Sweet Potato Number 1

Growing sweet potatoes is proving to be an interesting experience. I started two tubers off in water way back in February. They took an age to show any sign of life and, initially, just one seemed to be growing. Eventually, the second one started to show shoots. Then, a couple of weeks ago, the one which had appeared reluctant to start with rocketed away, sprouting a mass of roots and some lovely healthy shoots.

The odd thing is, the one which lead the growth seems to have stalled. It's grown a few leaves directly from the tuber, but no shoots as yet?!

This evening, I decided the time had come to be brave and to remove the first shoot to plant off in compost. I'd read that you have to twist the shoots off, but actually found that pinching off was a better technique, breaking the shoot off neatly at the base with relative ease.

As they love moisture, I've potted this off into a paper pot, which in turn sits in a recycled ready meal tray. This should allow me to ensure that the pot stays nice and wet all the time and doesn't dry out if I'm out at work on a hot day.

The only thing I need to work out now is how, where and when to plant out on the allotment. I've been trying to come up with a plan to create a boggy section on the plot for the sweet potatoes and also my celeriac. In an ideal world, I'd probably dig a couple of feet of soil out, add a pond liner, then backfill with earth. It's a bit of a large job to tackle though and one I'm a bit reluctant to do when the land's not mine, so I may have to save that plan until I've got some land of my own.

What I'm thinking instead is to dig a trench, line the base with newspaper and/or cardboard, then to backfill ready for planting. Hopefully that may form a bit of a hard pan to trap water and the paper or card will help hold more moisture?


April 30, 2010 В· admin В· No Comments
Tags:  В· Posted in: Vegetables

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