Why I Grow Sweet Potatoes And I Advise You. Cultivation And Care, Harvesting, Varieties, Photos

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Why I Grow Sweet Potatoes And I Advise You. Cultivation And Care, Harvesting, Varieties, Photos
Why I Grow Sweet Potatoes And I Advise You. Cultivation And Care, Harvesting, Varieties, Photos

Video: Why I Grow Sweet Potatoes And I Advise You. Cultivation And Care, Harvesting, Varieties, Photos

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Video: Dos and Don’ts of Growing Sweet Potatoes + Harvest 2023, February
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For the first time I tried sweet potatoes in China, on the way to the beach they sell a lot of exotic things. The sweet potato was baked, without any additives, in a peel. A Chinese saleswoman explained on her fingers that you need to eat right like that, with the peel. Well, it must, it must be so. I've heard that sweet potatoes are called sweet potatoes. But no - it wasn't potatoes at all! Taste, color, smell, texture - everything is different. Orange is like a mango, the texture is mashed potatoes, the taste is sweet-starchy with fruity notes, the smell cannot be compared with anything. I really liked it. And, naturally, I wanted to grow sweet potatoes myself.

Why do I grow sweet potatoes and I advise you
Why do I grow sweet potatoes and I advise you

Content:

  • Where to get sweet potato planting material?
  • Preparing the beds and sweet potatoes for planting
  • Planting and leaving
  • Harvesting
  • Taste qualities of different varieties of sweet potatoes
  • Why do I advise everyone to grow sweet potatoes

Where to get sweet potato planting material?

But in order to grow sweet potatoes, you must first find planting material, and it turned out to be not so easy. At that time, there were no varieties I needed in "Batatovy Kushcha", and besides them there was only one farm in the Tuapse region - Vitaly Lutsan, where there was a good choice.

Surprisingly, it seemed to me that such a wonderful root crop in the Kuban should be grown by everyone, but it turns out that conservatism is deeply rooted in the minds of most gardeners.

Vitaly Lutsan confirmed my guesses when I came to him for planting material. The promotion of new food plants, which he is fond of, goes with a creak - few experimenters.

Natalya (Vitaly's wife) treated me to different varieties of baked sweet potatoes. I watched him grow - both tops and roots, since it was October, the digging season. The tops are violently braiding and covering everything around within a radius of 1-1.5 meters, and the roots still need to be looked for, they do not sit still (however, this depends on the variety).

For starters, I bought four varieties of sweet potato tubers: "Victory 100", "Vinnytsia pink", "Manchurian" and "Garnet".

Natalia and Vitaly instructed me about storage and germination, together we carefully wrapped each tuber in a newspaper - sweet potatoes are sensitive to damage and can be poorly stored after that.

While I was driving home in an embrace with a purchased sweet potato, I thought with horror that, having planted the sweet potato in heavy and dense clay, which is the basis of our new site, I won't get it from there later! Its tubers are huge and fragile. The tendency to creep away from the stem will not let you determine at least approximately where they are. A standard fenced garden bed is unlikely to help - the tubers will pass under the fence and then catch them around the site!

Here the idea of ​​a bed-trap was born - fenced, high, with a relatively closed base.

Very young sprouts of sweet potato, but they take root and grow like large
Very young sprouts of sweet potato, but they take root and grow like large

Preparing the beds and sweet potatoes for planting

In the fall, they began to prepare a conceived structure: my husband made a high (40 cm) bed-box. We put it on a flat, uneven piece of land. The whole bottom with a curl on the sides was covered with thick cardboard furniture. The bottom was covered with small chips, bark, twigs.

The next layer was dry foliage to the very top. The rains flattened it to ¼ of the initial trampled volume, and the next layer was kitchen waste, ash, tops from garden plants that had completed their growing season (chopped smaller). And by the spring it was all again covered with rotted foliage with shells and earth from under the hazel trees.

With the beginning of mowing the grass (in our country - April), the made bed was filled up with mown grass and the very top was covered with a thin layer of earth from molehills (our mole is a hard worker, and the territory is large).

The sweet potato planting material, as it was wrapped in newspapers, went to storage in a kitchen cabinet and overwintered safely there. Back in mid-March, I neatly unpacked the planting sweet potato, it had thin and pale sprouts. Tore it off. It's a pity to throw it away - I put it in cups.

She put the sweet potato tubers in a bowl with wet sand, as was taught, put them in a warm place with medium light. The sprouts burst as if they had no other chance! Tufts from each eye, plump and fragile.

They grow quickly, therefore, by the end of April, the most nimble ones stretched out 25-30 cm. The garden bed was not designed for such an amount of planting material, so I planted only 10-centimeter ones, 3 of each variety. We fried and ate the sweet potato tubers after breaking off the sprouts - very tasty!

