Wednesday, November 7, 2012

sweet little potatoes

We just returned from a lovely weekend in Mexico.  Congrats to my long time best friend on a beautiful wedding!

The weather was picture perfect, but all that sun made me eager to get back to fall.  Our timing was great, the weather in LA is wonderfully cloudy and I couldn't be happier.  We might even get rain on Friday!

In light of the wet weather, it's the perfect time for me to plant the sweet potato project that Carson and I have been growing.  This is such a fun idea and it all started with a forgotten pantry staple.  Carson loves sweet potatoes, so I'm constantly roasting them up for him.  As some point I let one sit for too long and it started to sprout.  I couldn't stand to trash my little potato so our project began.

I separated the potato into 8 pieces and submerged half of each piece in a glass jar.  I used toothpicks to hold the smaller pieces up and keep them only partially submerged.

This is my sprout 2 weeks into the project

 They grew incredibly fast!  Carson and I loved checking their progress.  As they grew, they doubled as the perfect fall centerpiece.  In fact, I'd do this project again just to have the pretty vines to decorate my table!

I further separated my sprouts into plantable pieces, carefully keeping the the roots in tact, and transferred them out to my raised bed (more about building a raised bed to follow).

Here are the planted sweet potatoes!  Can't wait for the harvest in a couple of months.

This is such a fun and easy project!  If it works out, it will definitely be an annual tradition.  Carson especially loved the planting/digging in the dirt step.  Hopefully I'm creating a little gardener - I could certainly use the help!

A few things to keep in mind:
It takes about 4 months from start to finish to get a sweet potato.
If you want to try this out in colder climates, sweet potatoes sprouts (I think they're technically called slips) must be transplanted after the last frost.  Lucky Southern Californians can grow them all year long!
Sweet potatoes like plenty of water in the beginning, then NO water for the last 3-4 weeks before harvesting.
They're ready to harvest when the leaves start to yellow and fall off.

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