GROWING GREEN: Growing sweet potatoes in a pot

Opinion Sep 17, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

The autumn weather has me craving sweet potatoes and peaking at the ones I planted in a big pot last spring. Yes, you can grow your own sweet potatoes. Here’s how.

Sweet potatoes are a tuber. That means the edible part grows underground. To start them, buy a couple of locally grown sweet potatoes in February or March. Imports from the south have a longer growing season and may not do well here.

You can buy local sweet potatoes at the Hamilton Farmers Market.

Stick four toothpicks around the middle and suspend it in a glass of water, pointy end up. Keep the bottom half submerged. It may take a few weeks, but roots will sprout eventually.

Plant in soil when temperatures are above 20 C. I use a pot because sweet potatoes like it hot, and pots warm up quicker. They love to bask in the sun, so give them at least six hours of sun a day. You can cut off the rooted parts of the tuber or plant the whole thing.

If using a container, choose one with a diameter of at least 45 centimetres and plant one or two per pot. Plant shallowly, with a few centimetres of soil covering the tuber. You don’t need to mound them like regular potatoes.

Sweet potatoes need about four months to mature. The vitamin content increases and the flavour improves as the weather cools in the fall.

But they go mushy quickly, so dig them before the frost and treat them with tenderness.

Add butter or olive oil and sea salt.

Enjoy!

Growing Green is a regular feature written by the Mount Hamilton Horticultural Society (gardenontario.org/site.php/mhhs). Rita Bailey, the author of this report, is a member who gardens in downtown Hamilton, where she mixes vegetables, herbs, and flowers in her kitchen garden.

GROWING GREEN: Growing sweet potatoes in a pot

Opinion Sep 17, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

The autumn weather has me craving sweet potatoes and peaking at the ones I planted in a big pot last spring. Yes, you can grow your own sweet potatoes. Here’s how.

Sweet potatoes are a tuber. That means the edible part grows underground. To start them, buy a couple of locally grown sweet potatoes in February or March. Imports from the south have a longer growing season and may not do well here.

You can buy local sweet potatoes at the Hamilton Farmers Market.

Stick four toothpicks around the middle and suspend it in a glass of water, pointy end up. Keep the bottom half submerged. It may take a few weeks, but roots will sprout eventually.

Plant in soil when temperatures are above 20 C. I use a pot because sweet potatoes like it hot, and pots warm up quicker. They love to bask in the sun, so give them at least six hours of sun a day. You can cut off the rooted parts of the tuber or plant the whole thing.

If using a container, choose one with a diameter of at least 45 centimetres and plant one or two per pot. Plant shallowly, with a few centimetres of soil covering the tuber. You don’t need to mound them like regular potatoes.

Sweet potatoes need about four months to mature. The vitamin content increases and the flavour improves as the weather cools in the fall.

But they go mushy quickly, so dig them before the frost and treat them with tenderness.

Add butter or olive oil and sea salt.

Enjoy!

Growing Green is a regular feature written by the Mount Hamilton Horticultural Society (gardenontario.org/site.php/mhhs). Rita Bailey, the author of this report, is a member who gardens in downtown Hamilton, where she mixes vegetables, herbs, and flowers in her kitchen garden.

GROWING GREEN: Growing sweet potatoes in a pot

Opinion Sep 17, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

The autumn weather has me craving sweet potatoes and peaking at the ones I planted in a big pot last spring. Yes, you can grow your own sweet potatoes. Here’s how.

Sweet potatoes are a tuber. That means the edible part grows underground. To start them, buy a couple of locally grown sweet potatoes in February or March. Imports from the south have a longer growing season and may not do well here.

You can buy local sweet potatoes at the Hamilton Farmers Market.

Stick four toothpicks around the middle and suspend it in a glass of water, pointy end up. Keep the bottom half submerged. It may take a few weeks, but roots will sprout eventually.

Plant in soil when temperatures are above 20 C. I use a pot because sweet potatoes like it hot, and pots warm up quicker. They love to bask in the sun, so give them at least six hours of sun a day. You can cut off the rooted parts of the tuber or plant the whole thing.

If using a container, choose one with a diameter of at least 45 centimetres and plant one or two per pot. Plant shallowly, with a few centimetres of soil covering the tuber. You don’t need to mound them like regular potatoes.

Sweet potatoes need about four months to mature. The vitamin content increases and the flavour improves as the weather cools in the fall.

But they go mushy quickly, so dig them before the frost and treat them with tenderness.

Add butter or olive oil and sea salt.

Enjoy!

Growing Green is a regular feature written by the Mount Hamilton Horticultural Society (gardenontario.org/site.php/mhhs). Rita Bailey, the author of this report, is a member who gardens in downtown Hamilton, where she mixes vegetables, herbs, and flowers in her kitchen garden.