It’s official – without a shred of doubt, I think we have truly stumbled upon the most incredible way to grow and harvest sweet potatoes ever!
And yes, it happens to work amazingly well for traditional potatoes too!
Sweet potatoes have become a mainstay for meals in our household. They are an incredibly healthy choice for the dinner table. Not only are they loaded with nutrients and vitamins, they are delicious.
Even better, they are extremely simple and easy to make! See : 3 Easy Ways To Cook A Sweet Potato
A Better Way To Plant, Grow And Harvest Sweet Potatoes
Unfortunately, as much as we love to eat them, we have always had a bit of trouble growing a successful crop.
That is until last year, when we decided to see if we could plant, grow and harvest sweet potatoes in wooden crates above ground – just like we do with our traditional potatoes.
The results were amazing last year, and even more stunning yesterday as we harvested this year’s crop. A crop that yielded about 50 pounds of sweet potatoes per crate!
And with that, I think we can say without a shred of doubt that it truly is the most simple way to grow and harvest sweet potatoes ever!
They are simple to plant. A breeze to maintain through the season. And when it comes to harvesting – it couldn’t be easier. Here is a look at how it all works.
How To Plant and Harvest Sweet Potatoes With Ease
Sweet potatoes are planted differently that traditional potatoes. With traditional potato varieties, you create “seed” by cutting a portion of a whole potato that contains an “eye” or a sprout. To plant, you place the cut potatoes into the earth and let them go.
Sweet potatoes on the other hand are planted as slips.
A slip is grown by placing a cut sweet potato in water. Sprouts then develop from the sweet potatoes eyes. When the sprouts get to be about 4 inches long, they can be cut and placed in water or potting soil to root.
A few weeks after cutting – the roots, or slips as they are called, are ready for transplant.
Growing In Crates
Our homemade potato crates are 36″ long x 24″wide x 18″ high with 2″ slats between the boards. We create them from pine boards for a few dollars a piece. They can be re-used for several seasons before needing to be replaced.
See : How To Build Your Own Homemade Potato Crates.
We sit our crates in the back edge of our garden, right on top of the soil.
To plant, we place a few inches of a light mix of soil in the bottom of the crate. We make the filer soil from equal parts straw, shredded leaves, compost and garden soil. We then place the slips into the soil, being sure the roots are buried down into the soil about an inch or so.
As the plants start to grow, soil mix is added so that only a few inches of the potato plants are above ground. We continue adding soil until we have reached the top of the crate. We usually add soil every week for the first 8 weeks of growth.
After that – it is time to sit back and wait for the easiest part – the harvest!
The Most Simple Harvest Method Ever!
Yesterday’s harvest took all of about 10 minutes! It consisted of Mary and I cutting off the sweet potato vines and then lifting off the crates.
All that we had to do after that was sift our hands through the light soil mix and pull out the incredible harvest of sweet potatoes! No heavy fork lift use. No stabbing potatoes accidentally and ruining them. Just a simple sift and harvest.
Yesterday, each crate yielded right around 50 pounds of sweet potatoes – which is simply amazing when you consider how little effort was needed.
It truly is the best way to plant, grow and harvest sweet potatoes ever!
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