When should sweet potatoes be dug up?
Sweet potatoes are usually ready to harvest just as the ends of the vines begin to turn yellow, or just before frost in the North. To avoid injuring tubers, find the primary crown of the plant you want to dig, and then use a digging fork to loosen an 18-inch wide circle around the plant.
Such roots are referred to as “green” and are usually not as sweet as cured sweet potatoes. Most roots are cured immediately after harvest to improve flavor and storage life. Curing heals cuts and reduces decay and shrinkage in storage because it allows the periderm to thicken and to reform.
- Hang the strings out of direct light where it is warm with good air circulation - a temperature of 27°C (80°F) is ideal and two weeks drying time is ideal. This way the bulbs dry evenly and without spoilage. You want the wrappers to dry and the garlic to retain its moisture and oils.
- One of the most common “folk” remedies is eating raw garlic to ward of everything from infections to the common cold. With few side effects (besides making you smell like garlic!), it is a safe way to build your immune system that I've used often. They are just tasty ways to take a more medicinal amount of garlic.
- If you have a dark, cool closet away from the heat of the kitchen, store them there. Also, it's best to take them out of the plastic bag and put them in a basket or breathable cotton sack. And finally, make sure they are totally dry before storing long-term. Damp potatoes will rot or sprout faster.
You can start digging up the potatoes as soon as they are big enough for a meal. Often, this is 3 to 4 months from when you planted the slips. Usually, sweet potatoes are ready to harvest when the leaves and ends of the vines have started turning to yellow, but you can leave them in the ground up until the fall frost.
- So, are sweet potato leaves edible? Yes, definitely! No matter what you call them – sweet potato leaves, camote tops or kamote tops – the vines are rich and flavorful, although like most greens they may be somewhat bitter. The leaves are prepared much like spinach or turnip greens.
- Look for small to medium sweet potatoes, which are sweet and creamy. (The larger ones tend to be starchier.) The skin should be firm, smooth, and even-toned. The deeper the color of the potato, in general, the richer it is in the antioxidant beta-carotene.
- Tall-growing plants more 24 inches are not affected as much by the spreading vines. Companion plants that grow well near sweet potatoes include dill, thyme, beets and parsnips. Avoid planting squash near sweet potatoes because of a similar vine spreading growth.
After they are harvested, sweet- potatoes should be cured. Do not wash sweetpotatoes before curing or storing them. Curing the roots in- creases the post-harvest life of the sweetpotato. To cure roots, hold them at 85 degrees F with 90 to 95 percent relative humidity (RH) for 4 to 7 days.
- It is tempting to harvest potatoes as soon as possible to enjoy them in meals but different varieties can take anything from 70 to 120 days to grow. So, while the early-season potatoes will be ready to consume by the end of May or early June, others will need a bit more patience.
- Harvesting Your Cabbage. About 8 to 10 weeks after planting, your cabbage will be ready to pick. (It may take a little longer if planted in the fall in the far southern states.) You can harvest your cabbage anytime after the head has formed.
- Even though the inside of cabbage is usually clean since the outer leaves protect it, you still may want to clean it because sometimes there may be some worms or insects present. So remove the thick fibrous outer leaves and cut the cabbage into pieces and then wash under running water.
Updated: 6th December 2019