Monday, October 20, 2014

Harvest Monday 10/20/14

Life has been a bit too busy the last couple of months and there hasn't been too much going on in the garden.  August and September were the months of garden pests.  I had squash bugs, Mexican bean bugs, vine borers, pickle worms, cucumber beetles, hornworms, and so many more.  They ate and ate and I kind of surrendered and gave up on the garden.

However, this week was a big harvest week- I started digging up the sweet potatoes.  I have a 25 ft by 3 ft area of sweet potatoes, well of course they didn't stay within those dimensions.  I decided it wouldn't be a good idea to wait until the first frost is in the forecast and then have to dig and dig.  So I started digging..


I'd like to say I'm halfway done, but I may have a bit more than that to dig.  So far I have 64 lbs of sweet potatoes!  There are some big ones that are over a pound, some average sized ones, some long and crazy shaped ones, and plenty of small ones.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all these sweet potatoes, but I do love them.


Sweet potatoes are supposed to cure for a week at 85 degrees and 85% humidity.  My technique is to put them into a large plastic tuberware and sit them on a seedling heat mat. I started out with a vase of water inside the container, but it was very wet with all the condensation so I took it out.  After the curing they need to be stored in a cool, dry place for a month before finally eating.  This means I have plenty of time to search for sweet potato recipes!


I have been harvesting some other things from the garden:


The peppers have been doing well. The tomatoes are still producing even though they've slowed down quite a bit.  I've also been harvesting my fall planted beans despite those annoying Mexican bean beetle larva.  The fall planted peas have just started producing and I've started harvesting lettuce again.

Weekly harvests (lbs):

Lettuce 0.37
Peas  0.04
Peppers 3.21
Beans 0.54
Tomatoes 2.81
Sweet potatoes 63.9

Weekly total: 70.9 lbs
Yearly total: 794.33 lbs (can't believe I'm almost at 800 lbs for the year!)

That's all the harvests coming from my garden this week.  To see what others are harvesting check out Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions.

16 comments:

  1. What a haul of sweet potatoes! That is amazing. I have yet to try planting them, but I think that next year is the year.

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    1. You should try them. They've been easy to grow. They do take awhile to grow and don't like to stay contained in their bed, but other than that they've been low maintenance.

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  2. That's a nice haul of sweet potatoes. Good tip on using the heating mat to cure. How weedy did the potato patch get? I'm wondering if it is feasible to use sweet potatoes as a cover crop on unused plots in the community garden that get overrun with weeds. If it worked, would also produce a haul of potatoes for the food pantries in time for the holidays.

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    1. My patch didn't get weedy at all, although I did keep it weeded while they were small. Once they filled in the weeds were minimal.

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  3. That is one amazing sweet potato harvest, especially as you haven't even harvested half of them yet. Good thing they are such good keepers. And I soooo hear you on the garden pests. We were doing pretty good all summer with only the odd annoying pest once in a while and then bam - the slugs just went crazy. I haven't been able to keep ahead of them - they have probably eaten more of my lettuce and brassicas than I have.

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    1. All those pests are such a pain. I was picking 100 bean beetle larva a day and just couldn't keep up. I need a game plan for next year. I plan to start by planting more beneficial bug flowers and hope I can get more natural predators in the garden.

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  4. Wow those are a lot of sweet potatoes! Already I'm thinking of many ways to eat, cook, and juice them :)
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    1. Hmm.. juicing sweet potatoes.. never thought of that.

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  5. Great sweet potato harvest! I'm sure you will have no trouble finding things to do with all those yummy potatoes.

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  6. Lovely sweet potatoes. Good luck using them all up. If that is half, you will have so many. I found out this year that they need air to breath when they cure. So make sure to leave the lid on your tub cracked open.

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    1. Thanks for the tip! Lid is now cracked.

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  7. You certainly had more than your share of bugs! However your sweet potato harvest is amazing. I like sweet potatoes but have to buy mine. Did read though that you don't have to buy them organic as you do some things or you get too many pesticides. Nice harvest. Nancy

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  8. That is an impressive sweet potato patch! Hope you really like them! Pickle worms? Yikes, such a thing exists??

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