Tag Archives: sweet potato

Harvest Monday

November 3, 2014

Our first frost date is October 20th (zone 7b). The temps have held off for awhile but this week, we had our first frost and last night we got down to 30.

I knew, with how life is, that whenever the first frost was predicted, I would not have time to do anything in the garden that day. So I have been stripping the tomato and pepper plants and cleaning up the garden for the winter for the past couple of weeks.DSC_5832I have filled the wagon about seven times…

Tomato/Pepper patch cleaned out:
DSC_5831And half of it covered with manure from the coop (darker mulch on right & light mulch in front both from the coop):DSC_5924Our L-shaped volunteer tomato patch and all of the tomato plants in the raised beds and pots were cleaned up as well. DSC_5927I harvested all of the peppers and tomatoes.DSC_5834The peppers were chopped and frozen while the tomatoes are ripening on the counter.DSC_5856DSC_5858Other harvests this week include…

PeasDSC_5861A few beets randomly popped out of the ground on their own. DSC_5891I juiced these and froze the juice and pulp (separately) until the rest plump up. We drink the juice and use the pulp to make blueberry/beet pancakes.

Kale and Raspberries…DSC_5835 DSC_5837DSC_5915Every once in a while we are able to harvest a bit of spinach and lettuce. I’m not sure why most of the seeds did not germinate. We are thankful for whatever we get though 🙂DSC_5890I am happy to announce we were able to harvest strawberries this week! Our strawberries are everbearing strawberries. However, I have not seen any flowers or anything and as our first frost date is quickly approaching, I figured I may as well cover the strawberries for the winter.

I prepped the area this week by making sure all of the weeds were pulled and what do I see? Strawberries! It was a pleasant surprise, for sure 🙂DSC_5860DSC_5914We also were blessed by our neighbor this week as he allowed me to harvest some baby kale from his garden. He also allowed the children to pick some pecans from his tree. They needed to dry before we could open them.DSC_5862 DSC_5863The children have LOVED breaking them open with rocks and eating them as snacks. DSC_5916 DSC_5918We don’t eat snacks at our house so anything out of the garden is a treat 🙂 This past week, they have been playing campout. They have been eating peas, pecans, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, and wild onions. Love it! 🙂

If only feeding them was that easy all the time 😉 We love eating from our garden! Here is an example: Sweet potato, green beans & kale from our garden. Only one pecan made it on the plate as the rest were eaten right before supper. We also had baked beans but I took the picture before serving those since they are not from our garden 🙂DSC_5919Are you harvesting still or prepping your garden for the winter…or both, like us?

Check out what others are harvesting over at Daphne’s Dandelions!

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Harvest Monday

October 13, 2014

We harvested peas, raspberries, peppers, tomatoes, and spinach this week. All of the peas were eaten in the garden. The peppers and tomatoes were eaten as part of lunch as soon as they were picked.

The only harvest picture I remembered to take was the night we only had a taste of raspberries and spinach. Keep in mind, if I were the only person eating, it would have been a nice little salad and dessert. Seeing how we have 5 kids to feed, everyone only got a smidgin that night 🙂 So this week, I’ll share how I am consuming the harvest and less about what is being picked.

Pot Pie, Brown Rice, Spinach and RaspberryDSC_5772From the garden:

  • sweet potato
  • green beans
  • peas
  • corn
  • spinach
  • raspberry

DSC_5757Another night we had a hodge-podge of ‘main dishes’ (anything from enchilada casserole to baked beans or sloppy joes — basically leftovers) along with green beans, sweet potatoes, and a spinach salad from the garden.

Pizza Night! Spinach, artichoke, cream cheese pizza; tomato, mushroom, pepper pizza, green beans, and spaghetti squash.DSC_5759I have always felt badly about pizza night b/c pizza is so unhealthy so I limit it to twice a month. I didn’t realize it until this week, however, that our pizza night meal, other than the cheese, is a very healthy meal!

From the garden:

  • spaghetti squash
  • green beans
  • tomatoes (veggie pizza, pizza sauce, and marinara sauce on the spaghetti squash)
  • green peppers (veggie pizza)
  • kale (white veggie pizza)

The crust is just hard white wheat, yeast, and water. AND, when available from the garden, we also have a salad of some sort! I’m starting to feel better about pizza night 🙂 Yum!

I am linking up with Daphne’s Dandelions to see what others are harvesting from their gardens in October and I am hoping to harvest much more this week!

Sweet Potato Saga…

June 11, 2014

This truly is a saga…I’ll start at the beginning (giving dates and everything)…

Friday, May 16th…

My sweet potato experiment seemed to be doing well…until I transplanted some this week. My ‘slip-growing patch’ is extremely healthy-looking. I read to transplant them when they are 6-9″ long.

