Saturday, April 28, 2012

3 Blind Mice Lovin' Sweet Potatoes

I found sweet potatoes are very easy to grow here in Adelaide plain as we have mild winters. Easier to grow than potato as you can simply leave sweet potatoes growing all year round. I usually have one spare plants growing in winter so I can cut some young shoots to propagate several new sweet potato plants when spring comes. Cut the shoots and put them in water by the window and roots grow from the veins very quick. Sweet potatoes are now weeds in our garden. If I buried the plants after harvesting, thinking in will be composted in winter, I have new plants popping out when the weather warm- can be invasive.
So I planned to plant more sweet potatoes in containers last spring as it grow without care and isolated it with other summer crops because of its invasive characteristic. To make the garden more productive I planted fast crop like Asian greens together with the young sweet potato plants. The one without Asian greens were already completely harvested. You can still have another round of fast crop with it like radish or bean and top up with compost later.
Grow without care...
But this situation welcome small critters to take shelter from the heat.
We did got some decent harvest from it, although we harvested it earlier than usual.
However, mice enjoyed them first.
Those pest even enjoyed the big ones until all left were only skin.
The ones that were save for us is the young tubers growing under the polystyrene in the ground soil. None harvest from the container for us.
Those polystyrene container were badly chewed on by mice to make bigger holes.
What we also found?
3 blind mice.
Still blind and unable to run.
The mice parents were not in time to take their babies out.
There were actually 4 babies, one of them, one of the parents tried to get it away.
But with all the confusion, squealing, hubby did not realised there were a baby mice under his boot as it was covered with sweet potato veins.
The parents were a bit agitated as it keeps running around as we put the babies in a pot near us while we clean up the area. Rayyan even named the babies- Mickey, Totoro and Ponyo. Told Rayyan we can't keep them as a pet. He was a bit upset followed his father to allocate them far away in the garden at the back of the reserve land.
Thats the story of 3 blind mice.
Have a nice weekend.


mashelly said...

i have never grown sweet potato, i think i will try it..thanks

Sean L said...

Ooo, looks like 3 blind mice will be running after the farmer instead of his wife, hehehe.

Mark Willis said...

The baby mice look very cute, but they would grow up to be pests, just like their parents. If you re-located them a long way away, do you think the parents will have found them again? Presumably babies that young would not survive without the parents to look after them.

Liz said...

I cut back a lot of my sweet potato vine to make room for broad beans today. I will leave them in to see if they survive our winter too. Do you dig out any tubers first and then leave then to overwinter?

Sue Garrett said...

Mice in our garden like ordinary potatoes stored in the garage and onions stored in the greenhouse too.

Sunray Gardens said...

They are sure destructive to a veggie garden. They needed to be gone.
Cher Sunray Gardens

Daphne Gould said...

Our yard is overrun with cats, so I'm thinking that mice won't be too much of an issue for me. I had voles at my last garden. They mostly left the produce alone. Though I know of others who had them and they ate everything.

petite nyonya said...

i hope the mice will find more food at where you released them, thus they wld not come back to your garden. i have grown sweet potatoes for its shoots but coz the ground soil is too clay like, no tubers. the shoots so delicious. thk i shall try grow in container after seeing your success with it.

Charmcitybalconygarden said...

awww. I know they are pests, but the little mice are so cute!

rainfield61 said...

Three blind mice,
Three blind mice
See how they run,
See how they run!

They all ran after
The farmer's wife
She cut off their tails
With a carving knife
Did you ever see
Such a sight in your life
As three blind mice?

Malar said...

This post reminds me of 3 blind mice song! hahahhaha...
You're so kind to save the mice!

Lrong Lim said...

Luckily so far, have not have had problems with mice chewing on our potatoes...

Unknown said...

mee too. first time read this remind of 3 blind mice nursery song. everyday play in my car when sent baby to babysitter :)

cookingvarieties said...

hi diana.. i have a recent craze on sweet potatoes, since i discovered its health benefits are excellent among veggies. have a nice day

Kelli said...

What a story! Hope I don't have that story in my garden!

lena said...

there could be more in your garden!!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Joyfulhomemaker~ Hope you will enjoy growing them. Sweet potatoes are very care-free plants.

Sean~It feel more organised at the backyard now that we moved those 3 blind mice away.

Mark~Its not that far away it has been moved, I think the parents must have trail along as well. The other day I saw the parents came back searching for food. They are not very afraid of us. Probably they now I am such a softie...hehehe...

Liz~Last year I did dig out tubers in fall and then transplant one plant back which still have some roots attached somewhere else in the backyard. That plant still live happily in our backyard possibly producing more tubers again. I think you can treat them like potato-bandicoot some tubers. Probably sweet potato are much less disturb since it has really stronger root not as fine as potato. But since the roots goes really deep into the soil it will be hard to get the tubers.

Sue~Oh the mice have not touched any of our potatoes or onion left in the shed so far.

Cher- Mice can be pretty destructive if no food available.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Daphne~The voles must have lots of food to pick from your last garden. My neighbour cat does come over almost every day to try catch those mice.

Petite Nyonya~Unfortunately those mice still visit, I can hear them squeking. Sweet potatoes does grow well in containers, hope you can have a go with them again.

Charmcitybalconygarden~I guess baby in any form are cute to look at.

Rainfield61~I don't think I have a heart of steel to cut their tail ;-). Probably the reason those mice don't bother to run away when they watch me around the backyard.

Malar~I guess its their nature to be that way. The parents were so agitated that I don't have the heart to do anything to them.

Lrong~Probably the sweet potatoes were so sweet, the mice can resist;-).

Hernyhafiz~The song can easily be stuck in the head with the tempo.

Cookingvarieties~Sweet potatoes does have many benefits and easy to grow as well.

Kelli~Yeah hopefully not. But your loyal gardening helper will shoo them away.

Lena~I think it came from my next door neighbour. As long as they don't have a shady corner to hide it will be fine.