lAST YEAR WE STARTED LIKE WE ALWAYS DO, PUTTING A SWEET POTATOE IN A QUART JAR OF WATER WITH TOOTH PICK STUCK IN THE SIDES TO HOLD THE TOP OUT OF THE WATER.WHEN THE SHOOTS PUT LEAVES ON WE PULL THEM OFF AND STICK THE STEMS IN A SMALL GLASS OF WATER UNTIL THEY TAKE ROOT.Well last year they didn't do well,we started them in late Feb. and ended up having to buy some to have enough (we plant about 100). Do any of you have a better way to start sweet potatoes? This was the first failure we had and it could have been the potatoes we kept for seed. I truck farm and the demand fore sweet potatoes just keeps getting bigger Jack (sorry about the caps didn't know it was locked)
You can also lay the potato longways in a shallow pan, like a pie plate and put sand half way up the side to get the shoots started. We have good luck with the jar of water though so I just stick with that. When you transplant the slips do you put some sugar water in the hole?? We have to or else they wither up kind of quick. I also tend to let the roots get fairly well developed before I set them out and set them out on a night when it's gonna be warm to lessen the shock to them.
We've gotten a couple dozen slips on a smallish/medium size tater before G3, but when the slips start getting smaller and kinda puny looking I just plant the tater instead.
Well i'm 71yrs. young,my wife says i'm crazy for truck farming 5 acres at my age, until i remind her that i was born on March 14, the same as Albert Einstein. (different yrs. of course) 3G we can usually get a doz. or so off one potatoe,after you pull some slips off more will set on. We love sweet potatoes and so does our son and daughters families, so there goes half my crop. Mama beek, i've never heard of using sugar water when planting them, but i'll give it a try. We use Miracle Gro as a starter, i make a long hill ( with my troybuilt tiller,still hard work) and use what ever to punch a hole in it, and drop the slips in pour 1/2 of 202 can of Miracal Gro water mix in and push the dirt up against it. We have 6 inches of snow on right now, but i'm getting my hoe sharp now, can't hardly wait. Jack
3Gfarms, I have a 3020 John Deer i break ground and disc with and a Cub Farmall with a one row cultivater that do most of the work. I plant 2 to 3 acers of sweet corn, six to eight hundred tomato plants,two, one hundred ft. row's of sweet potatoe's, two, one hundred ft. row's cucumbers (staggered two weeks apart)sometimes two plantings. half acre of Melons,onions,radishes, greenbeans, one acre of tame blackberries and did have fifteen gooseberry plants that produced 4 to 5 gal. each until last springs storm blew 7 big blacklocust trees on them. I have between 40 to 60 bee hives that i sell honey from at our Farmers Market along with the produce.We run 20 cows and a bull all on 60 acres.My wife keeps saying were killing our selves, and i tell her we don't have time to die. Jack
We also had a farmall cub and never took the cultivators off of it. Had a one row planter that would fit on the back and a side dresser on the side.
That was my job to plant the corn and any veggies, 4 acres of corn, 150 tomato plants, cucumbers, and okera. It was also my job to plow it all including the tobbacco patch of 7 to 10 acres.
I still put out a good garden but nothing big anymore since I have a full time job and family, but raise 20 to 25 head of charolais cattle, play in the bees and cut around 150 to 200 acres of hay twice a year. I just hope I am still going strong at 71.
3Gfarms, don't retire. When i was working full time i done everything i'm doing now,except i only had 10 to 15 hives then, and a uncle who helped me truck farm. I would work in a couple of fishing trips a week. Now i go fishing maybe 5 times a year and deer hunt 2 weeks out of the year. I have one of those side mount one row cornplanters for my cub, but like you said my cultivater stays on most of the time. I have a small collection of Farmall tractors (11 of them) 2 cubs, 1-A,1-Super A, 1-B, 2-C's, 1-Super C, 2-H's, 1-M. I like to tear them down and rebuild them in the winter, but haven't got two the last two years. My brothers keep me busy fixing theirs. Jack
Sounds like you have a good collection of red going on. I run a 354 IH, 60 MF and a 6080 AC. Dad sold the cub and A JD before I knew anything about it, sure wish I had them back. Bet I have rode 10,000 miles in circles on that old A cutting hay.
