Monday, October 19, 2009

Sweet Potato Harvest



We received our first frost of this fall Sunday morning. Therefore, Jo and I needed to get our sweet potatoes dug or risk them rotting underground. The first step in getting the potatoes out of the ground was removing the wire cover. Deer have been in the garden feeding on the protruding sweet potato vines recently, making wire removal much easier. We didn't have to trim off the vines to expose the wire.




This plant with a couple of modest sized sweet potatoes was about as good as our harvest got. Some plants had no edible-sized potatoes. We've had paltry sweet potato harvest for the past few years. We've also enjoyed some great harvest growing this variety. I don't know what the problem is. We need to do some sweet potato growing research and, maybe, change varieties.




"Where's mine?" says Bucket. She's stationed herself between Jo and the bucket of potatoes, hoping for a sweet potato treat either intentional or accidental.




Rusty is watch, ready to join Bucket if Jo starts handing out sweet potatoes. Both dogs got an undersized potato when we were through digging. Giving it to them any sooner would have guaranteed and increased level of pestering by the dogs as we dug.




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19 comments:

jeannette stgermain said...

Seems like everyone had some fun, including the doggies! I love sweet potatoes - they're looking good!

AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

Dogs eat sweet potatoes?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your dogs are so handsome. They look so alert awaiting their potato treat. I just had to go purchase some sweet potatoes for dinner tomorrow. It would be fun to grow them myself. This is one of tose times the deer story is a good one.

Rottlady of the Ozarks said...

My Sister's sweet potatoes failed also, she said they had lovely vines and hardly any potatoes!

Lana Gramlich said...

Sorry to hear about your sweet potato harvest. I couldn't begin to suggest anything that might help the cause, unfortunately.

Marvin said...

Yes, Jeannette, we've had a lot of rain and/or overcast days this fall. I think everyone enjoyed being out in the sunshine.

Marvin said...

Yes, Aydin, our dogs will eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables from apples to zucchini. Sometimes I get to thinking that what they'll eat has more to do with how the food is presented. If they think it's food, they eat it. However, that theory of mine doesn't hold up completely because Bucket doesn't like cucumbers no matter how they are presented, though she was trying to pig out on sweet potato vines before we made her stop.

Marvin said...

Thank you, Lisa. There's really not much of a problem with the deer being in the garden now and overwinter, but it will be a different story when spring rolls around. Therefore, I hate to see them become accustomed to browsing in the garden.

Marvin said...

Yes, Rottlady, that's one thing we've learned: The condition of the sweet potato vines really tells you nothing about the tubers they are or aren't forming. I don't suppose they could form good tubers if the vines were having a hard time surviving -- like being eaten by the deer -- but lush vines certainly don't mean a good sweet potato harvest.

Marvin said...

You and I are in the same situation then, Lana. Neither of us has any idea about the cause of the problem. :-)

John said...

Too bad you didn't get a better crop. Sweet potatoes are a wonderful food.

Deb said...

Darn those 'taters. (Too bad they aren't like our regular ones that self-grow in the compost.) Bless those sweet dogs.

Maybe yams? I guess it's time for a call to the local extension office.

laughingwolf said...

rats... hope you learn why the years of poor crops, marvin :(

had a german shepherd dog who ate all i did, including dill pickle and hot peppers... little sheltie i have now is under 6 months, but i'm sure he'll want most things, too ;)

Q said...

I have tried growing sweet potatoes in the past and I seem to have a small harvest regardless of the variety. I do enjoy them. I have thought I would try yams...maybe they would do better ...
Sherry

Marvin said...

Maybe we'll have better luck next year, John. I checked our records and we have dug over 100# of sweet potatoes from 30' of bed. This year's harvest was more like 20#.

Marvin said...

Deb,I reckon sweet potatoes would sprout and grow from our compost were our compost located somewhere in the tropics where they are a perennial. Sweet potatoes just cannot handle the cold of a temperate climate.

Marvin said...

Laughingwolf: Yes, most "house dogs" that are around people and their food most all the time end up eating a wide variety of foods, though dill pickles and hot peppers are kinda stretching that width a bit. :-)

Marvin said...

"Yam" seems to mean different things to different people. Scientifically, a yam is a tuber very much unlike and unrelated to a sweet potato. Some folks call a sweet potato with deep orange flesh a yam. That's the kind we grow.

laughingwolf said...

she ate all i did ;)