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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2003 1:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2003 12:44 am
Posts: 6
Location: East Point, Texas
We have some certified organic sweet potatoes left if anyone would like to plant some for their own slips. Otherwise, we will have some extra slips about mid June.

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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2003 11:21 am 
I have never grown sweet potatoes. How do you grow the slips and how do you grow the potato? Is there anything different than growing reg. potatoes? I love sweet potatoes and would love to try my hand at it. When is the best time to plant them and how long to harvest?


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 Post subject: Sweet Potato Growing
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2003 2:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2003 12:44 am
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Location: East Point, Texas
Howard has a good plan for growing sweet pototoes in the Texas Organic Vegetable Book. They are the true no brainer crop, but it does help to have sandy acid soil. Whole sweet potatoes should be placed into a shallow bed now. In about 40 days "slips" are twisted off the parent plant. At this point, we cut off the root tip (standard sp grower practice to help eliminate disease) and place the slips in a prepared raised bed about 2 feet apart. Avoid any fertilizer that is not complete composted as sweet potatoes are subject to fungal diseases. We use a little mined potassium and soft rock phosphate to prepare the bed and then once a week fish/molassas/kelp/humate foliar spray. Weed a little at first, but sweet potatoes spred and cover most competition. Note: They are a pain to harvest when costal bermuda has grown up into the bed. Also, if it gets dry, fire ants see them as a water source. Irrigate to keep fire ant damage down, but not too much as they will rot from over watering.

Sweet pototoes can be harvested 90-120s after planting, but long periods of growth result in giant sweet potatoes. They need to cure for awhile, and they get sweeter as the winter goes on. Storage needs to be around 55 F. Too cold or too warm they rot. Otherwise, they last and last.

Also, beds should be rotated and not used for sweet potatoes but every 3-5 years. Growing cereal rye during the winter before helps in areas where root knot nematods are a problem. Again, they are great crop in Texas and thrive in an organic program.

Let us know if you have more questions.

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Steve in East Point


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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2003 9:40 pm 
Steave
Have you heard about growing reg potatoes in towers? My question is this; what would happen if you planted the slips in a tower and ran the slip up and let it grow thru 3-5 ft. of dirt or dirt and straw mix. Would the sweet potatoes grow off of the slip all the way up like reg. potatoes do? Hope this is a dumb question but I was thinking that if you could do this then you could grow more sweet potatoes in less space and that would let me grow more varieties of vegetables in my garden. What is your thought on this?


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 Post subject: Sweet Potatoes, cont.
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2003 12:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2003 12:44 am
Posts: 6
Location: East Point, Texas
Harry,

I listen to Howard Garrett off and on Sunday morning as I am doing the milking and this is what he says when somebody has a good idea that might work but he doesn't know the answer: "We will put you in charge of that research. Report back."

Having said that, I have no idea, but sweet potatoes do not grow up the stem like Irish potatoes and you don't hill them like Irish potatoes. But if you want to try it, go for it. It might be a great solution for people with small plots since sweet potatoes take up so much space.

Steve

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