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How To: Grow 25 Pounds Of Sweet Potatoes In A Bucket

by Amelia Kinney, True Activist:

A cheap and effective method for producing your own sweet potatoes.

Every day we are faced with new challenges for finding food that is nutritious and sustainably sourced. You may recall the “Clean 15” and the revelation that some produce doesn’t have to be specifically organic in order to be safer for consumption. This categorization includes produce containing little or no pesticides, like pineapples, avocados, grapefruits and onions. But one colorful vegetable takes the crown among potatoes – Sweet potatoes.

Apart from being largely pesticide-free, sweet potatoes have fewer calories than common potatoes and are a source of essential micronutrients like vitamin C and manganese. In addition, sweet potatoes can be adapted to replace traditional potatoes in almost any recipe, and are great for juicing.

This article details an easy way of growing sweet potatoes in your own home so you can cook up delicious and nutrient preparations that will feed a crowd.

Start with the right sweet potatoes: select ones that have already sprouted, which indicates they are pesticide-free and able to reproduce themselves.

Create a warm environment: although other tubes are planted outside, sweet potatoes prefer warmer places. They’ve been seen to respond much better to room temperature, so make sure you store them in a place at least 50°F (10°C), and always place them in a well-ventilated place, to avoid fungal growth.

Top exposè: once you have a potato (or potatoes) with liberated roots, place inside a 5-gallon bucket of moist soil with almost half of the top (lengthwise) exposed. Refresh with water every now and then to maintain a good level of moisture in the soil. Use a bucket with holes in the bottom for drainage.

Hello splits: after a period of approximately 90 days, your sweet potato plant will start shooting out slips. Once they’ve become long enough to be planted (6 to 12 inches) – as shown in the picture – you´ll need to put them in a bigger container, ideally a 20-gallon bucket for each six slips (green shoots).

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6 comments to How To: Grow 25 Pounds Of Sweet Potatoes In A Bucket

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    GREAT little LIFE SAVING tip on one method of “container gardening”!!!

    You can even put a bunch of 5 gallon buckets in the back of your pickup truck, or on a trailer, and BUG OUT with it. Mobile Gardening!!!

    Clever people will survive as long as they don’t give up.

    Seeds are going to become MORE important than gold or silver. Stock up on them. Seal them in freezer ziplock bags to help protect them from moisture. glass, metal or plastic containers will give even more protection for your life saving seeds.

    Buy bags of garden fertilizer right now, while they are easy to get, because they may become impossible to get when you really need some.

      • Craig Escaped Detroit

        @Krell,
        I’ve bought & collected quite a variety of seeds over the years. Some are multi-seed “kits” from Ebay, as well as seed packs on sale at Dollar Tree, etc (5 or 10 packs for a buck), and also bought some BULK seeds in several ways.

        At the GROCERY STORE, (or from your own kitchen pantry), here are some “seeds” you can buy, by the pound, bag, etc.

        Beans! Pinto beans (1-4 pound bags), kidney beans, white beans, black beans, cowpeas, etc

        Corn on the cob, potatoes and sweet potatoes, and SEEDS from all the fresh veggies and fruits in the produce isle. Don’t forget, you can “re-start” several veggies from the ‘cut-offs” of the tops or bottoms of different things, such as CELERY, carrots, onions, garlic, etc.

        When the FDA required all kitchen spices to be PASTEURIZED, that KILLS them as seeds, BUT, it never hurts to give it a try, because they’re mostly “imported” and you can betch yer ass that some of those were not killed.

        I’m pretty sure that bulk PICKLING SPICES will probably grow well. You’ll have quite a lot of things in there.

        I searched for good prices, and bought things like, 5, 10 or even 20 pounds of…
        Chia Seeds
        Diakon Radish seeds (both for cover cropping and eating)
        Austrian Winter Peas (edible cover crop, and nitrogen “fixer”)
        red clover seeds
        yellow mustard seeds. edible cover crop and kitchen spice/sauce
        chicory seeds (you should look this up, can be used as a Coffee substitue-decaf), deer fodder, etc
        Triticale
        Spelt
        Wheat Berries! (20 pound buckets from Walmart’s “Augason Farms” survival foods)
        whole, raw peanuts

        Got me a 30-50 pound sack of “Naked Oats” from the FEED STORE (about $30) They sell it as “deer fodder”, but it’s the ONE type of grain (OATS) that is “self-de-chaffing/thrashing”!!!

        Good thing about growing peanuts, besides they fix Nitrogen, is they are about 20% OIL !!!!
        (very GOOD oil. And what peanuts you don’t eat or grow, you can compost or BURN for heating).

        Here’s a tip many will not have thought about. Seeds can survive DECADES, CENTURIES & MILLENIA!!!
        Scientists have grown wheat seeds found in 2000 year old grave sites!!!!

        I myself, have grown seeds more than 30 years old. In nature, seeds are normally evolved to go thru a WINTER freezing period prior to spring time growing. Often (most) times, you can increase your germination rate by FREEZING your seeds, even if just for 24 hours (in MOISTURE PROOF bag,etc)

        When you prepare a SQUASH for cooking it, clean out those seeds, WASH & rinse & DRY them for your garden!!

        And don’t forget some of that Spaghetti Squash!!! Save those seeds!!!

        I have grown, and saved, some of my 30-50 year old CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS!!! HUH???
        YEP. I had some of the “multi-colored-Indian Corn” that people hang on the wall during the holidays. It was in storage in my attic crawl space with the other decorations.

        I stripped them off the ears, put into bag, put into the freezer, and planted them days or weeks later. (Prior to planting, I let them soak in some warm water for a couple hours.)

        BINGO, it worked. perhaps 40-50% of the GREW just fine. Now I’ve got a pretty good supply of it for future use. It’s “hard corn” best used for making corn meal, corn flower, etc. It’s NOT sweet corn for boiling/eating, but I’ll have to try some that way, to see if it comes out more like boiled wheat berries?

        Grow some Kiwi vines, grape vines, and all kinds of other stuff you don’t normally think about.
        If we are gonna be feeding ourselves, it can get REALLY boring if you have only a limited variety.

        OK, I hope this gives MORE of you guys some good ideas!!!

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    Hey, if you need your buckets to be LIGHT WEIGHT, you can mix in 50% vermiculite, or peat moss, or leaves, grass, and other yard waste in with some dirt.

    I will say it again. BE Clever, be inventive, be creative. Cheat. Modify. THINK THINK THINK.

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    don’t forget those important amino acids & omega 3’s that normally come only from meats or fish.

    Purslane-omega 3’s
    amaranth- lysine
    chia seeds
    flax seeds

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