[Twilight Zone theme] We must be on the same wave length, gixxerific. I went out just before dark to check on *my* sweet potatoes too. I realized that there are at least 6 plants that had been in the ground for 120+ days... which should be sufficient.
First of all, I had a heck of a time trying to find the actual plants. The vines have grown ALL OVER and have set down roots WHEREVER they could.
(Here's a photo from 9/16 -- 2+ weeks ago)
As I pushed the potato leaves aside, mosquitoes hiding in the leaves came at me and started biting me in the face, arms, neck...
I finally located one plant
and dug up one potato that just filled my hand, but the 2nd one I found (from the same plant) was a giant -- kind of round and about the size of a softball:
(We ate it for dinner, not waiting to "cure" -- it was yummy but not as sweet as it could've been -- but DD10 loved it.
). I want to give my kids the chance to dig around so I left rest of that plant alone and tried to locate the other plants, but scrabbling around in about 6 different locations produced nothing.
Mostly, I kept finding rooted vines, not the original slip/plant. There are supposed to be another 4~6 plants in that raised bed. I think tomorrow's project is going to be to try to locate all the mother plants and stick bamboo markers next to them all.
I'm planning to "dry" them in the garage (we don't keep our cars in the garage and anything volatile -- paint, lawn mower, oil, gas, etc. are out in the shed) on my firepit grills -- I don't trust the squirrels not
to find them out in the open.
I'm digging them all if frost kills the tops of the leaves, but, for my area, frost is not on the forecast for the next week. As I understand it, the danger is to the potatoes close to the surface, so I'm going to start looking for all the surface potatoes as of tomorrow. Also, I've been covering the main sw. potato bed with spun bonded floating covers when overnight lows have been in the low 40's.
Good luck with yours!