Sunday, November 14, 2010

Harvesting Okinawan Sweet Potatoes

About seven months ago, I planted some Okinawan Sweet Potato vines into 7 half whiskey barrel containers (See this blog entry).

I decided this morning to see if there were any Okinawan Sweet Potatoes in one of the containers (see this picture to the right).

This is approximately the same that that I harvested Okinawan Sweet Potatoes last year (See this blog entry).

Last year, I had a very difficult time restarting the Okinawan Sweet Potato vines after I had completed the harvest (see this blog entry). This was primarily due to the cold weather at this time of the year.

This year, I wanted to be as non-invasive to the Okinawan Sweet Potato plants as possible. So instead of cutting away all of the leaves and vines as I did last year, I just flipped the container over a bunch of old news papers.

You can see all of the Sweet Potatoes cluster along the outer rim of the soil mix in the picture to the right.

Instead of destroying the root structure and get all of the Sweet Potatoes in the container, I only harvested the Sweet Potatoes on the outer edge.

The picture to the right shows all of the holes left by the Okinawan Sweet Potatoes that I harvested.

I am sure that there were Sweet Potatoes in the middle of the container, but I could not get at them without tearing everything apart.

I also left several small Okinawan Sweet Potatoes that were not worth harvesting along the outer edge.

The picture to the right shows my yield from this container. Last year, I harvested bigger Sweet Potatoes. I think this is due partially to the abnormally cold summer we had in the Los Angeles area this year.

I am going to wait another month or so before I harvest another container. Hopefully by then, the Sweet Potatoes will have grown bigger.

When I was done, I put the container back over the Sweet Potato plants and flip the soil mix back in.

The picture to the right shows how the Sweet Potato plants look after everything was done. You really can't tell the difference from the picture at the top.

I am very happy with this modification to last year's procedure.

I avoid the trouble of restarting the Okinawan Sweet Potato vines during winter and hopefully I can get another harvest from this container in another 6 months or so.