Some gardeners claim a nip of frost sweetens the roots as it converts starch to sugar. After the curing process is done, then you store your sweet potatoes in an area that is kept around 55-60°F for about 6-8 more weeks. Place the jar in a warm, sunny location. To make sure, place a towel over them to protect them additionally. Don't wash the potatoes after the harvest, either. It is however, of paramount importance that sweet potatoes are not exposed to the direct sun, rainy and Your email address will not be published. Developed from a mutation of Beauregard, it bears the same benefits of heavy yields within short seasons. I don’t have that! While “Irish” potatoes and true yams can be toxic, all parts of the sweet potato are edible. Sweet potatoes are only distantly related to commonplace starchy russets or Yukon golds, also known as “Irish” or “English” potatoes. Brunch Pro Theme by Shay Bocks. Let the potatoes dry on the ground for a couple of hours. A coffee filter works well because it doesn’t disintegrate with moisture and can easily be cut away from the vine. It’s most commonly eaten as French fries, in sweet potato pie, and candied for Thanksgiving dinners. It is believed Polynesians sailed to Peru or Ecuador and brought the plant back, a theory supported by linguistics. Because sweet potatoes simply cannot withstand frost, northern gardeners must be vigilant of the weather. After the Great Depression, per-capita consumption fell from 29 pounds per year down to 3-4 pounds. Expect small yields of large, sweet, dry tubers. The important thing is that the sweet potatoes get enough warmth because this is essential for the curing process. Required fields are marked *. To cure sweet potatoes, store them for about a week under warm, moist conditions. Not the best choice for growing sweet potatoes in containers, Okinawan has long roots that intertwine and bind up. Precooling is then done in the port and the cold chain is introduced to reduce quality loss. Smaller containers result in small, cramped roots. How to Cure Sweet Potatoes. The foliage contains more vitamin C and folate than the roots. Transplant as necessary because the roots grow fast. Okinawan: Tubers can be found in Asian markets, but it’s debatable whether those are organic. Keep plants in a greenhouse through the entire growing season. Beauregard: A heavy yielder in a short time, this popular orange variety has short vines and tubers that grow close to the stem, making them a good choice for growing sweet potatoes in colder climates and containers. You can use cold frames, plastic bags in a warm window, or just a small heater, a water pan, and a tarp to get the right conditions. Most sweet potato slips and plants may not be shipped until April to avoid cold damage. Slips are available through many online seed suppliers. The entire tuber may also be planted, but this usually results in growth of the original root and not as many new tubers as if you plant each separate slip. Do not immediately plant them outside, even if you live in zone 9, because they were probably raised in a greenhouse and need to be hardened off. If the plant makes it safely back to your home state, you could unleash parasites into your local soil. Maintain an ambient temperature above 60 degrees for the foliage and between 70 and 80 degrees for the roots. Though they tolerate most soils, they prefer acidity between 4.5 and 7.0. Option #3: Purchase from a seed company. The efforts have been well received by locals and doctors, since growing a more colorful crop is easier than trekking to remote villages to distribute vitamin A capsules. If you dig late in the day, don't leave the roots out overnight; you risk damage from cold weather and moisture. Within a few weeks root buds will form under the water and slips will sprout on top. Ignore advice about leaves dying back, because these are not “Irish” potatoes. Let Them Cure. Toka Toka Gold: Also known as Golden Kumara, this New Zealand variety has yellow skin and yellow flesh streaked with orange. Introduce plants gradually to the outside to harden them off. Black plastic draws sunlight toward the soil. Cold and erratic climates may require that you use containers for growing sweet potatoes and save the ground space for growing beets. Reputable companies obtain plants from tissue cultures to avoid parasites and diseases, selling a clean specimen to customers. Once the vines are well rooted, plant in loose, moist soil. Select organic tubers, since conventionally grown stock is sprayed with chemicals to prevent sprouting. I found this out early in my farming days when I planted a crop in summer in a subtropical climate. Sweet potatoes should be … A growing season shorter than 120 days is simply not long enough for any variety. Whether harvesting before frost or after, pull back plastic and gently loosen the soil with a spading fork or a shovel, digging at least eighteen inches away from the plant to avoid cutting the tubers. Orange varieties are high in beta carotene and vitamin A while purple tubers contain large amounts of cancer-fighting anthocyanins. Propagating from stem or root cuttings, or from slips (leaves sprouting from the tuber), sweet potatoes can be a continuous crop in tropical areas. Use strong ultraviolet lights if necessary. Install a greenhouse thermometer to keep the ambient temperature at 60-70, which your tomatoes will love, but use additional heating methods for small cups of soil. Sift through the soil and remove both large and small sweet potatoes, as both sizes cook up well. Greetings, I just harvested my first (ever) crop of sweet potatoes. It was because they were not cured before sale. Ideally, … But growing sweet potatoes can be done even up in Alaska. To maintain the required high humidity (85-90 percent relative humidity), stack storage crates or boxes and cover them with paper or heavy cloth. What? If you’re lucky, the nice lady at the agricultural inspection station will simply chastise you while confiscating your sweet potatoes. Suspend in a mason … Keep soil moist but not wet. Locating slips may be difficult. Avoid cold rooms because sweet potatoes cannot be cured in cold temperatures. Be ready when the package arrives. Add a bucket full of water (to increase humidity) and a space heater set to 85 °F (29 °C). Sweet potatoes need to cure if you want the best sweet, rich, sweet-potato taste. To cure sweet potatoes you will store them in a temperature of 80-85 degrees F with a humidity of 80-90% for a period of 5-10 days. Whether in the ground or in containers, a stainless steel meat thermometer can gauge soil temperature. In zones 5 to 8, cover soil with clear or black plastic a few weeks before planting outside. Your email address will not be published. Pull the plant straight up. Option #2: Obtain vine cuttings from another local gardener. © 2020, Countryside - All Rights Reserved, Extract Natural Dye for Wool from Goldenrod Plants, Why Teach Classes on How to Knit, Spin, Weave or Felt, Countryside Machinery on the Homestead e-edition Flip Book. Lay roots on the ground for a few hours to dry then cure them in a warm location for up to two weeks. A low-glycemic food, they are usually a good choice for diabetics who crave a little sweetness. Search for specialty companies online. Captain James Cook found a variety in Polynesia and brought samples back to London; researchers have since dated the genetic makeup to about 1,000 A.D. If you heat your greenhouse, give sweet potatoes the coziest spot. Place your sweet potatoes in a small room with a space heater for an out-of-the-way option. Plant in full sun. They look great, but I have a problem: it's already mighty cold in Minnesota, and we keep the house around 63-66 degrees. Sweet potatoes vs. potatoes. In the absence of better facilities, they can be cured between 65-75°F for 2-3 weeks. If you move them outside during the day, carry them back in during cold nights. This is so the curing process can finish. Tie the bags closed and put them in your sunniest, warmest …

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