Nature’s Survival Food: Sweet Potatoes (fast, easy, and abundant)

By | October 12, 2022

In this installment of our high yield Small space gardening we’re going to Look at two different types of Containers and grow what will hopefully Be copious amounts of sweet potatoes This is a perfect video if you have Limited growing space poor quality soil In your area or if you’re confined to Just a balcony off an apartment with the Addition of a grow light or a good Placement by the window you can bring a Non-draining container inside allowing You to grow even more during the winter Months there’s a lot to explore here so Let’s get digging what you will need There are two types of containers that We’re going to be building and testing Out here the first has drainage holes in The bottom and may be problematic if Your dirty water drains off a balcony But it’s not a problem if you plan to Simply set the pot outdoors the second Is a self-contained system that kind of Marries Hydroponics with traditional Container gardening while recycling all Those plastic bottles the second method Creates reserve of water at the pot’s Base and has been great at keeping the Soil moist through our harsh summer heat Waves for the container with holes Started with a 40 gallon low density Polyethylene or ldpe water trough from Tractor Supply Company this container is 40 by 27 inches with a depth of 13

Inches these come in many sizes and Shapes but the 40 gallon version I felt Best matched the space I would have Available in an apartment dwelling You’ll also need a drill drill bits to Make both small and medium-sized holes Rocks and Pebbles are chunky bark like Material and some quality soil for the Non-drain container you may need a Contractor gray trash bag and you’ll Need a length of PVC pipe and multiple Plastic bottles like gallon milk jugs And water bottles you’re also going to Need the drill and soil but you’ll Require less oil with this method as the Bottles will displace the soil and Result in a lighter and easier to grow Pot Connecting the pots for the large trough Construction could not be more Straightforward I flip it over drill Several small holes in the bottom to Allow water to drain properly some of These tanks and troughs come with a Drain hole already built into them if That’s the case for you skip this Drilling step as you can simply keep That drain hole open to let the excess Water flow out of it this container will Give me eight cubic feet of growing Space a Bountiful Harvest could be Around 30 pounds of sweet potatoes I Could have gone larger but this Container would have worked on the

Smallest apartment balcony I’ve ever had So I wanted to emulate that growing Space I will be using two here with two Different types of sweet potatoes I put About 20 across the bottom with a 1 8 Drill bit the number of holes it doesn’t Really matter but you don’t want too Many holes because you want to keep the Container structural Integrity with your Holes filled flip it over and add a thin Layer of rocks Pebbles or chunky Materials here I’m using some chunks of Bark from a terranium the larger Material will keep the finer potting Soil from running out of the bottom I’ve Also seen people use Windows screening Material for this purpose with the thin Layer of the chunkier material down add The potting or garden soil you’ll be Using fill it to around an inch or two From the top and pack it down with your Hands it will sink down and compact over Time that’s it you are ready to plant Your sweet potato slips in this Container now for the second pot you’re Going to create a self-watering system I’ll use an old 17 gallon utility bucket That has started to crack and Chip Because of outdoor exposure it is still Viable as a container but I’ll line it With a construction gray trash bag to Keep it watertight with such a small Container in the displaced area filled With the bottles I will only get about

Two cubic feet of growing space for the Sweet potatoes I can plant a maximum of Two shoots however there’s plenty of Soil for other plants so this method is Excellent for tomatoes peppers and even Amaranth or sunchokes for the water Bottles place them around the bottom With the lids on them and arrange them So you have no free space where they can Tip over for all the bottles but one You’re going to want to use caps you Will insert the PVC pipe in one bottle Making watering and fertilizing The Roots easy with the bottles placed Remove them and drill holes in them About six inches from the bottom the Uniformity of the height of the holes From the bottom does not need to be Exactly correct but you’ll still want Them to be around the same height Generally for this I’m using a 5 8 inch Spade bit to give me a bigger hole but You can really use any larger bit I will Also drill a hole or two at the angle Top to allow the water and Roots away Into the water Reserve I’ll also put a Tiny hole in the lids this will serve The same function with the holes all Drilled I line the container with the Contractor gray trash bag these are Sturdier and slightly thicker than Regular trash bags but any trash bag Will do since the walls of the container Support it I’ve seen some examples where

People grow tubers just in trash bags Loaded with dirt that can work so long As the plant enjoys wet and hot roots in Southern California we get too much Harsh sun and too many Critters trying To get to the wet soil for this method In my opinion with the container line Place your water bottles up right into The bottom in the one without a lid you Will insert your length of PVC pipe now Place your soil on top there’s no need For Pebbles rocks or chunky filler Because there’s no chance of your soil Running off pack it down well and shake It to allow the soil to go all the way Down between any air pockets between the Plastic bottles one real positive of This method is the ability to add Fertilizer directly below the plant for The roots to take up so I will just use One small packet I drizzle the top with Water to get it to compact a little bit More Then I can add water directly to the PVC Pipe you don’t want to over water or Place this in an area that gets too much Rain because your water doesn’t have an Opportunity to run off you can add up The total area of the bottles you use to Get a rough ideal of how much water You’re going to add to fill the space Around the halfway point Your plants will find the water with This method and that’s what the roots

