I DO sometimes wonder what my grandfather would think of some of the vegetables we grow nowadays. For sure, he’d be very dubious about sweet potatoes.
This apparently ‘new’ crop is proving more and more popular, yet it was introduced before our commonplace Solanum potatoes. Sweet potatoes failed to catch on – even though they’re tastier, more nutritious and have edible foliage like spinach. The main reason was that you grow potato plants from small potatoes that can be easily overwintered. You cannot do this with sweet potatoes. Instead, you must keep (fairly warm and dry) one of last year’s best tubers (or buy a good one) to pack now in warm, moist compost or sand.
If kept somewhere really warm, it will soon sprout – and when the shoots are finger length, they will develop basal roots. Then they can be detached and potted up separately in a warm, light place, as if they were tomato seedlings.
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Quick-growing annuals to sow now
There is still time in late spring to sow quick-growing hardy and half-hardy annuals straight to the soil, says Anne Swithinbank, as she describes the best ones to grow
Keeping it sweet
Bob explains why now is the best time to sow sweetcorn
Create a wildlife patch
Give a little space to nature’s heroes, says Ruth
Sneezeweeds are tough perennials, and now is the time to plant them to attract wildlife and fill borders with warm, fiery colour in late summer and autumn, says Hazel Sillver
Say hello to hostas
After disappointments, Ruth gives hostas another chance
Bring me sunshine!
Sow the taste of citrus with cosmos ‘Polidor’, says Ruth
Growing citrus plants
Whether you grow luscious lemons or ornate oranges, Steve and Val Bradley explain how to keep your potted citrus plants in tip-top condition throughout the year
Val looks at the pros and cons of gardening partnerships
Start thinking about cuttings
Propagation is so easy and satisfying, says Ruth
This week... lilacs
With their beautiful scented flowers, lilacs are an easy-to-grow garden classic
JUMBLED JOHNNY'S TESTIMONY FIASCO!
‘Pirate’ star walks the plank in alarming court appearance
Caribbean 100-footers showdown
NEWS AND VIEWS FROM THE WORLD OF YACHTING
Connect with the abundant flora and fauna of Belize.
With spectacular beaches, top-tier resorts, and a stellar Covid record, Anguilla is growing even more irresistible.
A Boys' Adventure
An adventurous sail with his teenage crew in the Caribbean is a sobering experience for Lou Boudreau
THE SECRET TO A HAPPY LIFE? Prioritize Fun
This is a summer like no other, with life returning to normal after a year and a half of lockdowns and restrictions. If you’re feeling conflicted about stepping back into the “business as usual” rat race, you’re not alone. The stress and isolation of a global pandemic and social upheaval have led us to rethink our values and consider a reset. What do we do now? If you ask me, it’s time to dedicate ourselves to a very important pursuit –– having fun.
JOHNNY'S HOLLYWOOD HIT LIST
Asked to resign from the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Written out of the mega-successful Pirates of the Caribbean’s next outing.
After two divorces, did I really know what I wanted in a relationship? Did I even know who I needed to be?
LIFE IN THE AIR
Senior Moments The trade-offs of airline-pilot life
ONE TRICK TO TRAVELING CHEAPLY: FLEXIBILITY
So you want to travel on a budget.