A month ago I harvested my potato crop. It was quite disappointing. I was reassured by several gardeners who have more experience with spuds than I do that it was a bad year for potatoes, and that I shouldn't give up on trying them again next year.

I forgot I had one more "potato" plant to harvest: my sweet potato!


Like the potatoes I planted this in a large tub, not knowing exactly what to expect.

I may have waited too long to dig these up, as the vines are completely dead now. There's evidence of tubers, so should I start getting excited?

I learned from the potato experience that seeing a small tuber on the surface is not a guarantee of lots of activity below the soil, so time to dump this tub out and take a look:

Not bad! They're not going to win any awards, but I'm happy with them!

Here's the original tuber I planted:

Looks good on the top, but the back side is a little worrying:

Pill bugs! 

Have they caused any damage?

Yes they have.

There's one still in that hole! (I apologize for the dream-like images, but I didn't have the patience to wash my hands to change to the macro lens.)

It's probably not enough damage to make these inedible, but we'll see.

One thing I just recently learned is that sweet potatoes should be cured for a week or two in a warm, humid spot. This causes the starches to convert into sugars, putting the "sweet" in sweet potatoes. Without curing they'll probably be too starchy. 

I'd really love to plant sweet potatoes in the ground next year, but I know that at least one critter around here loves sweet potato leaves: woodchucks. I don't know about deer or rabbits, but maybe I'll plant a couple in the new bed as a test.

Now where am I going to find a spot that's humid and 80-90ºF (27-32ºC) at this time of year for curing?


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Teri  – (November 21, 2012 at 9:13 AM)  

Could you rig up something with an old fish tank to cure them?

Alan  – (November 21, 2012 at 12:01 PM)  

Teri: great idea! I actually have a tank in the basement... Hmmm.

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