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Discussion Board - Sweet Potatoes Question

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Danny Helton

09-07-2012 10:57:47

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Does the vines die down when there ready to dig up or do they stay green also read that to dig them 4 months after you plant them.What do you all do with yours?

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John in La

09-09-2012 13:48:05

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 Re: Sweet Potatoes Question in reply to Danny Helton, 09-07-2012 10:57:47  
The potato will grow till the vine dies so dig them when they are the proper table size. But they must be dug before a frost or the soil temperature reaches 50 deg. They are very sensitive to cold temperatures and just a few hrs of cold temperatures at any time can cause them to rot. Get them out of the sun as soon as possible and keep bruising to a minimum.

They will not be sweet when dug. They need to be cured at 80 to 85 deg and 85 to 90 percent humidity for at least 10 days. If you can not get this storage cure them longer such as 65 to 75 deg for 3 weeks.

Once cured store them above 55 deg.

So what this means to a home owner is bring them inside as soon as you dig them; wash and put on counter. Do not ever put in fridge. Do not eat for over 3 weeks to give them time to sweeten.

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09-07-2012 18:26:07

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 Re: Sweet Potatoes Question in reply to Danny Helton, 09-07-2012 10:57:47  
i don't know what would happen in the south if you let them keep growing. but in NY we dig them either when the weather starts getting cold (they can get chilling injury which decreases shelf life) or in a really good growing season, when they get too big for what we want. either way, the vines are still lush and green.

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Robert in Md.

09-07-2012 18:24:29

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 Re: Sweet Potatoes Question in reply to Danny Helton, 09-07-2012 10:57:47  
The vines don't have to die before you dig your potatoes. It depends on what variety you have. Find the stem of the plant and dig up some hills to see if they are big enough. Use a shovel for this. I have 10 rows of Covingtons 200 feet long. Have dug 5 rows and the rest need digging but its going to rain tomorrow. Don't let them get to big .

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09-07-2012 11:32:09

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 Re: Sweet Potatoes Question in reply to Danny Helton, 09-07-2012 10:57:47  
Most years I dig them when I want to bake a few or after the first frost which ever comes first. This year it does not seem that I will have many if any at all. The wood chuck I have been fighting likes to eat the vines so what I did try to dig had nothing there

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