Grit Blogs > A Long Time Coming

Sweet Potato Harvest Combats End-of-Summer Weariness

A photo of Shannon SaiaI'm feeling the same sense of garden malaise I felt this time last year, and somehow I don't feel as if I've accomplished nearly so much, though I did more this year than last year. I think that it's the excessive and ongoing heat, and how little that makes me want to go out and work in the garden, and the fact that the weeds in my garden could choke out oak trees ...

Sigh.

I went out to pull up some sweet potatoes, even though I was planning on leaving them be for a few weeks, mostly because I'm ready to mow the whole thing down, clean up, straighten up, re-fence, and set myself up for more control over next year's crop. I'm still trying to work up the energy to put in a fall garden. I did plant lettuce, chard and kale, but the bugs have already destroyed the kale, are working on the chard, and somehow I just haven't had much lettuce-eating energy this year. Is it just me, or do you have to be in a certain frame of mind to really be able to attack a salad? I'll probably still do the broccoli and cabbage, but I am in need of inspiration.

And this certainly helps.

Giant Sweet Potato

Now, I don't own a scale, but if I did I sure would plop this sucker, and another half a dozen or so like it, on there to see how big it actually is. I'm pretty sure it weighs more than my daughter did at birth. There's still a sweet potato patch in another part of the garden that I have to get out, but this here is a pretty good take. I also found a stray watermelon under the sweet potato vines.

Sweet Potato Harvest

I did find a little outdoor energy on Sunday and did some work in my front flower beds, where my daughter and I encountered some of the local wildlife. I have to wonder if that slug got that big by eating kale....

Girl and Slug

eliza from urban homesteader
9/16/2010 1:37:54 PM

Those sweet potatoes are amazing! You could practially feed the whole state of Rhode Island with that harvest. How fun that you found the unexpected reward of a watermelon hiding in the vines. I appreciate you sharing your honest feelings about weeds and bugs this summer, too. Somehow I thought I was the only one feeling weary...


s.m.r. saia
9/5/2010 6:16:55 AM

Carolyn, dinner sounds great! Cindy, you crack me up. Slugs for pets, huh? Yuck. :0) Carolyn, Vickie and N. Dave, thanks for making me feel less alone with my weedy mess!!! I'm thinking this weekend - cooler - will be a good weekend for some cleanup. N. Dave, I can so see you doing a post about your automatic weedwacker you invented, cruising around your back yard like those vacuum-bots....you would make a fortune! Thanks for stopping by everybody!


s.m.r. saia
9/5/2010 6:16:54 AM

Carolyn, dinner sounds great! Cindy, you crack me up. Slugs for pets, huh? Yuck. :0) Carolyn, Vickie and N. Dave, thanks for making me feel less alone with my weedy mess!!! I'm thinking this weekend - cooler - will be a good weekend for some cleanup. N. Dave, I can so see you doing a post about your automatic weedwacker you invented, cruising around your back yard like those vacuum-bots....you would make a fortune! Thanks for stopping by everybody!


carolyn binder
9/4/2010 8:44:45 AM

Hi Shannon: Well, you have inspired me to go out and pull up some of my sweet potatoes for dinner tonight! Grilled salmon with mango jalapeno jam, sweet potatoe hash and a nice fresh salad! I have also struggled through the last couple of months of brutal heat and humidity. I get a little depressed when I cannot be outside! I am hoping to beat the weeds back into submission this weekend, get the gardens trimmed up, and maybe even do a little seeding. Then there are the windows to be washed, gutters to be cleaned, the front porch to spruce back up... Let's all take a little time to just relax and enjoy! Carolyn www.cowlickcottagefarm.com


cindy murphy
9/4/2010 7:00:30 AM

Shannon! Lookit the size of those babies! I've never grown sweet potatoes, but looking at your bounty makes me want to plant half the garden space we normally reserve for regular, old potatoes for sweet potatoes instead. And ah, the slugs. Bluck! One exactly like the icky thing in your photo startled me the other morning as I almost stepped on it walking down the mulched path in my garden, (kinda funny being startled by a slug). Earlier this summer, my youngest daughter kept big orangy-yellow banana slugs she found as pets. She'd even take them out of their leaf and mulch filled "home" and stroke them ever-so-gently, (it's no wonder I can never find a Tupperware container when I need one). It made me cringe. One day, I came home from work to find she'd "set them free". "Uhm...Shannon? Where'd you put them?" "In your garden so they'd have plenty to eat." Argh!!!!


vickie
9/3/2010 9:09:50 PM

Shannon, Wow those sweet potatoes look so good. You just can't beat a crop like that. What a dinner you will have! Isn't fun finding hidden watermelons -Bat is real good about that. It makes me feel good when I read about your weeds -going to attack mine with a good weed wacker later this week too. Have a great labor Day weekend vickie


nebraska dave
9/3/2010 3:25:40 PM

@Shannon, you want to talk about weeds. I leave for a couple weeks and when I come back the backyard looks like the jungles of Africa. After three hours and at least a gallon of sweat the yard finally started to look like civilization again. It certainly has been a battle to keep the monster weeds under control this year. I still have an area of out of control growth that will have to be wrestled into the dirt and put in submission before leaving on the next two week trip September 10th. I really wish I had an automatic timer on weed control like I have on watering. Hmmmm, I’ll have to think about that one a while. It’s real nice of you to grow a bug buffet for your local insects. I have one lone Rose bush that had every leaf eaten down to the stem. I’ve been trying to get rid of this Rose bush for some time but I haven’t had any success. It’s the Rose bush that just won’t die. I expect that it will weather through the leafless season of life and be back again next year because that’s just what it does. That is quite the prize sweet potato. Only one would feed a family. I haven’t ventured into my potatoes yet. I sure hope that they did well. I didn’t have any trouble with bugs but they didn’t get a little weedy. My onions were a bust this year. I don’t know what happened with them. They just didn’t grow. I have a lot of things to ponder over the winter. Have a great harvest day.