Are for but you don’t want your plants Swimming in the water and constantly Soaking to this container I will add Just one shoot that I sprouted off an Organic sweet potato I bought at the Store before I go into that I want to Show you a similar pot where I didn’t Use this plastic bottle method you see The plants are dry the soil is dry with The water source at the bottom in this Water bottle method the soil stays well Hydrated one huge advantage of this Container method is ability to move the Plant to whatever piece of your yard has The right amount of sunlight and the Best growing conditions The shoots sweet potatoes are planted From offshoots Not seeds sweet potatoes Are a viny plant wherever they touch the Soil they can take root and make more Tubers at that location over this last Year I’ve tried several different Sprouting methods the method of burying Them halfway in soil wasn’t very Successful for me the process of putting Toothpicks in them and then soaking them In water like you might in avocado pit Was 50 successful I used two sweet Potatoes and I got one to give me one Shoot I tried it with turmeric as well And that was not successful if you try To get your own shoots from store-bought Sweet potatoes ensure that they’re Organic as non-organic may have been

Sprayed with a spray inhibiting chemical If you buy them organic you can Sometimes get a spontaneous shoe to Develop if you moisten that or put it Halfway in damp soil it will likely grow For you I wanted different varieties in My local store so I ordered shoots from A well-known agricultural operation in Missouri I’ll plant a Korean gold Variety in one container in a minimar Purple in the other as an experiment I Place them in two different sections of My yard both with partial shade I came To realize that the placement for these Didn’t matter as much as they enjoyed The full sun so when they were all hard Enough well enough I put all the Containers together as if they were all Huddled on a patio Each Chute will yield between three and Six vegetable Roots if you wait long Enough 120 to 150 days you will have Massive sweet potatoes that are bigger Than anything you’re going to get in the Stores so when you plant sweet potatoes You’re going to want at least 90 days Before your first Frost if you get hit With that Frost the plant above the Ground will die off but the sweet Potatoes underground will be fine you Can winter Over The Vines by gently Turning them back into the soil and Applying a thick layer of mulch this Will keep the plant from freezing and

Provide you with yearly Harvest because These are above ground containers you’re Going to want to move them into a garage Space over winter or heavily mulch to Top to keep the vines from freezing as They will lack the regular insulation of The protective ground I’ll do a Follow-up video to show you the Harvest With this method and these plants I’ll Be planting here will be at the 120 day Mark around Thanksgiving because I don’t Fear Frost here I will only Harvest some Then and then let the rest continue to Grow for another 30 days Why sweet potatoes I pick sweet potatoes For a couple of reasons first it’s not Actually a potato as it isn’t in the Nightshade family it’s actually in the Morning Glory family so you may be Getting lovely flowering Vines from them Though flowering is rare unlike regular Potatoes sweet potato leaves are edible They taste like mild spinach and can be Sauteed added to stir-fry soups or Salads the leaves are an excellent Source of antioxidants and contain high Levels of vitamins A and C and Riboflavin thiamin folic acid and niacin Sweet potato leaves also provide Impressive amounts of fiber along with Calcium magnesium manganese zinc copper Potassium and iron The second reason I went with sweet Potatoes is a high yield I can get

Multiple pounds of food year after year Finally the sweet potato is super easy To grow and can come back yearly sweet Potatoes can be grown in any fertile Moist nutrient-rich soil Pastor best Managed with Organics like diatomaceous Earth and neem oil everywhere the vine Touches the ground is a potential new Sweet potato The Vines can be trellised Or it can be tinted to and stacked upon Themselves in an effort to contain it This plant will take over a large area If the soil is good and the conditions Are right so if you plant them directly Into the ground ensure it’s far enough Away from other vegetables this plant Can also be grown very easily indoors so Long as the natural light from window is Sufficient The Vines will get long and Can be laced around windows The Harvest Will not be as impressive but it can be Done I put this proper plant up there With a sunflower sunchoke porcelain and Amaranth you’ll be glad you’re growing It and at the very least growing just One container like this will save you a Hundred dollars or more yearly Subscribe to this channel to be notified When we Harvest these sweet potatoes Perhaps only draw back to sweet potatoes Is that you must cure them by holding The temperature at around 80 to 85 Degrees with a humidity of approximately 85 percent this sets them up for more

Extended storage by healing any Cuts or Bruises curing will also bring out the Sweet potatoes sweeter flavors as it Converts as starches to their smaller Chained sugars I will do that and walk You through that process in the Follow-up video to this one