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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-21-11 03:31 AM
Original message
Cross post: Some Gardening questions
Edited on Fri Oct-21-11 03:40 AM by Tsiyu

Someone very kind donated a star for me, so now I can post this here as well. Thanks in advance for any help.

I'm too poor to donate, so can't post in the Gardening Group, but I can't sleep for wondering about a few things.

Today I did a half-ass survey/harvest of my meager garden before the expected first frost. I harvested about 8 pounds of sweet potatoes and a handful of purple potatoes, some flat-leaf parsley, a little dill, blah blah blah.

The sweet potatoes are the first I've managed to grow well and I was so happy to dig those fat babies out of the ground. This summer was perfect for them, but I also used actual plants rather than the slips they sell at the coop. What I'm wondering is, can I make my own slips? The vines have almost taken over the garden and latched into the earth with little slips all over. Do I pull those and put them in a cool place? Anyone made slips and over-wintered them?

Second question: I have a real tall "tipi" in the center of the garden just overgrown with a combo of scarlet runner beans and heavenly blue morning glory (which are just stunning but they just started flowering right before frost dang it!) There are beans all over the beanstalks, and I'm wondering about the secret to saving thsoe beans to plant next year. Should I let them dry on the vines, even if it frosts? How do I know if the beans are at the stage where the seed will germinate?

Anyhoo, still have lots of peppers out there, a little kale, oregano, basil. I hate first frost!
Hope all are well here.

Thanks for any help any can give.

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Denninmi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-21-11 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
1. Did anyone answer about the sweet potato slips in the other thread?
I don't think so, so I will here.

You can't really "store" them -- they'll just shrivel or rot and die.

But, what you could do is take cuttings, root in water, then plant in soil later and grow it as a foliage houseplant all winter. By spring, it will be long and lush, and you can cut it into about six in pieces and root those in water and plant as your slips once frost has passed.

Alternatively, and probably less work = buy yourself an organic sweet potato about 2 months before planting time, or just save a couple of your home grown ones, and pot them up in good potting soil about 2 inches deep, laying it sideways, and keep warm and moist -- they'll rapidly sprout and make slips. It needs to be an organic one -- those always sprout for me, whereas conventional ones are often treated with sprout inhibitors.

Good luck.

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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Thank you so much


That sounds like a really good plan with the organic potato.

But I may also try to root a few cuttings as well. Some of the vines on these babies are like 15 feet long. Yowza!

Thanks for the tips. Anything to save money in the garden is a plus.


BTW, we had a big dinner last night and those taters were so good! They laughed at me when I said I was so proud I could spit about growing them myself. LOL


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NRaleighLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-21-11 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
2. Hi and welcome! Ask me any tomato, pepper or eggplant questions (I "major" in those)...or any other
As far as the beans....if you've got the pods that are staring to dry (they get hollow and start to get crunchy!), sure, pull them, remove the beans, dry on paper plates for a few weeks in the house, then store them so that they remain dry (I use plastic or glass bottles or vials). Even if they are not drying yet, once the pods feel hollow around the beans when you squeeze them, they won't do any more ripening on the vine - just drying - so you can take them out of the pods, put them on plates, and let them air dry in the same way.

Also, once the Heavenly Blues drop their flowers, they will also produce seed pods - once they dry, harvest the seeds for next year.

We are a bit away from a first frost in Raleigh, and my sweet and hot peppers and eggplant are actually still going strong - no more tomatoes, sadly (all 200 plants dead and gone!)
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. We have chatted here afore


You're the guy who named my favorite Tomato, right? The Cherokee Purple.

Thanks for the bean advice.

I grew the scarlet runners more for the flowers (which are also edible BTW), hoping they would mix with the blue morning glories but alas, the runner bean flowers faded just as the glories got going. But the hummingbirds and bees and butterflies LOVE that tipi.

Those runner bean seeds are expensive, though, which is why I'd like to save some.

And the morning glories don't regerminate here. I think the soil is so acid here, unless you add a little wood ash/lime, it keeps stuff from taking over----except POKEWEED (my new garden enemy lol)


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NRaleighLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Don't forget to PM me next spring if you want any seeds!
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Thanks, I will do that

I hope to have a little greenhouse up by the middle of winter so I can start my own plants.

And thanks for the link. I will check that out.

Hope you and yours are well as we head into the cold times :brr:


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