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Gary350
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BIG Sweet Potato Harvest.

I decided to dig up a few sweet potatoes before the sun went down. They are easy to find any place the soil is all humped up like a small volcano it is full of potatoes. The largest potato is 8 lbs. I dug these up in about 10 minutes and there are more to dig. So far I have dug up enough potatoes to fill a bushel basket. I hauled them from the garden to the house in 5 gallon buckets and they were very heavy.

[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h292/mikeweaver/potato1.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h292/mikeweaver/potato2.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h292/mikeweaver/potato3.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h292/mikeweaver/potato4.jpg[/img]

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Tilde
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Awesome.
USDA Zone 10, Sunset Zone 25, 16 feet above sea level, surrounded by chem-turfers.

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Richard L.
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You did good, maybe next season I'll plant some..

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soil
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lol that third pic is funny.

huge monster sweet potatoes though, cant wait to dedicate a big patch to them next year.
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DeborahL
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Are they still good to eat at such a size?
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gixxerific
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Awsome I love Sweet Potatoes. I always get the one or two monster ones as well. But I think that one is a winner there.

I harvested about three 7 gallon pots fulls, one was full of runts that I gave to my nieghbor who made them into baby food for her baby. She gets all my uneeded stuff for her family of 8. :o :shock:

And for those of you wanting to plant next year. They are so easy but they do take up some room. Don't forget to save some for slips the following year. All my plants were from last years spuds. So eventually it's "free" and "easy". 8)

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gixxerific
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DeborahL wrote:Are they still good to eat at such a size?
I usually compost the big ones, and yes you guessed it all of the sudden I have Sweet potatoes growing in the compost. But those would be better made into chips or fries. Something that big would take 3 - 4 hours to bake. :shock:

Bobberman
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won't the big ones be good for Sweet potato pie?
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

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gixxerific
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Bobberman wrote:won't the big ones be good for Sweet potato pie?
Oops forgot about that.

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Francis Barnswallow
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Good Lord!! :shock:

DeborahL
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You're in for alot of fries and pies !
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Gary350
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I hand dig a 6'x6' spot and got another 5 gallon bucket of smaller size potatoes more like grocery store size potatoes in about 45 minutes work. These are potatoes that grew from the vines that sprouted roots. The 6 mother plants produced all those potatoes in the above picture. I kept the sweet potatoes vines under control with the lawn mower this summer in an 18' x 25' spot. Judging by what I just dug up in this 6' spot there is probably another 7 buckets of sweet potatoes to dig up. I wish I had a tractor with a plow. I have more potatoes than I can eat now so I QUIT. If I could find someone to dig up the rest of these potatoes I would let them keep what they dig.

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soil
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around here there would be someone digging those unwanted sweet potatoes in 30 minutes or less lol.
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jal_ut
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Woo Hoo! Nice harvest.
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Gary350
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I tilled about 1/3 of my garden today. First time over the potato patch the tiller pulled up several large potatoes. Second time over a little slower the tiller pulled up a lot of 1/2 size potatoes. Third time over very slow and tilling deep the tiller turned up a bucket full of slides and diced potato pieces. Now I am wondering what to do with all these pieces. I have enough potato pieces to make about 10 sweet potato pies.

mhannum
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Wow, that is quite a harvest! Nice!

DeborahL
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Are cut pieces what you'll plant in spring, or do only whole ones get planted? (I really don't know !)
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Tilde
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Gary350 wrote:I hand dig a 6'x6' spot and got another 5 gallon bucket of smaller size potatoes more like grocery store size potatoes in about 45 minutes work. These are potatoes that grew from the vines that sprouted roots. The 6 mother plants produced all those potatoes in the above picture. I kept the sweet potatoes vines under control with the lawn mower this summer in an 18' x 25' spot. Judging by what I just dug up in this 6' spot there is probably another 7 buckets of sweet potatoes to dig up. I wish I had a tractor with a plow. I have more potatoes than I can eat now so I QUIT. If I could find someone to dig up the rest of these potatoes I would let them keep what they dig.
Put the word out to local schools - get together a volunteer group to earn volunteer hours to dig them up for a food bank
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Gary350
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DeborahL wrote:Are cut pieces what you'll plant in spring, or do only whole ones get planted? (I really don't know !)
All those pieces the tiller cut up will probably rot and go to the compost unless I cook them today.

Sweet potatoes are like other type potatoes about late February or early March potatoes in the pantry will have sprouts. Sweet potatoes always have sprouts only on one end of the potato. I cut the end off with the sprouts and plant the end in the soil. You can get a head start by planting the ends in a pot of soil in the house other wise just plant the ends in the garden after frost has past.