The Nieto Family - May 16 14 - 0144Mine are about 5″ long but I thought I would give it a try. I nicked 5 of the longest starts off of the sweet potato, planted them up to their leaves (what is recommended) in the sweet potato patch with some chicken compost, and put some mulch around them. I then watered them. This was around noon.

By 4pm, we had a BIG rain storm come through so they got a GOOD soaking. After the storm, they still looked good. The next day, WILTED.

I had hoped it was just transplant shock and they would bounce back but they remain wilted. I am glad I only transplanted 5, not all of them. I will wait until the rest are longer before transplanting those. I would hate for such gorgeous sweet potato starts to turn into nothing 😦

Wednesday, May 21st…

After researching a bit more, I think the problem was the slips did not have enough roots. I read they do not need a ton of roots but mine barely had any. We’ll see how the next set of slips go. By the way, the slips are not DEAD yet, which is interesting. I wonder if they will ever bounce back completely…

_DSC9599(1)(Over a week after transplanting. Wilted. Sun-scalded. But not dead…)

Monday, May 26th…

_DSF9063More than a week later and…looks like they have officially bounced back! Now to start planting the rest of the slips in earnest, as they all need to be planted out by the end of June in order to have enough time to mature…

Saturday, May 31st…

Planted some more sweet potato slips today. Dug holes. Pulled off slips this time instead of cutting them (left more roots on). Filled hole with compost and dirt. Covered with mulch. Watered WELL. Maybe leaving more roots on will help them get over transplant shock more quickly this time…

I can see I have more slips than I have space. A good problem to have, in my opinion. I only put seven or so itty bitty sweet potatoes in the raised bed to produce slips. I was thinking we would not have enough slips to fill up the sweet potato patch. Ha! I am now thinking I will grow sweet potatoes in the sweet potato patch, in the raised bed where I am growing slips, in the raised bed next to it, in the overflow garden, and in the place where I am growing peas (whenever they get ripped out). We can never have too many sweet potatoes! Truly…just ask my children!

Sunday, June 1st…

Finished planting slips in the sweet potato patch. Those from yesterday’s planting are bouncing back already!Nieto Family - June 02 14 - 0001(still droopy but starting to get over transplant shock) Nieto Family - June 02 14 - 0002(bounced back already! in one day!)

Monday, June 2nd…

Planted sweet potato slips in the raised bed next to the raised bed where the slips are growing.

Nieto Family - June 02 14 - 0003(right after planting)

Tuesday, June 3rd & Wednesday, June 4th

Planted the last of the slips (that are long enough) in the overflow garden. Nieto Family - June 06 14 - 0004I have read that if you leave the sweet potatoes in the ground, they will continue to produce so I am going to further my experiment by doing that. We’ll see what planting earlier/later does as far as production…Nieto Family - June 02 14 - 0004(This is the slip-growing bed (halfway through planting slips). By the end of planting, there were only 5 or so slips left in the bed and they are all 3″ tall.)

Slips in the raised beds are suffering transplant shock but I’m sure they’ll bounce back in a day or two…

Nieto Family - June 06 14 - 0003Slips in the sweet potato bed have just about fully recovered, a couple of days later. Having a few roots really makes a difference! Now, to work my patience muscles for the next four months…not my strong suit 😉

Nieto Family - June 06 14 - 0001I covered the sweet potato patch with chicken manure and mulch a year ago to prepare the soil (compost tea as it rains!). I also planted some carrots (which did well) this past fall to loosen the soil. The soil was moist but still, the holes for the slips were INCREDIBLY difficult to dig! I am not expecting very high yields in this area.

Not surprisingly, the raised bed has fluffy soil so I am expecting a good crop from this area.

The overflow garden has been covered with mulch for the past year and for the past four months, has been covered with horse manure. For some reason, the holes were very easy to dig (other than a huge rock I hit in one of the holes) and the soil looked good. I am not complaining 😉 just curious as to why there is such a difference between the sweet potato patch and overflow garden soil. The overflow garden was covered with A LOT more mulch, so that is a possibility as to the difference. However, I know that soil is different in different places so maybe there is just more clay over by the sweet potato patch?…

I am still learning a lot about growing sweet potatoes (start to finish) but for anyone who is unable to grow sweet potato slips in their windows and has a pot or raised bed, I think my experiment has shown this is a REALLY easy way to grow your own slips! With all of the toys and what-not in the house, it is nice to keep all of the gardening OUTSIDE! 🙂

So from start to….well…now, here are all of the posts regarding sweet potatoes, if you want to know how I did/am doing it:

I am looking forward to the fall…seeing what kind of crop(s) we have, which plots did the best, etc. Stay tuned! 🙂 I am linking up with Green Thumb Thursday today. Check it out for some good gardening tips!