you say potato: growing sweet and white

WHATEVER POTATO YOU SAY, SWEET OR WHITE, and however you pronounce it, the important thing is this: Are you making plans to grow these two cooperative, prolific crops in your home garden this year? The process begins now with starting or ordering slips (for sweet potatoes) and ordering seed potatoes (for white ones). My instructions for raising and storing a year of white potatoes, and a year of sweets.

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February 28, 2011

comments

  1. says

    Potatoes! I wrote a post on my blog, http://www.behindthefence.net, just this morning, detailing my excitement at the prospect of planting some. You mentioned sweet and white, but what about red? A most favorite Southern dish is new red potatoes and green beans… coupled with fried chicken, but we can skip that part.

  2. ann says

    You gotta be kiddin. Three months until any outdoor planting here. My sweet basil is poking up and will be ready for use now or planting out when this snow leaves .

  3. says

    I plan to try growing sweet potatoes in potato grow bags this year. I haven’t grown sweet potatoes before. In a previous lifetime, I wrote an article on growing and storing sweet potatoes, based on an interview with a local yokel, but can I find that article now? Of course not. Thank goodness for the Internet!

  4. says

    Ann — not kidding, but I’ll be jealous of you this summer when the outdoor thermometer is stuck at 100 degrees for a week and my good, rich soil turns to hard pan. It might be a little too early to plant potatoes, as the weather here can be fickle — but I’ll keep a pile of mulch handy, in case they need tucking in.

  5. says

    I tried potatoes last year in buckets and they were so easy, that this year I plan on doing some in a new raised bed and also to build out a special ‘potato bench’ I am calling it. I have not yet tried sweet potatoes, but they are on the list for this summer’s crops.

  6. says

    Like Abby, I am going to try growing potatoes in grow bags. I am not ready to commit to growing them in my raised beds, where I am already juggling nightshades.
    I just can’t decide white or sweet. But if I find a sweet white (a Japanese variety I discovered at the farmers’ market last fall), then that will win!

  7. Lisa says

    Margaret, saw you on Martha Stewarts show today!! Was great!! I so wish I could figure a way to earn a living and stay at home!! Your property is beautiful and I enjoyed your first book so much, can’t wait to get your current one. I’m sure it will be an absolute wonderful read. We must have the sibling to your cat. Ours in named boots he is very large, and we love him to death. He too just showed up, as did the other two we have. Thank you for your blog, books and all you share.

    • says

      Welcome, Lisa; thanks for all the positive words! Tell that Boots of yours that he indeed has a twin up here in Nowheresville (who is currently asleep, but will be up soon again howling for food). See you soon. Let me know how you like the book.

  8. says

    Woohoo! Our snow has melted here in Maryland and our lawn has turned wheat yellow to olive green overnight. The garden is muddy, but I can’t stop looking at it and checking for asparagus tips. I am admiring your raised beds. Potatoes are fun and never let you down.

  9. Camille says

    I am planning on growing fingerlings and heirloom sweet potatoes this year. I read the comment from Val….. I don’t know if you have already heard of, Sand Hill Preservation Center. But they have a excellent variety of heirloom sweet potatoes (also seeds and poultry). I noticed they have a variety of different colors… so maybe they have what you are looking for. I am not affiliated with them, just figured I should pass on a good resource! :)

    I have been reading this blog since you started. And I am planning on getting your new book. I just recently started listening to your podcasts. And I just wanted to say thanks! I am currently doing my annual spring cleaning. And the podcasts makes it much more enjoyable!

  10. Lisa says

    Camille, I’m sort of new to this blogging thing, computers etc. all kind of puts me in a fog. Anyway, been gardening forever, I would be interested in finding out how to contact Sand Hill is there a catalog, web page if you wouldn’t mind sharing.
    Margaret I just love this blog and all the info you share, which I’m sure I haven’t even accessed fully yet. Hate to admit I have to ask so many questions of my children to be successful with this thing (computer). Thanks so much

    • says

      No worry, Lisa — great that you are digging in. It will get easier. This is the link to Sand Hill Preservation. (Click the green words.) You may also want to browse my whole Resources page, which is this link.

      If you are interested in a particular topic, like tomatoes or shade gardening, look for that in the alphabetical list called BROWSE TOPICS at the far left of every page here. Click on the topic you like…then you can browse again by little photos from each story I’ve done in that topic, and click on the little headlines below them to read any particular one. Hope that helps!

  11. says

    I’m going to be growing potatoes and sweet potatoes for the first time this year. I’m going to be trying two methods – growing in tires and growing under straw (instead of dirt). The straw method really appeals to me, since it seems the harvest will be exceptionally easy. I’ll be posting my progress on my site but I’d love to hear if anyone else has had luck with growing potatoes under straw.

    • says

      Welcome, Eileen. It definitely works! The only issue for me is that you need a lot of it to be able to shield the tubers as they form from getting sunlight and going green. But it’s much easier, that’s for certain, and the harvest is clean.

  12. says

    How much straw do you think I’ll need? I know I have to keep burying the plants (with just a bit peeking through), but how deep does it end up? Can I use hay, do you think? I have TONS of that, and I’d rather not have to buy straw if I can avoid it. Thanks for your help!

  13. says

    Thanks Camille–I’ve been perusing Sand Hill’s sweet potato pages, which I learned about from Margaret. So many choices!

  14. says

    Potatoes reminds me of when I tried to start a Forsythia slip I cut. Everything I read said to start it stick it in a potato and bury it. I didn’t get a Forsythia, but I had some great potatoes!

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