Small Sweet Potato Harvest

This small heap of sweet potatoes was my harvest from 16 square feet this year. Last year I grew several pounds in just 2 square feet, but this year’s weather was so dry that the dirt became as hard as rock and the potatoes couldn’t grow through it.

The yield ended up being not quite a peck, or about a quarter-bushel.

In most things I grow, I like to play SHTF mind games. That is, I like to imagine how I would get along with this crop if I woke up tomorrow and the stores were all closed.  What if I had to rely only upon myself to continue propagating the item in the future?  This year’s potatoes were all so skinny and small, that I seriously doubt any of them is going to survive through winter to be planted for next year’s slips, so I would now have to find someone else whose potatoes did better and barter for a nice one come January or February.



7 responses to this post.

  1. Well, being from Northern Idaho those look pretty good to me. I have a small row of them growing under a row cover but am not hoping for much. I have a feeling if the SHTF you would find a way to keep those potatoes going one way or another.


  2. Since I’m Southern I should really like Sweet Potatoes, but I don’t. My family all do, though. I am always the contrarian.


  3. I too like to imagine what I would do in a SHTF situation. I imagine you would do your best to find a different source of food, and try to save the plants as best as you could for a spring planting. You other option would be to find new potatoes in the time between the winter and spring planting.

    I used to keep a small packet of tomato, pepper and cucumber seeds in my wallet in case of a situation like the tv show “Lost”. I couldn’t imagine the hopeless feeling I’d have if I knew how to grow food, but lacked the seeds to do it.


    • I loved the show Lost. We watched it in marathon fashion without commercials several years after it aired. I wondered where the lady on the show got her garden seeds. Scavenged from luggage? Dried cherry tomato seeds from the in-flight meal trays? Found on the island?


  4. […] In 2011 I grew an 8 x 2 ft row of them in a deep old raised bed.  My yield was 2 or 3 pounds of potatoes in that hard, dry, clay soil. […]


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