We have been growing this crop for twenty years now. The first time, the farm who supplied us with the cuttings said to go easy on the water. I did but still managed to grow a 7 lb sweet potato much to his amusement. Over the years we have learnt how to grow this crop, and other farmer friends have joined us in ordering the rooted cutting so that last Friday 56,000 cuttings came up on a truck from Turlock. Less than half was for our farm.
This year Jose wanted to split up the planting over two weeks as it seems we always get hot windy weather and lose some of the plants. So the other half of our plants are in the cooler and will be planted this coming Saturday.
The crop is a member of the ivy family which we plant on ridges. This makes harvesting with our mechanical digger much easier. The harvest will begin in September. We hope to store most of the crop in one of our domes. Given the right conditions they should keep until March or April. The Garett we grow is a descendent of Diane, our original variety. This was the only one that would grow and have something like a smooth skin. They grow best in the sandy soils of Turlock but they do not have the flavor like ours which grow in our loamy soils. As I have always said, we grow the best tasting and ugliest sweet potatoes.