potatoes as they are grown to be free of disease. I bought a bunch of slips and to be honest, they looked like a dying bunch of herbs.
The instruction sheet told me not to worry what they looked like, but I still worried a little. I took the slips home and planted them approximately every 12 inches but I skipped the three foot row spacing as is suggested here http://bonnieplants.com/growing/growing-sweet-potatoes/
I am glad I did as 30% of the plants did not live.
If you live in the Midwest you know that it was not an ideal summer for having a garden. We had early rain and then cool nights and a warm late summer. I installed a low hoop tunnel over the sweet potatoes early September to extend the season. I should have done that in August but did not get around to it. Sweet potatoes like it HOT and DRY.
Yesterday I went out to harvest seeing that cool days are coming next week. I cut off the vines and then dug in with my pitch fork to not break up any potatoes and there they were. AMAZING! It was exciting every time that I found one. Christmas in September for gardenRN!
Next summer I am going to start a lot earlier and put up the tunnel early season to heat up the soil. I can’t wait!