Few Pests Attack Sweet Potatos

The Garden Clock

 by Pauline Keegan

 I would like to plant sweet potatoes. How are they different from white potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are the tuberous roots of a vine that is closely related to the morning glory. They are  grown from tuber sprouts called slips. Get slips from a reputable nursery or start your own. Sweet potatoes are grown from the slips, which are shoots that sprout  from the storage roots when they are placed in a moist bed of sand. Keep the bed of sand or any other soft media at 70 to 80 degrees F. Cut off the bottom inch of the slip to help reduce tuber-born disease problems. Few pests and diseases attack sweet potatoes. It  is one of the easiest vegetable crops to grow organically. A more detailed publication is available from the Washington County Extension Office. It is free for  the asking. Address and phone number are at the end of this column.


When should I plant  sweet corn? When should I plant beans?

Sweet corn requires warm soil for germination ( above 55 degrees F for standard sweet corn varieties). Early planting may be made in mid-March if weather permits. For a continuous supply of sweet corn throughout the summer, plant an early variety, a second early variety and a main crop variety in the first planting. Make a successive planting of your favorite main crop or late varieties when three or four leaves have appeared on the seedlings from the previous planting.

Beans are sensitive to cold temperatures and frost. Plant after all danger of  frost is past in the spring and when soil temperature is above 62 degrees F. The usual planting time is mid- to late-April.    


Is it all right to plant blueberries near black berries?

Blueberries have different requirements  than blackberries. Blueberries require acid soil while blackberries  prefer a more neutral soil. There is no danger of the two berries cross pollinating.


TIP: Janet Carson will speak at 6:30 p.m. Monday about new trees and trees that survived the ice storm. The talk will be at the Washington County Extension Office, 2536N. McConnell Ave. in Fayetteville. Master Gardeners are admitted free, public admission is $5


Send questions and tips  to Washington County Master Gardeners, 2536N McConnell Ave., Fayetteville or call 444-1755.

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