Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Goings On


Look at this!

The sweet potatoes I set out a couple of weeks ago are producing sprouts! It's particularly exciting because this is the first time I've grown my own slips.

I've cut free five already and stuck them in soil to root. The first to produce sprouts were two of the all purple ones (top of image). A third all purple (lower center) is being pokey about sprouting, but I think I saw a tiny little sprout on it yesterday. 

The next to sprout was one of the Jerseys (lower right), a white variety that is very sweet. Its sprouts are not yet big enough to cut and root, but it's getting close. A second one (lower left) has tiny buds on it, and a third (in a different container) is being stubborn. Three of the six Japanese sweet potatoes (purple skin, white flesh) are just beginning to sprout.

These won't provide all of the sweet potato slips I want to plant. Soon I will order a few Murasaki (like the Japanese ones) and Bonita (white) from K-State through a local hardware store, and in May I'll buy all of my orange variety from a local nursery that gets in huge slips that are already rooted. We are going to be laden with sweet potatoes come fall.

I thought we'd have plenty of sweet potatoes from the 160 slips I planted last year, but we've had to start buying them. 

It's also time to start "hardening off" the baby cabbage and broccoli plants. In two to three weeks, depending on the weather forecast, they will go out into the garden soil. A two- to three-week hardening off period helps them adjust to the great outdoors. 

Tiny eggplants are reaching toward the lights, and bell pepper seeds are just beginning to germinate.

Bees visit the crocus blooms and purple rock iris outdoors, the winter aconite is beginning to fade, and little green shoots are popping up all over.

I've already planted some snap peas and lettuce, and will plant more next week. It's an exciting time of
anticipation. The rosemary plants have been moved from the "plant room" onto the front porch, and the fig and Kentucky coffee tree seedling have been moved from the garage to the porch. 

Lastly, indoors, the walking iris has finally bloomed. Last year it bloomed in late January. I'm not sure why it's so late this year. It probably needs to be divided into two or three pots. It doesn't look crowded, but maybe the plants feel crowded. 

Can't wait to see what's next.

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