Post by duckcreekfarms on Feb 1, 2015 19:06:31 GMT -6
I have already seen some people that are anxious to start their sweetpotatoes. I will probaly start some in a couple of weeks for the ones that are very small roots and might not hold up much longer. but I have a greenhouse to keep them in until planting time Otherwise I usually start mine about mid to late March and go into early april. Depends on when you wnat to plant them out and what variety you are starting. Some varieties slip so fast that you can have slips in as little as 3 weeks with warm temps. Other can take a much longer time. Lots of my roots already have inch long sprouts.
I'm learning! Yesterday I bedded the rest of my sweet potatoes, in order to start slips for this year.
I had started my Ginseng Orange roots on January 1, as they were very small and starting to dry out. It was a battle to grow them, as I didn't have a dependably warm place with enough light.
Thursday I started my Red Wine Velvet and Cordner Reds. Yesterday I did Brinkley White, Ozark County, Cordner, Molokai/Ula, Grand Asia, Oklahoma Red and Barberman. I am really looking forward to this year's crop, and, I'm looking forward to selling slips, again, this year. One of our local nurseries asked if I would post my offerings with them, as they don't care to do sweet potato slips themselves. This should be very good.
Gary, even for myself, I find the constant temptation with sweet potatoes is to start or plant too early. Last year I started my slips at the very beginning of February. They were ready WAY before anyone should have been planting, and some were 2 1/2' long before it was time. So I made a note to wait until March. Then I got busy...and didn't do it until now. Perhaps this will be the best.
I will be looking to start them in the cold frame around April first. Right now it is still winter here, so it's hard to believe April first is coming up soon. We just had 15" of snow from a blizzard that hit this past week.
I tried unsuccessfully last year to grow sweet potatoes and desperately want to. I did get some beautiful greenery and flowers out of those lucious pots though. I haven't tried in the actual garden yet I was thinking this might be a good year to try. In your opinion does one method work better than the other and can you point me to the best comprehensive resource to get me started on the right foot this year? Thank you in advance.
Okay, you live in Washington State and deal with cooler conditions and a shorter growing season than we do, here in Oklahoma. Here's what I would recommend.
1) Check out Sandhill Preservation Center's website on sweet potatoes. Glenn Drowns used to live in Idaho, so he's very conscious of the fact that some gardeners need to fight the coolness factor. I bet he has some good tips.
2) I'd make tall hills (ridges), probably over a foot high, to facilitate the warming of the soil. 3) Use black plastic over the hills to further help heat the soil. 4) If possible, find a sunny place with a windbreak to plant in. Anything which cuts down on cooling should be helpful. 5) Use an early variety. Both Duck Creek Farms and Sandhill Preservation Center have a very large selection of varieties. "Early" in a sweet potato means that they size up quickly. That means they will make a crop with fewer heat hours than a long season variety. Of the varieties I have, Barberman, Ginseng Orange and Cordner Red are called "early." I suspect that Cordner Red is the earliest, as, in our climate, it always make really large roots. I suspect that, though no one else called Grand Asia "early," it is. It makes the largest crop and roots. 6) Don't try to plant with it's still real cool at night. It's not worth the extra days in the ground. Getting chilled will slow the plants down more than it's worth. Plant when nights have warmed. You'll be amazed how much better the plants do.