Yesterday I roasted the last of our sweet potato harvest to enjoy with our mid-winter feast. When we all sat down to consume vast quantities of vegetable soup, Moroccan lamb tagine, chicken in white wine sauce – and sweet potato, I was intrigued to discover that whilst most people there enjoy eating sweet potato, not many knew just how easy it is to grow.

To be honest, I didn’t either until relatively recently – but since then we’ve grown and harvested two very successful crops and haven’t looked back. As simple gardening goes, this is a real winner.

In short, sweet potato is easy to grow, provides an attractive ground cover relatively quickly, and makes a great substitute for potato and/or pumpkin for household consumption. The runners produce edible leaves, very tasty roots and, as a member of the morning glory family, also graces your garden with lovely blossoms.

450px-Ipomoea_batatas_002The plants grow best in a sunny position, but I’ve had reasonable success in semi-shade as well – so don’t let that put you off. There’s plenty of detailed information available on how and where to grow sweet potato, but it’s not even slightly tricky: cut the end off a sweet potato – plant it – water it – watch to see the shoots come up and spread – it’s like magic. Once you have established plants, you can take cuttings from those and plant them directly into the ground and watch them grow – more magic  🙂

We have a whole new crop planted in our verge garden and are looking forward to future garden bounty.

Images sourced from Wikimedia Commons:
File:Ipomoea batatas 002.JPG

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