Summer Fruits

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Pomelo, mangoes, star fruit and guavas – all picked this morning, unfortunately not from our garden but a gift from a neighbour.

I’m amazed at the types of fruit and veg that grow in this extreme summer heat, it’s still in the 40’s during the day. Our papayas and sweet limes are still going strong, as are the sweet potatoes.

More Sweet Potatoes

We planted 7 sweet potato plants last autumn, 4 in large pots in the garden, and 3 directly into raised beds. The pots were not successful, the chickens ate the vines of 2 pots, and they didn’t produce anything. The 2 other pots flourished, but I turned them out too soon, t’internet said I’d have kilos and kilos after 4 months.  Both had 2 reasonable sized tubers ( 6 inches long and 3 inches wide) and 4 or 5 tiny tubers. Rather deceptively, the larger tubers were at the top and the tiny ones at the bottom, so I fooled myself into thinking that they were all of a reasonable size. They’d been growing for 6 months, so longer than the recommended time for huge crops – don’t believe everything you read on Pinterest!

The potatoes in the raised beds are doing much better, the vines are spreading through the beds, especially now we’ve pulled up the tomatoes and courgettes, and are putting out runners, which will produce new plants and new tubers. The potatoes are growing near to the surface and are a good size. Below is one I picked this morning, with my flip flop for perspective (UK size 6). I’ll record how many I get, this one weighed 450gms, and I picked another that weighted 250 grams that was poking through the soil.

The pots were planted out last November and harvested end of April. The one’s in the beds were planted in January. We had pretty cold nights (12 degrees C 🙂 – it’s all relative) right until the end of Feb, so maybe it’s the warmer weather rather than the raised beds that have allowed these plants to do so well – they seem to be thriving in the 40+ heat.

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Growing Sweet Potatoes

This is a first attempt at growing sweet potatoes. We found a crusty half of a sweet potato at the back of the veggie draw and cut it into 4 pieces. These pieces we placed in a dish of water and put them outside in a site that gets morning sun but is shaded from the mid day sun.

It took about a week for the potato to sprout and another week for the slips to grow to 10 cms, the right size for picking. I love how things grow so quickly here….

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One wasn’t big enough to pick so we left it for another week, by which time 3 more slips had sprouted.

The slips were put into jars of water to root, which also took one week, before being transplanted into large pots.

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The first 4 will stay in these pots so they can be moved around if the garden doesn’t get enough sunlight in the winter. The other 4 will go into the various raised beds

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Altogether we have 8 sweet potato vines from half a dried out potato