Our last frost is usually about April 20 but some years we have no frost at all in April and some years we get late frost the first week of May. We get lots of rain in the spring it is sometimes hard to till and get the garden ready to plant but potatoes can be planted with no tilling. I like to plant potatoes about the April 1st. I push some soil to the side then drop in the potato piece with the sprouts then cover it up. If the weather man says we are going to get frost on a certain night then I cover the plants in the even then uncover then in the morning. Sometimes I only have to cover the plants 5 or 6 times during the whole month. This gives the plants about a 1 month head start.

Our weather here is weird and different from one year to the next. It rains just about every day from March to June and when the rain stops the temperature shoots up to the 90s the first or second week of June and then its in the 100s by late June all summer until late August. Most potatoes like cool weather but not sweet potatoes they like it HOT and if it does not rain all summer the sweet potatoes don't care.

I have been planting only 6 plants and thats probably too many but better safe than sorry. You need a designated area for the plant like a spot 12'x12' or 20'x20' or 20'x25' or what every works for your garden space. A small spot like 12'x12' only needs 2 or 3 plants. A larger space like 20'x20' about 5 plants. 25'x25' about 6 or 7 plants. A small spot like 12'12' I usually rake the vines clock wise in a circle to keep the vines in that small area. A larger spot is too much work to rake the vines so I mow around them with the lawn mower and cut off all the vines that try to grow outside the area I want them to stay in. The vines will grow 30 to 40 ft long in all directions like the spokes of a wheel so plant all your plants 3 ft apart in the center of your 25'x25' spot. You can also plant the plants in a row 3 ft apart then try to keep them all in a spot about 18'x25'.

Nice thing about sweet potatoes is, you don't have to do anything they take care of themself. The vines will growd out all grass and weeds you never have to hoe or till. Every time you mow your yard mow around the sweet potatoes too. When frost kills the vines dig up the potatoes. The potatoes will show you where they are its like a RED FLAG the soil will be all pushed up like a little volcano. The mother plants will make the most and largest potatoes and the vines will sprout roots and make smaller satelite potatoes. Sometimes there is only 1 satelite potato, sometimes 3 or 4, sometimes 6 or 7.

The hardest part of this is digging them up. If you have plenty of compost material in the soil just pull the vines and it pulls the potatoes right out of the soil.

I like to plant sweet potatoes because they are so easy to grow. They grow themself. I don't like baked sweet potatoes but I like sweet potato pie, sweet potato casserole, and I like to make sweet potato french fries.

Next year I am going to plant corn, okra, peppers, tomatoes in a 30 x 40 spot. I am going to plant the sweet potatoes in the middle of that spot and let the vines take over the whole area for ground cover. The vines should crowd out all the grass and weeds and I should not have to hoe or till the garden all summer. This will be my first time to try this so I hope it works.

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Gary350
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I took 90 lbs of sweet potatoes to the homeless shelter today. They were greatful for the donation and only a few weeks away from Thanksgiving.

They gave me a paper for an IRS federal tax deduction. Wow I didn't know I was going to get a tax deduction. Now I need to check sweet potato prices at the grocery store to see how much my Tax deduction will be.

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soil
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Next year I am going to plant corn, okra, peppers, tomatoes in a 30 x 40 spot. I am going to plant the sweet potatoes in the middle of that spot and let the vines take over the whole area for ground cover. The vines should crowd out all the grass and weeds and I should not have to hoe or till the garden all summer. This will be my first time to try this so I hope it works.
i like the idea, you should start a thread on it come spring.
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RyNJ
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¡¡¡¡HOLY CRAP!!!!



That's absolutely awesome. I need to try those out.

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Tilde
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Gary350 wrote:I took 90 lbs of sweet potatoes to the homeless shelter today. They were greatful for the donation and only a few weeks away from Thanksgiving.
Thank you. When I was looking for something earlier thus month, I came across a group of suburban farmers out of atl who did community gardening & everyone did a couple extra rows to send to local food pantries.
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soil
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around here they will turn away fresh food, only to accept canned food and other preservative and nasty filled things. sad. really sad.
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GardenRN
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Wow! Those are some monsters! Congrats on the good harvest! :clap:
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DeborahL
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Thanks for explaining, Gary. Great info too !
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Tate
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Maybe I am planting mine too compact because I have grown them 2 years in a row with poor results. Next year, I think I will try fewer plants. Thanks for the tips.

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