Sweet potatoes are a wonderful garden crop – from one planting two healthy, edible harvests are produced. Sweet potato roots have some of the greatest Vitamin A material of all veggies and stems and leaves are packed with nutrients.Not just are sweet potatoes incredibly healthy, they also make an exceptional rotation crop as they are a member of the Convolvulaceae, or early morning magnificence, household; if the greens are not desired as an edible, they make a great natural modification when tilled into the soil at the end of the season.The specific epithet of sweet potato, Ipomoea batatas (ih-pom-OY-ee-ah ba-TAH-tas), originates from the Greek ips, which indicates”worm “and homoios that means” looking like”. The types name batatas, is the Haitian name for sweet potato that reflects its Central and South American origin.Sweet potatoes are tuberous, tender perennials. They are one of the last crops of the summer garden to be gathered because tubers require up
to 120 frost-free days to mature.The normal crop gathered from sweet potato plants are bulbs, however the greens are likewise edible and delicious. Leaves grow on slim, prostrate stems and are a powerhouse of nutrition, containing omega-3-fatty acids, vitamins A, C, K, B complex; minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc( horticulture.ucdavis.edu ). Greens can be eaten as a fresh salad crop, however are best when gently steamed, sautéed, or in stir fry. When prepared, leaves have a soft texture and are milder than kale or Swiss chard.Tubers are prepared to be collected when leaves start to yellow, an indicator of maturity. Wait to dig tubers up until prior to a freeze is anticipated; yields and nutrients increase the longer tubers remain in the ground. Tubers can withstand a light zing of 32 ° F but are harmed with a freeze; tops will blacken and be damaged by a light frost.Harvest utilizing a digging fork. Gently lift soil a good foot away from the base of the vine given that tubers develop a range from the mother slip. Dig straight down a foot or more under the base of the vines. Carefully raise clumps, loosening soil from roots. Cut tubers from mother slips utilizing sharp pruners, never ever take out of the soil or tear far from vines as bulbs are easily injured.Dig tubers when soil is somewhat dry. Wet soil holds on to roots and is challenging to tidy. Do not clean roots. Cull damaged roots, reserving these as the first to be eaten.Curing is the crucial to longevity; also, throughout treating the sweetness of bulbs boosts. Skin heals during curing, minimizing infection from pathogens. Wrap roots in tissue paper and store without next-door neighbors touching in a dark, damp, warm, well-ventilated location for about 10 days. Roots can be delighted in for months if appropriately treated and kept store between 55 and 60 ° F.Ellen Peffley taught gardening at the college level for 28 years, 25 of those at Texas Tech, during which time she established 2 onion varieties. She is now the sole owner of From the Garden, a market garden farmette. You can email her at [email protected]!.?.!