Can't retire there is still too much to get done around here.
You can also lay the potato longways in a shallow pan,
that's how we do it here. I like to elevate the pan (sometime noting more than a sheet of roofing metal) off the ground to keep the ant out of the sweet potatoes. you of course need to keep the sand constantly moist.
a handful of sweet potatoes will produce a lot of slips. sweet potato slips have become almost impossible to buy here so if you are going to raise them you are almost forced to grow your own slips.
Tec, that's the problem here to, and when you do find them they charge you a arm and a leg. The Boulerard(sp?)variety is the only one you can find here, they are good but if you don't keep an eye on them they will get as big as a football. (i had some 8 and 9 pounders last year).It use to be all you could find was the Centennial and Jewell varieties was all you could find, sure would like to find them again. The Jewell had a yellow sweet meat and grew in a clump almost straight down which made them easy to dig. The centennial had a deep orange sweet meat and bared heavy, but spread out like most sweet potato's and you would stab alot when digging . I'm going to try the sand method, i had to many customers ask for sweet potato's after i was sold out, and plan on putting more out. One thing i do that's a big hit around here is, i sow about a acre of turnips in Aug. and in SEpt to Nov, people come from all around for free turnips at Jack's. Mostly older people, some i have to help they can't hardly get in an out of their cars and trucks, they fill up feed sacks full and i get alot of turnip recipes . Jack
Would you mind sharing some of those turnip recipes?? I love to eat them raw with salt on them or fried, or steamed and mashed with a little butter and some salt and pepper....but I've never learned any other way to make them.
I LOVE your free turnip planting idea! What an awesome way to reach your community! I used to work on a dairy farm. The owner refused to sell his milk to the dairy corporations but did the old fashioned milk route thing and still does. He also started a bakery on his farm that was amazing....big brick ovens and all fresh ingredients, most of which we grew/raised on that farm. In the fall and early spring he would have an open house sort of gathering and invite people down to the farm to visit the milking parlor and walk through the land to see the cows and crops and the tour ended at the bakery with free pizza.
The way he ran that farm still amazes me, everything was bare bones primitive for the most part but you could buy your milk and your bread from him for less than you could get it at the grocery store and it was so GOOD. You can make a decent living farming but it sure ain't no 8-5 M-F 2 weeks vacation kinda deal.......my little bunch of folks would take it in a minute if we could though!
Mouthwash... I don't know much about sweet potatoes as I don't like them and they're nearly impossible to get here but whenever I start cuttings of any plant I mix a little mouthwash with water and rinse them with it before I start them. The alcohol kills the bad bacteria while the sugar feeds the new plant and it's cheaper than buying garden products and more easily absorbed.
Again, I don't know what it does to sweet potatoes but we did a trial with cut flowers at the time of cutting and various seedlings at transplant time with a control group of each type that didn't get it and there was a big differance, especially with the cut flowers.
Mama Beek, here are two recipes that i like.1. Peel and and cut in bite size, boil until you can stick a fork in them,drain, put them in a bowl and salt,pepper and butter them. Then take cider vinegar or sweet pickel juice and pour on them. 2. Peel and cut like french fries, roll them in olive oil and salt and pepper them, take and lay them on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 deg. for 15 min. take and turn them and bake till they are transparent.(i really liked that one) an elderly lady gave it to me. My mother made kraut and slaw out of them also. Most of the older people store them the way we did (when i was a kid) dig a deep hole,line the bottom with straw,put a layer of turnips,another layer of straw then another layer of turnips and so on. Then cover with dirt (make a mound for run off) put a tarp or piece of old barn tin on top. They would keep all winter.I have people come that their friends told them about the free turnips,that i've never met.You get to meet alot of your small town neighbors this way. I have noticed that hardly any young people come, i don't think they know what a turnip is. Jack