Saturday, 25 April 2009

Sweet potatoes

I love sweet potatoes.  During the summer, one of them started sprouting in the cupboard so of course I planted it.  It is in a pot because I needed to keep it in the shade during the hottest days.  It grew very fast.  I made a makeshift trellis for it.  So here it is,  growing very tall...
It has outgrown the trellis and it's still going...
Despite the rain,  it hasn't been very cold yet.  When the weather turns colder,  I will take cuttings of the vines and start some more plants in a poly styrene box inside.  They are supposed to grow easily from such cuttings.  Next summer I plan to transplant those vines into the garden and eventually harvest some sweet potatoes. 

Ordinary Potatoes
This is the first "ordinary" potato plant to come up.  Potatoes are supposed to be planted later in the year than this.  In fact,  if you order them from Diggers, they send them out in June or July.  This is supposed to avoid the frost getting the leafy parts of the plant.  The problem in Kapunda is that plants grown at that time of the year do most of their growing in the summer and there is no way that I have enough water to grow potatoes during the summer.
At the beginning of last winter,  not much later than this time of year, a few "lost" potatoes came up by themselves.  There were about seven or eight of them.  I left them where they were.  The frost didn't do them much harm.  In about November, they died off, along with the potatoes that had been planted at the right time.... it was so hot and dry and watering twice a week (as allowed under current regulations) just wasn't enough.  None of them actually flowered, but those few plants produced about 15kg of potatoes.  The ones that were planted at the proper time produced very little.
This year I have planted a few more potatoes at the "wrong" time, and here is the first one to come up out of the ground...  surrounded by sour sobs, and looking healthy.

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