Panning for gold – sweet potatoes

I love growing sweet potatoes. Tell me I “don’t get out enough” if you please, but it’s a bit like panning for gold once you get in amongst the sweet potato bed. It’s only when you start digging that you find out if there is anything worth eating growing beneath the greenery

Sweet potato bed

my sweet potato bed, lots of green tops

I fancied sweet potato for dinner yesterday so had a little dig around. And this was the pathetic result. Mmm, not ready yet thought I.

a little toddler

a little tiddler of a sweet potato

Not ready to give up easily  (I planted the original tubers last October and I’d dug up a few decent sized tubers in April so there must be something there) I tried the other side of the bed and hit the mother lode. I found two tubers this size, but I have already roasted the other one!  It was delicious, and there’s plenty left.

Sweet potato - that's more like it

Sweet potato – that’s more like it

So now I’m really puzzled. When is the right time to harvest your sweet potatoes?

While I was pondering this important question Liz, the community garden co-ordinator, arrived at the farm  and told me that you know they are ready when the green tops die down. So there you have it.

My green tops are alive and well so I’ll leave them another month or two and then I reckon I’ll have buckets full.

Happy gardening.

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maria
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 14:35:55

    Jean your sweet potato looks wonderful. I am so childlike regarding my sweet potato patch…I find it so exciting digging them up! Lol like you, I’m leaving mine for a while as most of them are too small

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Jun 23, 2013 @ 14:45:27

      Dear Maria. I got so excited yesterday morning burrowing away like a bandicoot in the sweet potato bed and coming away with enough sweet potato for the week. I know they are in the shops, but it’s not the same as growing your own.
      As you said yourself, I’ll be leaving the plot for a while as it’s obvious most of them are too small.

      Reply

  2. narf77
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 19:29:48

    The tops of my sweet potato didn’t have time to die off they were eaten before they grew any size at all :(. I am going to have to plant some in my new fully enclosed garden now just to spite the possums (and the duck 😉 )

    Reply

  3. Live and Learn-Toss and Turn
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 20:52:50

    I don’t really know when is the right time to harvest sweet potatoes, but I watched my father harvest them when the weather got too cold to do much gardening, i.e. when the snow started to fall. There that isnt’ helpful, is it?

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Jun 24, 2013 @ 07:14:40

      Thank you for the hint.
      However, I think you have guessed, if I wait for the snow fall in Brisbane those tubers will be in the ground for a mighty long time. My own guess is that these sweet potatoes grow at a different rate as they slowly spread across the ground. I reckon if I try again in a month, near to where I planted the original tuber, I’ll hit gold again.

      Reply

  4. lthoraldson
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 02:17:20

    Thanks for the tip. I love sweet potatoes and you have inspired me to try. It must be like you are digging for treasures!

    Reply

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