This week we will very likely be getting frost and they weather has cooled significantly. Perfect time to harvest the sweet potatoes which won’t do much growing once the temperatures are below 20 C and the potatoes themselves are damaged when the soil falls below 10 C. As expected, the harvest was well below its potential. The summer just didn’t bring enough heat to maximize the double 80 foot row of sweet potato slips that were planted. Nonetheless, I got about 7 medium-sized boxes in the end. They are now all in our walk-in closet with a little electric heater being “cured”. They need to be kept at 30 C and high humidity for a week or two before they are ready to eat and store.
Sweet potatoes are a lot of work to dig up! They are much harder to locate than regular potatoes and it’s tough not to slice or break the roots when you dig them. It’s fun though… kind of like a treasure hunt.
The Georgia Jet’s did the best, although only about 1/4 of the patch was planted with this variety. Many more of the potatoes were of the large, baking size. There were also a few jumbos, each one probably enough to feed a large family:
The “Frasier White” variety yielded much smaller potatoes, similar to last year. But last year this variety out-yielded the Georgia Jet’s significantly. The difference is likely due to the fact that the “slips” (starter plants) last year were much different, with the Frasier White’s being much more healthy and vigorous when they went in the ground. This year they all looked equally as healthy as I grew them all myself. A typical hill of Frasier White looked like this:
With some help from Steven, today I also got pretty much all of the winter squash harvested. Butternut is definitely the star this year. It’s a very tasty squash that lasts very long in storage. It’s one of the best for making pumpkin pies.
In the picture you see butternut squash on the left, “snack jack” naked seeded pumpkin at the top, acorn squash in the middle and white pumpkins in a line on the right. I’ve been saving the seeds for the white pumpkins for several years now. It’s actually a pretty decent eating pumpkin and makes a great ornamental. The flesh is normal orange pumpkin colour. I think next year I need to buy the original seed though as I think my strain has been contaminated. Last year I grew a squash called “candy roaster” which was bluish and light orange. The two plant groups where separated by at least 200′, but it may not have been enough. Take a look at the colours appearing in some of my “white” pumpkins: