Sweet Potatoes

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Sweet Potatoes

Post  Shep on Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:18 pm

When the first frost of the season threatens, it is the sweet potatoes that are most susceptible, and we must either protect or fork them out as a preventative measure. If a freeze catches you with sweet potatoes uncovered, the vine leaves will blacken, and shortly the bitter effect will go into the tubers. Sweet potatoes must be dug out within a few hours after a frost, if this happens.

The tubers should be cured for about 7-10 days after they are dug before they can be used. Sweet potatoes must be stored at room temperature in order to "keep" well through the winter months. After curing, lay the sweet potatoes in a low flat cardboard box with the top open and slide under your bed. It is not wise to stack them deeper than a single layer. Eat the smallest ones first. Alternately, you can wrap each potato in newspaper prior to the under-the-bed storage method.

For a fun project, pick a nice big tuber that will fit vertically inside the mouth of a half gallon glass canning jar. Poke three toothpicks or match sticks part way into the tuber horizontally to help suspend it inside the jar, so that about half to 2/3 of the tuber is down inside the container with the top (where the growing buds are) is sticking out. (Don't get it in there upside down!) Fill the container with water and maintain the water level about an inch from the top rim - stand back and watch it grow! I've set them up at the kitchen table and had the vines "frame" the window for a living green frame looking out on a snow-covered winter scene. The vines can grow to well over 10 ft. long. Next spring, after danger of frost, you can take the tuber with the vines still attached, and plant it in a fertile spot and and see how big it gets the second season. It can get as big as a man's leg in both length and girth!

Shep

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