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When do you harvest sweet taters

Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:06 am

Jan planted several hills for the first time. The vines spread like crazy and right now, I have no idea where the hills are. If the vines are any indication of the taters, they will be the size of watermellons :bellylaugh: :bellylaugh:

Having never grown them, I have no idea when to harvest them.

Re: When do you harvest sweet taters

Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:22 am

Boss Hog is an expert. He'll chime in shorty. :lol:

Re: When do you harvest sweet taters

Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:49 am

We usually dig ours in the late fall. I have dug them after the vines had been frosted. Have to be careful there because frost/freezing will ruin the taters.

Before you dig, take something and cut/mow the vines. Makes it a lot easier to work with them. The commercial growers have a rig much like a disk plow that rolls the taters out of the ground and cuts the vines all at the same time.

Oh, and to me the smaller ones taste better than the rgreat big ones.....but the big ones are fun to dig--better than an easter egg hunt!

Al

Re: When do you harvest sweet taters

Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:24 pm

we usually dig them in the fall also, but my neighbor dug up some yesterday, and we are having them for dinner tonight, they are big and look wonderful. so i would think you can dig some now and start eatting
Jack

Re: When do you harvest sweet taters

Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:30 pm

Bev and I dig a few to use late August on and then late Oct early Nov dig the rest.

Re: When do you harvest sweet taters

Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:02 pm

If you have good potatoes the ground will be heaved up where the spuds are. We dig ours before frost our take the vines off the same day of the frost.
Bill

Re: When do you harvest sweet taters

Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:20 pm

Jack wrote:we usually dig them in the fall also, but my neighbor dug up some yesterday, and we are having them for dinner tonight, they are big and look wonderful. so i would think you can dig some now and start eatting
Jack



If they were dug yesterday I wouldn't eat them today, they'll have all the flavor of a piece of cardboard unless you really doctor them up. Put them in a dry, dark place for a while and let them cure first. Bigger doesn't = better as bigger ones take longer to cure and if they're REALLY big they'll never get as sweet as one about the diameter of a Pepsi can. A properly cured sweet potato doesn't need anything on it when you eat it.

Al

Re: When do you harvest sweet taters

Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:22 pm

A tug on the vine will show where the hill is or will on the ones I grow, they may not be as big as ones grown in warmer climes. I have never had any problem with the potatos if the vines get frosted but prefer to dig before. Mid september is about right here as the cool nights almost stop anymore growth. I also like to keep a piece of a vine from a few of the nicer hills to start new mother plants. I start everything from vine cuttings not from the tuber itself. I grow my own plants since that ornery plant grower in TN that supplies most seed compaines won't ship before 6-1 by which time it is too hot to get those sickly sticks under motion and still have time to grow in our 120 day season. If you get hungry before the potatos have been dug for a couple of weeks candy them. Enjoy. Vern

Re: When do you harvest sweet taters

Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:20 am

I wait until the vines either frost OR they look to not be growing anymore, then dig and dont eat until they have cured quite a time in storage!---for us they are kinda a mid winter eating thing! thanks; sonny

Re: When do you harvest sweet taters

Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:50 pm

Super A wrote:
Jack wrote:we usually dig them in the fall also, but my neighbor dug up some yesterday, and we are having them for dinner tonight, they are big and look wonderful. so i would think you can dig some now and start eatting
Jack



If they were dug yesterday I wouldn't eat them today, they'll have all the flavor of a piece of cardboard unless you really doctor them up. Put them in a dry, dark place for a while and let them cure first. Bigger doesn't = better as bigger ones take longer to cure and if they're REALLY big they'll never get as sweet as one about the diameter of a Pepsi can. A properly cured sweet potato doesn't need anything on it when you eat it.

Al

how long do let yours cure for before you start eatting them
thanks Jack

Re: When do you harvest sweet taters

Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:23 pm

We usually dig them after the first frost. We will cut the vines after the frost though. Grandpa always told me they would go bitter if we didn't snip the vines right away. We have let them sit in the ground for a few weeks after a frost before we got to them. Sometimes we will dig and eat them same day.

It is always fun to dig because some are sometimes as big as footballs and some are as small as golf balls. Anyway the hunt is always interesting.

Re: When do you harvest sweet taters

Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:55 pm

Jack wrote:
Super A wrote:
Jack wrote:we usually dig them in the fall also, but my neighbor dug up some yesterday, and we are having them for dinner tonight, they are big and look wonderful. so i would think you can dig some now and start eatting
Jack



If they were dug yesterday I wouldn't eat them today, they'll have all the flavor of a piece of cardboard unless you really doctor them up. Put them in a dry, dark place for a while and let them cure first. Bigger doesn't = better as bigger ones take longer to cure and if they're REALLY big they'll never get as sweet as one about the diameter of a Pepsi can. A properly cured sweet potato doesn't need anything on it when you eat it.

Al

how long do let yours cure for before you start eatting them
thanks Jack


Off top of my head I would say at least 2 weeks.

al

Re: When do you harvest sweet taters

Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:58 am

The longer in the ground the bigger, as for the frost if you wait until the frost dig them all as any close to the surface will be affected in a bad way. They should be seasoned a while at 80-85° and 85% humidity, drop them to 50-60° and they should keep well. First dug are better for canning and pies, I prefer cooking after seasoning.

Re: When do you harvest sweet taters

Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:12 am

We planted 9 slips, which produced 5 plastic grocery sacks of taters. We had the first ones last night, and mmmm good. They had darker and sweeter meat than the store bought.

We bake them mostly. Jan grows pumpkins for our pies.

Re: When do you harvest sweet taters

Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:28 am

we had made sweet potatoe soup yesterday, I didnt think I was going to like it , but dang was it good
Jack
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