Sweet potatos and crop rotation

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mr-cecil
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Sweet potatos and crop rotation

Postby mr-cecil » Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:05 pm

Hi there,

It is not clear to me where sweet potato's fit into crop rotation. They don't appear on any of the standard examples I can find, and they are in a different family.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

Thanks!
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Re: Sweet potatos and crop rotation

Postby Pa Snip » Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:01 pm

Seems they prefer acid soil with a Ph of 4.5 > 5.5, therefore with peppers, radishes, parsley and even beans.

We shall probably add ours into the cycle on the edge of the potatoes bed, so they can rotate with them even though they are unrelated
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Re: Sweet potatos and crop rotation

Postby mr-cecil » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:48 pm

Thanks. It sounds like you've tried growning them before.

Out of interest, what variety have you used? I'm thinking of putting them in my polytunnel.
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Re: Sweet potatos and crop rotation

Postby sally wright » Sat Jan 09, 2016 11:46 pm

Dear Mr Cecil,
sweet potatoes are part of the convolvulacae family; that is bindweed and morning glories etc. Pest and disease wise there is little to worry about in this country I think except whitefly under glass.
Regards Sally Wright.
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Re: Sweet potatos and crop rotation

Postby Pa Snip » Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:35 am

mr-cecil wrote:Thanks. It sounds like you've tried growning them before.

Out of interest, what variety have you used? I'm thinking of putting them in my polytunnel.


Hi Mr Cecil,
no I haven't tried growing them yet. I've just done the usual sort of research before I try them this year.
One of my fellow allotment holders tried them last season. They only tried two on their plot, not undercover, and didn't have much success.
Don't think it was warm enough for them.

I doubt they even know what variety it was, I often ask what variety they have used only to be told 'tomato' or 'cabbage' etc. etc.
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Re: Sweet potatos and crop rotation

Postby mr-cecil » Sun Jan 10, 2016 4:16 pm

Are you going to try grow them outdoors or inside?

I was also wondering if the have to grow on the ground. I understand that they are vines, if so, then in theory I could run them along my polytunnel frame and save space....
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Re: Sweet potatos and crop rotation

Postby Pa Snip » Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:12 pm

Mine will be grown outdoors, they may get a individual small polythene tunnel put over them at first though.

They are indeed vine like so will make some sort of cane framework for them to grow up rather than spreading out over the ground and taking valuable space since the part we are interested in harvesting is underground anyway.
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Re: Sweet potatos and crop rotation

Postby Westi » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:25 pm

Grow mine in the same space as means vines just run into the artichokes if I can't contain them. Last years crop failed so technically rested bed! Tried making them grow up a structure Pa Snip - damn things were defiant! Mine were protected as have a cold frame with a broken lid & put that around them when growing, so protected from the wind when young!

Good Luck! Maybe this year I will get a crop as well! I don't buy slips, but make my own but all the slips failed! Probably the weird spring weather. All in all a weird weather year!

Westi
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Re: Sweet potatos and crop rotation

Postby mr-cecil » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:10 pm

Are you making your own from shop bought sweet potatos?
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Re: Sweet potatos and crop rotation

Postby Westi » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:12 pm

Mr-cecil, I do just buy store bought ones, organic so you know not sprayed with growth inhibitor. I have had success, but the books tell you these are not successfully as they were grown in a hotter place. I have had slips just by putting one in the airing cupboard, was slow but got growth I could plant on. This year I did the cocktail sticks into the sweet potato with just the pointy end in a glass of water, a much quicker method but these weren't hardy in the ground even though protected.

Too late to plant out but I had one in the veg bowl that took off on it's own and had lovely thick, long slips. Basically I think a bit more research & some experimentation & could get bigger tubers, even thinking of a bit of a hot bed but will see if time & bad back allows.

Westi
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Re: Sweet potatos and crop rotation

Postby mr-cecil » Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:08 pm

Westi, Par Snip,

What kind of crop per plant, can I realistically expect?
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Re: Sweet potatos and crop rotation

Postby Pa Snip » Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:49 pm

mr-cecil wrote:Westi, Par Snip,

What kind of crop per plant, can I realistically expect?



Sorry, I'm as wise as you are in that respect.
I don't think you get vast amounts per slip but as it would be our first year of trying them anything could happen.
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Re: Sweet potatos and crop rotation

Postby Westi » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:44 pm

I just looked at my old post - 2008 I think but will check that again as really can't believe I been on here that long - certainly doesn't seem it. (Did try to cut & paste it but still a numpty on new computer)!

Just search Sweet Potato & Westi as author if you want to see it, but basically I grew 11 vines (slips off 2 sweet potatoes) & got a small trug of large good sized ones (not as big as the shops), but about size of your hands put together or a bit bigger & a small trug full of smaller ones.

I grew them through black membrane, on the usual spot already discussed. Maybe someone will let me know if that year was exceptionally warm.

Westi
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Re: Sweet potatos and crop rotation

Postby mr-cecil » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:32 pm

Hi Westi,
I'm told one of your local specialist garden centre's will be getting in some plants next week.
What's you view of preparing the bed? What do you do?

I like the idea of planting through plastic (as was mentioned above), as I understand they have a habit of rooting
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Re: Sweet potatos and crop rotation

Postby Westi » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:38 pm

Hi mr-cecil!

Well I didn't do any research as such, just thought they produce tubers so need to make soil deepish & well dug over so they could expand & grow. I dug over the bed then topped it up with soil from the compost bin to about a foot & it was also were I sat the incinerator off season so there was quite a bit of ash inadvertently in that spot.

Planting through the black membrane was an afterthought as I considered their normal climate & thought might replicate a bit of the heat that way. I have an old glass cold frame with no lid & cracked glass, so used that to protect them from wind when first planted but took it off when they started to become vines.

I've decided to buy in plants this year as well & will do the same preparation except will replace the broken cold frame with a higher wind break of some sort & fingers crossed for a long hot summer & the first frost being late.

Westi
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