Sweet potato garden in July
Sweet potato garden in July

Planting and leaving

You can plant sweet potatoes only in warm ground and with a guarantee that there will be no frost. Therefore, from the middle of April, they put arcs and covered the bed with a film. At the end of April, the seedlings were planted. The sprouts from the tuber were simply broken off, planted according to the 40x40 scheme and watered with water. I gave those that were in the glasses to my friends.

The temperature drops here are large, during the day +25 ° C, at night about 0 ° C (foothills!), So until mid-May, daily activities are “open-close”. But all the sweet potato sprouts took root and started to grow vigorously. As long as the space between the bushes was visible, it was all covered with mown grass. In June, the bed was "braided" with shoots over the entire surface.

Since I did not remove the arches, I threw long lashes on them so that they would not interfere with mowing around the garden. It turned out such a tall green "shock". In August, the shoots also closed the space around the garden bed with a dense carpet, not letting the grass through.

In such a cheerful form, the bed stood until October.

The care that the sweet potato received: in addition to laying the interbatata space with grass, while it was possible, 2 more waterings, since in 3 months (July, August, September) only 4 rains occurred. And that's it!

The foliage is lush green, there were leaves, slightly chewed by someone, but this is a drop in the sea. The potatoes growing nearby were devoured by beetles to complete insanity back in August. Because of the bees, they didn't spray it with anything, and I was late with collecting the beetles by hand.

Sweet potato "Garnet" during flowering
Sweet potato "Garnet" during flowering

Harvesting

By the end of the first ten days of October, night temperatures near zero resulted in some of the leaves turning yellow, and we decided to dig out the sweet potato. We prepared buckets, a shovel, a pitchfork. None of this list was needed! I cut off the tops with a pruning shears, leaving the hemp so that I know where to start looking for tubers. I tried to rake off the ground a little from the stem (well, not so that the ground, but, say, the substrate), it is easily raked off, but the tubers are not visible in the visible space.

It was said correctly about the digging of sweet potatoes - it looks like an archaeological excavation. Carefully, moving the substrate from place to place with my hands, under the snide remarks of my husband I dug to the first tuber - almost near the side of the garden. The tuber was 8 cm in diameter, about 30 cm in total length and bent, since he had nowhere to grow there, he rested against the side. He did not fit into the bucket because of its clumsy.

Further extraction of sweet potato tubers was done by hand. The tubers, apparently, tried to crawl as far away from the stem as possible, but they were limited on one side by the side of the garden bed, and on the other - by counter tubers (I planted 2 rows). In the center of the bed there was a real crowd of tubers of different colors, shapes and sizes.

The sweet potato yield did not just suit us, but delighted us. Here are just "Manchzhursky" disappoint. However, when I cut off the tops, I counted only 10 bushes, and 2 probably died somehow in the process, but it was impossible to see anything in this green heap.

Batat "Victory-100"
Batat "Victory-100"
Batat "Manchurian" (light on the edge)
Batat "Manchurian" (light on the edge)

Taste qualities of different varieties of sweet potatoes

Another confirmation of the fact that sweet potatoes are very different from potatoes: immediately after digging, they do not have a special taste, they come in a lying place. By December, the taste is fully revealed. But we started eating all kinds back in October.

Sweet potato Pobeda-100 is juicy, with a beige-pinkish peel, creamy pulp, sweeter than potatoes and so starchy that when slicing, both the knife and the board are all white (from starch). It is very good baked, fried, soups, stews. When boiled, it boils faster than potatoes (not counting "Adretta", of course, that - immediately into porridge), enriches the taste of any dish.

Sweet potato "Vinnytsia pink" - pink-violet peel, bright white pulp, even tastier than "Victory". You can also eat it raw, cut or grate it into salads.

Sweet potato "Garnet" - dark pink peel, orange pulp, darker than carrots. It is generally best eaten raw. Our dog even gnawed slices with pleasure. But you can also cook - bake, fry, boil. It looks like a carrot in dishes, but the taste is completely different.

Sweet potato "Manchurian" - light peel, cream flesh. Similar to Pobeda, but with a nutty flavor and slightly less starchy. Good in all forms, that's just not enough of him ugly.

All this harvest was stored all winter in the kitchen, in the drawers of the kitchen corner and kitchen cabinets. It began to germinate in February, and the taste only improved. At the end of April, the last tubers were finished after planting the sprouts.

Why do I advise everyone to grow sweet potatoes

General conclusion: sweet potato is a wonderful plant! Decorative foliage, and "Garnet" also has carved leaves, long, up to 1.5 m long, and sometimes it blooms.

The early varieties are suitable for growing in regions more northerly than Kuban (Manchzhurskiy, Pobeda-100). And in greenhouses, sweet potatoes can be grown everywhere.

For reproduction, seedlings are often bought, but this is irrational, it is better to buy sweet potato tubers in the fall and in the spring you can sell the seedlings yourself, there will be so much of it.

It is stored like a pumpkin, in a dry and warm place without problems, I have not seen pests, does not require much care, the yield is phenomenal, the taste is excellent - I wonder why it does not grow in every area?

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