Sweet potato is an easy plant to grow if you have its favourite type of soil and weather. It can be very invasive. It is best to grow one shoot or slip in one metre square between each plant. Some Asian groceries sell sweet potato shoots for cooking. On this sweet potato vein shoots have nodes where the roots will grow on soil or water. I found sweet potato shoots last October in Gepps Cross Sunday Market. I was not sure what variety sweet potato shoot it was, but it was a fun experiment.
Plant the shoots with the roots tuck nicely into the warm soil. It grows very quickly in mild weather. As usual my plants like to have a break in middle of summer for weeks if planted on our most sunny and hottest place in the garden doing nothing. Then it picks up growth again end of summer. I should mention sweet potatoes is heat-tolerant, although it does nothing if the soil is too hot.
Last summer, I experimented growing sweet potatoes in 3 different location in our garden to see which is the best growing method for our garden.
Sweet potatoes growing in polystyrene container~ Received only morning sun, no checked growth, very fast growth and good harvest in just about 4 months.
Sweet potatoes growing in heavy clay soil~ I wish that sweet potato can help break the soil like potato. Unfortunately, I did not get my wish. Partial shade, no check growth and many leaves. However, a very small tuber were obtained from each plant after 22 weeks from planting.
Finally, we harvested our sweet potatoes that were growing in our most sunny part of the garden in summer last Saturday. It is starting to rain a lot last week so I was afraid if I leave it longer it will be rotten. Moreover, I was getting anxious about my garlic which I have not complete planting yet because of this space. I don’t think if I let them grow longer it will give me more since the soil will be colder now. Since it was growing in the hottest part of the garden during the summer, it has stop growing during middle of summer and pick up growth after the weather has become mild again. Growing on a good loose soil.
What a relief to dig in and find some sweet potato tubers.
I think for our garden, planting sweet potatoes in container is the best method to get quick harvest and make the garden much more productive. Next spring, we are on a quest of vegetables that can grow well at our hottest part of the veggie patch again.
With this harvest, we made sweet potato donut or famously known as kuih keria in Malaysia. English have their tea with cakes, Malaysian have kuih keria for tea . It is very easy to make and you don’t need much ingredients for it.
Ingredients: Sweet potatoes, plain flour, cooking oil, water and sugar.
Boil or steam sweet potatoes until soft. Take them out from the boiling water and mashed. Add in plain flour bit by bit and mix it well. You don’t need flour anymore if it is not that sticky and you can roll it make a doughnut shape. Be careful though that too much flour will give you a hard donut. Fry the donut in hot cooking oil.
For the sugar coating, I usually snip some pandan leaves and extract some juice from it which I will use for the coating later. In a clean pot, add in sugar (for example 2/3 cups of water) and the pandan extracted juice (4~5table spoon). The pandan juice is just to dissolve the sugar. Usually, only plain water is used but I like pandan flavour and aroma. Stir on moderate heat and just before it starts to crystalize (which usually is a quick process), quickly add in the fried donuts to coat.
Every cook has their special tips or advice or different ingredient. I am basic cook. If you are a first timer and not sure about the measurement, check out this great blog: