AT LAST! Successful Summer Garden! : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

All you people in zones 3-8 are probably wondering why I'm so excited! But in south Florida, in zone 10-11, it is very hard to keep anything at all going in the searing sun and heat! We have our 3 season garden, normal for S FL-fall, winter, and spring. But summer has blistered our beans, seared our squash, minced our Malabar spinach, cooked out poor chayote. But tonight we ate sweet potatoes from our summer garden! In my hunt to find SOMETHING that grows in the summer, last year I started thinking sweet potatoes. They went in at a time that had me nervous-late April. 90-120 days would leave them vulnerable in the dog days of july & august-we hauled a lot of water from our airconditioning drip and from our baths. We planted in a sandy area that no grass had been able to survive in-between the road curb and the side walk. Being concerned about the concrete making this area too base, we mulched 5" deep with pine needles and oak leaves. NOW Dh and I fought over whether or not to even try to harvest, since this was the first time in 20 years he'de had greenery there! This afternoon he did go out and feel around with his fingers, 2 goodsized sweets and lotsa little ones he kept buried. I am so PUMPED! By the way, is there anything wrong with leeaving them in the ground and digging when we want to cook em? Anyone have experience? It's not like I have to worry about the ground freezing or anything, but I wonder if sweet potatoes can overmature??

-- Mitzi Giles (, September 18, 2001


Congratulations. I can imagine how excited you are! I know that in regions north of you people overwinter taters and get them when they want them.

Now in Florida I'd wonder about insects (?). Or anywhere--what about voles and moles?

Have you thought of making some kind of arbor with grapevines above that would keep your veggies in the shade for a bit of the day next summer?

Glad to hear you recycle your ac water and bath water. I want to start doing that.

-- Ann Markson (, September 18, 2001.

Hello Mitzi, I would not leave the sweet potatoes in the ground if they are ready to be harvested. They tend to rot on the insides if left too long. Sincerely, Ernest

-- (, September 18, 2001.

Congrats! You SURE have the opposite problem of me! Hee hee!

-- marcee king (, September 18, 2001.

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