Until recently, I had never grown Sweet Potato....some also know this root vegetable as Kumera. There are three main varieties or colours of the Sweet Potato, but generally, there is not much difference in flavour.
I am yet to harvest my first tuber, but my plant so far is looking rather healthy. Sweet potato is an excellent source of mulch....it's also brilliant as a clay breaker....and either way; you get to eat the end result.....and if you bandicoot them while they are still growing, you get to have your crop and eat it too. How much better can that be?
This photo was taken almost a month ago, and the tub is fully covered over now with leaves and runners.
Even though I had already planted this lot earlier with beginners luck........After learning how to propagate a Sweet Potato Plant correctly at my garden course last Saturday, I had to have another go. I visited the Barrack Heights Community Garden midweek, and came home with cuttings and plants, along with which was a few runners of Sweet Potato.
You can grow them too if you know someone who is already growing them. You can also plant a young tuber and hope for the best....I have had tubers in a brown paper bag for easy 6 months....and they are just beginning to form eyes on them....so I figure getting some cuttings or a runner off someone is the easier way to go.
Firstly, dig and turn over the soil where you are going to plant the runner.....dig in some compost and make sure there is good drainage in the area you have chosen. You can plant them in raised beds, which is what I am doing, or you can plant them on mounds about 15 to 20 cm high. You can see in the following photo all the tiny new growth, just waiting to prosper.
Use cuttings which are about 30cm long, and remove the side leaves.
Run a slot in the soil, and press the soil over the cutting. Don't forget to leave tip of the cutting exposed above ground.....You should have roughly 5cm of soil covering the cutting.
Water the area well, and often until roots have formed....the rest is just as easy.............
|Before covering with soil.|
all the while thinking how nice and fat they were....and how very destructive they would be in my garden, had I not found them........I had never seen anything like them before.
Have you grown Sweet Potato before? If so, how did it go?....Would you have a go now, after seeing how easy it is? ........
Have you ever seen these little, but rather big creatures before? I had a look on Google, but couldn't find their exact eye (fake) markings...lots of other Horned caterpillars though.......