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Old 06-25-2012, 01:02 PM   #1
taffy341
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Question Sweet Potato Planting Organic Square Foot raised beds?

This is my first time to plant sweet potatoes. I just planted six sweet potato slips (Wilma's) eight (8) days ago.

** I read online (raised bed square foot gardening blog) that when the sweet potato leaves on the slip have the second and/or third set of leaves, cut the lower leaves off next to the stem & bury the stem (build a mound around the stem) up to the top leaves. The article said that the sweet potatoes will grow out from the stem where the leaves were cut-off. ** This was the only time that I saw these particular instructions for planting sweet potatoes.

This past weekend I cut-off the bottom leaves on the sweet potato's slip stems and buried the slip stems up to the the top leaves creating a beginning mound on each slip.

I have three (3) more different sweet potato slips being sent from Sandhill Preservation Center. (Orange Oak Leaf - vine, and two (2) bush types that I'm getting half-price to be picked by Sandhill)

QUESTIONS:

1 - Has anyone heard of these instructions?

2 - Does anyone use this method of planting sweet potato slips and do you have any further advice on this method? (like how many bottom leaves can I keep cutting/mound building and still harvest good sweet potatoes?)

3 - Has anyone planted these sweet potatoes: Wilma's and/or Orange Leaf. What advice can you give me on these vine type sweet potatoes?

4 - When my 'bush type' sweet potato slips arrive, what advice/information can you tell me?

5 - *** I was told that Sweet Potato Leaves were good to cook and tasted similar to spinach. Has anyone instructions & recipes on cooking Sweet Potato Leaves? Can Sweet Potato Leaves be frozen and/or dehydrated?

Thank you for any and all information.

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Old 07-02-2012, 11:41 AM   #2
taffy341
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Question Does anyone have advice for Sweet Potatoes??

Does anyone have advice for growing sweet potatoes????
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:33 PM   #3
Christy-SSE
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Hi taffy341 -
I talked to our Potato/Sweet Potato lab guy, and he gave me some information.

While he hasn't heard of the method you describe, it makes sense. Sweet potatoes are tubers, or storage roots. Since adventitious roots will grow from stems that are in contact with the soil, cutting off the leaves and burying the stems would increase the area over which roots are produced. Avoid cutting back leaves for too long because it is the energy produced in the leaves that will be stored. Every time a leaf is cut off, the plant must compensate by growing another leave AND the plants potential for photosynthesis is reduced for a short time.

The leaves, especially the young leaves, are edible.

Production can be improved by laying plastic over the ground around the plantings to warm the soil. Sweet potatoes are tropical and love hot weather.

I hope that helps - let me know if you have any other questions!
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:32 AM   #4
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Smile Thank you Christy

Christy, thank you for the information. It will help me.
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:35 AM   #5
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No problem!
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:21 PM   #6
angelinasingson
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Default Growing Sweet Potato and Eating "young" Sweet Potato Leaves

I was born in the Philippines, and yes, we cut the leaves then cover them to form a mound shape like a volcano. The volcano like mound has lots of sweet potato. We do this method because our grounds can be hardened by drought. Letting your sweet potato vines crawl and hope the roots can grow on these hard soil is asking for miracle. So the volcano look alike mound work, soft soil and lots of many sweet potatoes.

Here in Canada, I migrated here at a young age, and I tried that method (volcano like mound) on my raise bed and get good results. But is it necessary? If you have soft soil/well drained in that whole raise bed, let the whole vine crawl - everything that touch the ground develop roots, then these will become sweet potato tuber anyways. The more, the merrier, isn't it?
Does that make sense?

(ask me again to clarify - I am still trying to improve my English all these years. )


Another method I use was growing them in re-usable shopping bags. I bury at least 6 inches of the vine, leaving me like 3 leaves more on top. Guess what? Those 6 inches below the ground, produce lots of small sweet potatoes for me. But - they need right soil mix ( i experimented many kinds and some are hits, some are missed) Add 1/2 composted mushroom/1/2 loam soil produce abundance.

Eating leaves? Yes, I do at a regular basis. I have sweet potato in hanging pots especially for this purpose, so I can easily grab the last 3 or 4 leaves from the top. I never eat it raw, but I add it to chicken noddle soups, stir fry it for 2 minutes and add it to any summer salad.

Quick recipe: stove top method

1. use skillet, heat 1 tsp of olive oil at medium.
2. add your herbs here (lemon balm, young mint leaves, chives, minced garlic, thinly slice ginger, green onions, scapes, marigold flowers, lemon thyme, zucchine flowers, bittermelon young leaves, I add whatever is in my backyard) - cover for 1-2 minutes.
3. Then clean your 1 cup or two of sweet potato leaves, run cold water, rinse twice, make sure no bugs on the leaves
4. Add the sweet potato and cover for about 3 minutes. Mix it so the scent of your herbs flavor your sweet potato vine. Flavor with salt and pepper to taste.
Ideal side dish for lunch or dinner.

Wait, this morning that was my breakfast! Instead of taking out the mix herbs and sweet potato vine, I broke an egg,then cover again for 2 minutes maybe. Once the egg was cook, a delicious breakfast on top of brown toast. I use sea salt.



Note: the pot which I harvested for eating leaves - does not really produce good harvest. So, I use it as ornamental edible. The other pot for harvesting tubers in fall is left alone and let it do its work.

Hope that helps.

Angelina
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Old 07-18-2012, 12:03 PM   #7
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hello, i eat sweet potato leaves...the young ones.
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:18 PM   #8
taffy341
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Smile angelinasingson THANK YOU wonderful information

angelinasingson I'm still reading your very informative reply. However, I had to stop and send you a thank you for taking your time to give me wonderful lessons on growing Sweet Potatoes. I am sure that there are many other gardeners on this forum that will also benefit from your information and experience with growing Sweet Potatoes. Thank you
Thank you for the great recipes and the idea of hanging pots for the leaves. I'm wondering if my Red Malabar (Ceylon Spinach?) vines might also work with hanging pots.


Last edited by taffy341; 07-25-2012 at 11:44 PM. Reason: Forgot to thank you for Sweet Potato Leaves recipes
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:30 PM   #9
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Hello taffy341: Glad to help out, I know that sweet potato is mostly ornamental here too in North America.

I have Basella rubra (red malabar spinach). I tried them in pots too. It seems that their habit is like pole beans, so I do put them in the ground with some stakes, and branches I gathered from nearby forest.

They best grow with trellis or a teepee style support.

Good Luck.
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