Friday, October 12, 2012

Sweet potato season!

A beautiful morning here in Central Florida! First day of the dry season. (I'm sure the wet season isn't completely over, but every dry day eats away a little at the wet-season's dominance...)
Out of curiosity, I dug a little around the walk through my sweet potato patch. I found these humdingers about a foot from one another... if this offers a sign of what's in the patch, I think it bodes well... (The beer can is, of course, there for a sense of scale...)


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12 comments:

Survival Gardener, AKA David the Good said...

Title of work: "Lunch"

Media: Ipomoae Batatas, Beer

Very nice!

The Not So Perfect Housewife said...

I just pulled up my batch of sweet potatoes too! Don't know if I have any as big as yours though.. looks great.

You can see ours here:
http://ourfloridabungalow.blogspot.com/2012/10/a-catch-you-up-post.html

Wendy Randolph said...

Neat! Those sweet potatoes are huge! Do you think it is worth planting some sweet potato plants right now in 33703? I have about 7 plants that have survived my neglect in the cell pack from the spring!

Michael said...

Thanks for your compliments..Wendy the general wisdom is that it takes at least a hundred days to raise sweet potatoes from slips. You can probably nurse the slips through until early march and plant them then... Or just buy some potatoes from the market and start them in early spring.mine are totally perennial at this point. during harvest I always miss some tubers and come spring they send up runners.

Wendy Randolph said...

OK, thanks!

Camellia Jhonson said...

Sweet potatoes are really good for health as they provide immense energy, nice snap of the sweet potato.

Monique said...

Hi there, love your blog, have been reading much older posts. Sorry to get on a tangent here but there was no email contact on GardenWeb.

I live in St. Pete, zone 9b and had questions about delphiniums, larkspur, foxgloves and lupine. I've never tried these before but have read a few books (including "A Cutting Garden for Florida") that suggest that I can plant these as annuals here, starting right now. They talk about seed-starting but I'm having trouble.

I've been trying them from seed for about a month in a container with good potting soil in full sun, evenly moist. No results. The seeds I tried are:

Delph: Fantasia and Magic Fountains
Foxglove: Mixed (Home Depot) and Dalmatian
Lupine: Russell Hybrid and Texas Bluebonnet (this one I just started a week ago)
Larkspur: Home Depot (Giants? Rocket?)

Anyway, I'm getting discouraged and bought a Foxglove plant yesterday to put in a container. I've found several farmers of these types of plants in Miami, Naples and North Florida (nothing in my area at all!) but have no idea where to buy seedlings/transplants locally. Tom MacCubbin's article from 1988 listed Sherwood Forest Nursery near Ocala but they may have gone out of business? Are there mail-order places that will ship those plants now? The Foxglove cost $9 and that's just too pricey for one plant. I was also hoping to get Delph in the ground now, as it's cooling.

Could you please let me know where to order and which variety of seed is best for me? Or, preferably, where I can order/buy small plants? Heat-tolerant varieties of these plants are listed everywhere but I just don't know where to get them or which ones are best for me! I've also spoken on the phone with Customer Service at T & M and Parl's, not much help.

Please help, I've been calling around for a couple of days now, with not much success!Thanks!

I'll check back here or my
GardenWebID is: Monique2011

Michael said...

monqiue, they're hard to grow here. i always get seedlings at local nurseries, right around now. i bet if you ask a good, local nursery to order them, they will. i always find foxglove and delphs at the debary nursery (that's about an hour and a half from you! not worth the drive.) seeds are hard to start. i recommend putting them in the fridge for a week or two. prechilling REALLY helps seeds like foxies and snaps. then, moisten the seeds and leave them on a paper towel for a day. THEN pot them in a loose mix, and put them in a warm, moist, bright environment. (this time of year i often start packs of seeds in ziplock bags. i don't zip them! just put the six-cell planter in a ziplock and leave it open). you have to watch them carefully, as you don't want mold.

that said, it may not be worth the trouble to grow from seed. i've had a few foxies pop up after cold weather in mulch. they do really well, but they bloom heaviest right as the weather gets too hot for them! in other words, you need the head start provided by seedlings... call around, ask nurseries to order!

Annette said...

Hi Michael,

I am so glad to have found your blog. I have really enjoyed it so far. I have a small farm just a few miles from Deland. It is nice to see what someone else in the area is growing...all of the info I find on the web is usually from northern states and not relevant to what the weather is like down here.
I am fighting Pickleworms right now and was glad to see your post about bagging the fruit. I will try it but I may be too late.
Thanks for the great blog, Annette

Monique said...

Thanks so much for your response, Michael! Yes, I finally started chilling the seeds after I read that on Swallowtail's website. We'll see how it goes. At $9 a pop for a Foxy plant, I can't go too crazy. My local nurseries should be getting Delph plants soon but I was hoping it wouldn't be so pricey. I will try your method exactly and hopefully have some luck - I'll keep you posted, thanks so much!

Fermentation said...

hey Michael,

I'm in Deland at the moment. is it possible to pay you a visit to see your work and hear about your philosophy.

Anonymous said...

Michael,
I just found this blog. I am a beginner vegetable gardener. I've grown flowers/herbs for over a decade but have never quite gotten the knack for veggies. Do you give tours of your garden to novices? I also live in DeLand.