Vegetables and Fruit forum: Sweet Potato harvest

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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Sep 18, 2014 1:59 PM CST
I dug my sweet potatoes today. I got a quite a few. I wish I knew how to dig them and not break so many. Is there some special technique to do that? Some of them are as far as 18 inches away from the center of the plant. I just never know where to start digging. I should have enough anyway.

The whole batch
Thumb of 2014-09-18/tveguy3/2e2229

Just before digging
Thumb of 2014-09-18/tveguy3/14047a

One hill I dug yesterday.
Thumb of 2014-09-18/tveguy3/1f2e36

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Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Sep 18, 2014 3:09 PM CST
Nice sweet potatoes Tom. My family loves them baked with butter, cubed and roasted with olive oil and sea salt, and candied at Thanksgiving and Christmas. My body building Grandson eats them because they are so nutritious.
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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Sep 18, 2014 6:04 PM CST
I had a 2 lb one last night for dinner baked with butter. I'll have to try baking with olive oil and sea salt. There are some injured ones that I need to use right away. Maybe I'll give that a try tomorrow. Always have candied at the holiday! Of course Sweet potato pie is on the list of things I really like too. (There aren't many things that aren't on my list! Rolling on the floor laughing )
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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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pod
Sep 18, 2014 9:49 PM CST
Good looking harvest you had...
I'm not sure how you dig them but I use a potato fork. I am able to gently ease the tines into the soil and flex it to loosen the soil. Then you can sift through and pick out the sweet potatoes. An occasional one might get a tine poked into it but very few are broken.
Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
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farmerdill
Sep 19, 2014 5:47 AM CST
Concur: I grow them on lists which does tend to confine the roots. I usually use a standard pitch fork although I have used a potato hook on occasion. have to be more carefull with the potato hook. Nice lookling poatoes Tom, I have a couple of weeks to go before I start digging.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Sep 19, 2014 7:11 AM CST
Thanks, I used a comon four tonged garden spade. I try to loosen the soil around them far enough away to avoid them but some times I seem to break a few. I also noticed that some of them close to the top were chewed on, most likely by mice? The rabbits didn't seem to go near them.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Sep 19, 2014 9:27 AM CST
I use a heavier fork than the standard pitch-fork/hay-fork. It is just what I have and I bought it to move mulch from truck/trailer to garden wheelbarrow. All my sweet potatoes are growing in 4'x4' up to 6'x6' boxes that rest atop the soil in my raised garden. These boxes were made to keep my various varieties of garlic separated. When I dig up my sweet potatoes it will be time to plant my garlic.

All my sweet potato plants are still lush with leaves. Generally by mid to late October, after a light frost or two, the plants will yellow, indicating it is time to dig them up. I start by digging down with the fork at the perimeter of the box, carefully turning that soil over, collecting any potatoes, and then moving a foot or so towards the center of the boxed in area. I don't bruise or pierce many potatoes doing it this way.

Rabbits here love to munch on the sweet potato leaves but the greatest munchers are deer. I have to cover all my leaves with a heavy plastic mesh to keep those critters at bay.
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Name: tk
murchison texas (Zone 8a)

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texaskitty111
Sep 20, 2014 11:46 AM CST
I grow them in a feed bag folded down with dirt in it. Then, I just dump them out one by one as needed. They did very well that way. I think it protected them from most bugs too. Except one had an ant nest, so far.I didn't get any store size for baking, but they are very good. The stringy ones go to the chickens. NO DIGGING REQUIRED! Going to try it with all my potatoes next spring.
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Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Sep 21, 2014 9:30 AM CST
What a lovely harvest Tom. My Filipino friends (and me) also make chips out of them. Just cut them up to the size of French fries and dip a whole lot in self-raising flour with a beaten egg through. Then just fan them out in the bottom of a frying pan with about an half inch of oil. The idea is that they are not supposed to come out separate but in adhered groups. Delicious.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Sep 21, 2014 12:28 PM CST
Sounds good!
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Sep 22, 2014 9:55 PM CST
That does sound good! Does anyone eat the leaves/vines (which are also apparently edible) ??
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Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
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farmerdill
Sep 23, 2014 4:12 PM CST
Tom, you made me curious so I just had to dig a hill of Carolina Rubys to check thier progress. Looks like they are going to do ok. Note that the list does confine them so they pretty much come out in a tight bunch.


Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Sep 23, 2014 6:26 PM CST
They look nice, I haven't seen slips in that variety available. Now I'm going to sound stupid, but what is a list?
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Sep 23, 2014 6:58 PM CST
Farmerdill, those look beautiful! Every now and then we get some red sweet potatoes in the grocery store, but I can't remember what they call them... and yes, what is a "list," or was that a typo?
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Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
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farmerdill
Sep 24, 2014 6:25 AM CST
A list is a continuos hill. For sweet potatoes. about six inches high and 12- 13 inches widewith a trench between the lists. Today I use 36 inches between rows, but in my youth we used 42 inch spacing. When I was a kid we we ran them up with a two horse plow. When we got a tractor used a disk lister. To day I use a lister on the tiller, actually I use the Till-Row attachment.
Thumb of 2014-09-24/farmerdill/d45783

Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Sep 24, 2014 6:28 AM CST
Man, what a fine farm you have. It puts my handful of Vardaman sweet potato plants to shame. Crying

When will you harvest those sweet potatoes?
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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
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tveguy3
Sep 24, 2014 6:42 AM CST
Well, I guess that's what I do then, but I cover them with a plastic mulch. This was a picture taken in July. Some of the sweet potatoes produced roots outside of the list and they were the ones that I often stabbed with a fork. I have one of those V shapped hilling attachments for my tiller.
Thumb of 2014-09-24/tveguy3/1d33d1

I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
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drdawg
Sep 24, 2014 6:45 AM CST
Tom, what's a "list"?
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Sep 24, 2014 7:33 AM CST
Ken -- this is what Farmerdill posted: "A list is a continuous hill. For sweet potatoes. about six inches high and 12- 13 inches wide with a trench between the lists. Today I use 36 inches between rows, but in my youth we used 42 inch spacing. When I was a kid we ran them up with a two horse plow. When we got a tractor used a disk lister. To day I use a lister on the tiller, actually I use the Till-Row attachment."

Now I can get on with my day, I've learned something new! Smiling
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Sep 24, 2014 7:38 AM CST
Thanks, Sandy. One's never too old to learn a new term. Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

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