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07/07/2014 at 21:19

I do like Sweet potatoes but have never grown them.

I noticed this year that T & M were offering plug plants as opposed to the more usual slips........their explanation being that many of their customers had, to put it kindly, found the slips a rather erratic process.

I'd like to try some next year on my new allotment and wondered whether anyone had experience of both methods and which they would recommend ?

Thanks 

07/07/2014 at 22:19

Bumping 

07/07/2014 at 23:14

Philippa, I'm currently growing the 'duo' T&M ones in my polytunnel so will keep you informed of progress via this thread and will post some photos tomorrow after work.  They were very large well developed 'plugs' (15cm x 5cm 'root trainered' rootballs with 10cm of top growth) and looked extremely healthy.  They were planted in much improved clay-based soil (lots of added MPC and sharp sand, with a sprinkling of blood, fish and bone) in the polytunnel border after acclimatizing them strictly to supplied instructions.

If they don't do well after all the care I've lavished on them (including pre-treating the polytunnel soil with slug nematodes), I'll be very disappointed!

07/07/2014 at 23:31

Ooh thanks Bob............that is kind of you. 

I'm keen to try them but was a bit cautious because I'd have to do them outside (no room in g/h and no longer have polytunnels ).  I could do them under cloches I guess...that was my first thought. My allotment is new this April ......hand digging the weeds has taken me longer than expected and despite having about half "under production" at the moment, I know I have to improve the soil over Autumn/Winter.

I will follow your progress with interest and look forward to the pics.  Thanks again for taking the trouble

08/07/2014 at 05:17

Good morning  such a relief to find this timely and interesting thread as I intend to grow sweet potatoes on newly aquired (shared) allotment. No greenhouse so considering large cloches.

As you are doing Phillipa2 I'm gradually preparing the soil, also clay based , so just have a small bed of potatoes, two rows of sweet corn and beans in at the moment. 

Thank you BobtheGardener for your advice re the soil preparation, a lot more prep to do.

08/07/2014 at 05:17

And bumping  

08/07/2014 at 05:18

Good morning  such a relief to find this timely and interesting thread as I intend to grow sweet potatoes on newly aquired (shared) allotment. No greenhouse so considering large cloches.

As you are doing Phillipa2 I'm gradually preparing the soil, also clay based , so just have a small bed of potatoes, two rows of sweet corn and beans in at the moment. 

Thank you BobtheGardener for your advice re the soil preparation, a lot more prep to do. 

Bea

08/07/2014 at 10:27

You could try growing them in large black pots outside as this would absorb some heat, otherwise you can grow them through black plastic

08/07/2014 at 12:04

I'm growing these from a small pot from b@q that was reduced. they are in a large pot the soil covered in black plastic and a homemade cloche. The extra heat is important eve. Though this variety is supposed to be well adapted to the uk climate. The soil is proper warm now, really makes a difference and the growth above the surface has really taken off the last few weeks.

08/07/2014 at 19:03

Here's a pic of mine at the moment:

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/51949.jpg?width=288&height=350&mode=max

I'm trying to train them up string (they're about 2 foot tall now) but they don't do this naturally and prefer to sprawl along the ground, like the horizontal shoot you can see at the bottom.  Apparently everything ends up as one huge tangle so will fit in well with the rest of my plants!  

I think we'd need a good summer for them to grow well outside, even though these varieties, Beauregard Improved and especially Carolina Ruby are recommended for growing in "milder areas".  It gets a bit cold here in the East midlands (I'm blummin freezing at the mo!) but I think they'd do well south of the Watford gap.

09/07/2014 at 16:43

Bob...........thanks for the pic and update.

I'm in Somerset ( only a few klms from coast ) so am hoping a cloche may do it for me next year..........a BIG cloche I suspect .........or at least a long one   I await your next report.......thanks again.  Oh, hope it warms up for you soon......hot here but strong winds all day.

BBee........are you going to try Slips or Plugs ?

SnowA..........I don't suppose you know what variety yours are do you........I know B&Q lose the plot with their labelling sometimes

09/07/2014 at 17:12

Phillippa, they're Beauregard. Apparently suitable for medium sized tubers in British climate.

 

09/07/2014 at 17:17

SnowA.............thanks (and apologies to B&Q ).  Any info on how they do for you will be gratefully received.

09/07/2014 at 17:26

No need to appologise to B&Q, they cost £2.99 new and cared for, but they were a bit pot bound, just about salvagable. As a result they were only £1, but not labelled as reduced. Had I known that then I'd have bought a few. Anyway, I'll go take a photo in a bit and show you what's going on.

This person has the same type (label in pic is the same as mine) and got a great crop. She used a black bin, which is a good move. My pot is pink, but I am using a cloche and black plastic on top. Basically, with a good summer and some smart decisons in what to grow it in you can obviously get a good crop.

09/07/2014 at 18:24

SnowA............OK..........thanks..........the more info from everyone growing them, the better.  I've then got several months to work out the best method for me and my space and, hopefully, get a good start next year Thanks again

09/07/2014 at 19:41

Oh, I forgot the link in my last message! Here it is:

http://veggies-only.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/sweet-potato-propagation.html?m=1

 

09/07/2014 at 19:56

Hi Phillipa2, I've read all the posts and take on board that warmth seems to be the key to successful growth - thanks Fluerisa and  snowathlete, along with good soil, s

o I'm going to plant plugs this month in containers and will trial both next year (I know, very ambitious!).

 

Thanks for the photos BobtG and your recommendations.

 

I'll post photos asap 

09/07/2014 at 20:02

BBee..........thanks...........be interested to know how your plugs fare.......not as brave as you, I'm going to wait til next year (lack of prepared space on allotment really )......any info and advice will be gratefully received

09/07/2014 at 20:11

That's a useful link snowathlete, if I can get the same results  should be well prepared for  next year on the allotment  meanwhile - will keep preparing the plot.  

09/07/2014 at 20:34

Phillipa2, same here for space on allotment so whilst digging away I'm trying to plan areas for best growth etc.

Realise that if beds are too big then I wont be able to weed or tend plants without compacting the soil, so considering new beds to  be six feet by width of plot. This will/should make the digging easier, at the moment very hot work!  

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