Planting Straight Up Sweet Potatoes
Today I’m adding to my container gardening endeavors by planting my organic, over due sweet potato sprouts! As I’m easing into this whole gardening era, I’ve realized the more simple I start with the better…Confession…This all happened out of default by me not utilizing all my sweet potatoes so much so that the lone sweet potato started propagating itself!
When I noticed this, I figured I’d go old school science project and placed my sweet potato in a jar of water, set it on my windowsill, regularly water it, and let nature take its course. Before long, the roots and sprouts multiplied! I could’ve planted any of the slips (the green, rooted off shoots) at any time, but ended up just adding water to the jar housing the sweet potato (mostly due to my own procrastination). Before I knew it, some massive roots grew so I figured I might as well plant it and see what happens.
After some research I found out sweet potatoes do well in containers. Even though clay and whiskey barrels are the ideal container, I opted to use an old 16.5 gallon (66 quart) Rubbermaid container and poked multiple holes in the bottom (hey, just trying to be resourceful and put new use into something that was on it’s way out to the trash…) From what I’ve learned, Sweet Potatoes a like sandy, well drained environment so I started with the first layer of a sandy, slightly rocky mixture from one of my compost bins. Then, topped that with an organic, potting mix; churned them, then planted my propagated sweet potato straight in. I have it on the side of my house that gets equal amount of sun and shade.
Historically, potatoes are a cold weather crop but, sweet potatoes, in particular, thrive in warm/hot and tropic/subtropic climates… BONUS for Phoenix Arizona growers like myself! I put mine in the dirt June 18 so hopefully they will be thriving at what I understand will be their peak conditions. With that, it should take about 150 days for us to get some new tubers…so we’re looking at a near November harvest!! Stay tuned folks…!! This will be the perfect timing for an Autumn harvest for much anticipated seasonal, sweet potato loving dishes!
So looking forward to them since sweet potatoes are:
1. So versatile and can be prepared in multiple savory and sweet dishes.
2. Nutritionally sound and an alternative option to traditional potatoes.
3. Nutritionally speaking, they are a great source of Vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene), Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D; all which are beneficial to overall immune support, heart health, healthy eyes and skin and serves as antioxidants (those nutrients that help fight diseases and cancers.
4. They are also a good source of minerals such as iron, magnesium and potassium.
5. Although sweeter by nature, the natural sugars in sweet potatoes do not cause such an extreme rise in blood sugar thereby, reducing fatigue, stress on the adrenal glands, and weight gain.