Sweet (qualified) success
I wrote a while back about my vole problem, how the voles were eating my sweet potatoes- I described digging them up, to find beautiful potatoes, completely eaten from underneath! This year I planted my garnet sweet potato slips in a trench that I had first lined with hardware cloth (fencing) to keep the voles out. I dug down a foot or more, lined the trench (sides too) with hardware cloth and back filled it, mounding the amended soil over the top to make a raised bed. The slips grew well and…voila! When I harvested them the weekend before Thanksgiving, I had intact sweet potatoes. It was not an unqualified success, because I didn’t get a lot of sweet potatoes, and they varied in size from pretty small to large, but this was my first experiment and I planted only in a small bed. I will definitely use this method again next year, in a larger area and be better about feeding the plants to increase harvest. We will eat the tubers pictured above at our Thanksgiving feast!