It’s time to dig the sweet potatoes! We had a super hard working group from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints yesterday who cut back all of the vines on the sweet potato plants. Let me tell you, these girls were super women! Cutting back the vines a few days before we dig the potatoes allows the skins harden a bit so they aren’t so easily damaged when we dig them.
We will be digging the potatoes over the next few garden workdays depending on weather and condition, so come join in the fun and take home some of the best of the fall garden! It’s like a treasure hunt!
Information from the NC Cooperative Extension Service regarding curing sweet potatoes:
Sweet potatoes should be cured to heal wounds and to convert some of the starch in the roots to sugar. The optimal conditions for curing are to expose the roots to 85 degrees F and 90 percent humidity for one week. Few home gardeners can supply these conditions, so place the sweet potatoes in the warmest room in the house, usually the kitchen, for 14 days. No curing will occur at temperatures below 70 degrees F. Spread the tubers in a single layer with space between them. Do NOT stack them!
After curing, store the sweet potatoes in a cool location. Never expose them to temperatures below 50 degrees F and never refrigerate them. Temperatures below 50 degrees F will result in “off” flavors and possibly rot the sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes can be stored under good conditions for over six months.
*Note: do NOT wash the potatoes before curing them.