Now that construction has ended on the front yard garden I can finally get my sweet potatoes in. I am a little late as this wonderful tropical root needs at least 4 months of good hot weather to produce well. Better late than never though. This time of year the heat can be oppressive so it is good to remind ourselves that as a veggie gardener there are a few veggies that LOVE the heat; okra, sweet potatoes, eggplant and malibar spinach. If you have any to add to that shout it out in the comments. I think I can speak for everyone when I say, gardeners here in the south love to hear about something that really puts on during the hot summer months.
This year I wanted to add a little height to my sweet potato pit. Here in Dallas, Texas where everything is hard clay,a deep raised bed is essential. I bought cement cinder blocks to make a circle on one side of my front yard. Topping it off with a more decorative brick made it look much nicer. I have ground cover ivy growing around mine so it does not show so much. A border around it of flowers or veggies would be good to hide the cinder blocks somewhat. Keeping in mind of course that would not be the case in winter when everything dies back. A friend of mine gave me as much composted horse manure as I could fit in my truck and I picked up a couple of bags of sand. I had bought organic sweet potatoes(it is important to use organic because they spray most potatoes with a chemical that inhibits sprouting) and put them in a pot covered thinly with good loose compost and dirt months before. This is something I do every spring. When you see lots of vine starts coming up out of the soil you can dig out the potatoes, cut off chunks that have vines on them and plant in your pit.
Each little plant will use the nutrients off the potato piece until it forms more roots. The rest is just waiting until the vines start to yellow and die back in Fall. Then it is harvest time. Sweet potatoes love full sun. Unfortunately the trees in this area have grown up some so I will have to trim them. Just what I wanted to do this weekend!