Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sweet Potato Sets

I can hear Daddy now.  "Bootsie, bring down the basket of sweet potatoes when you come."  We stored the sweet potatoes in the attic beside the chimney and the entry door was in my bedroom.  Quite often I was awoke by Momma trying to sneak into the attic to get sweet potatoes.  The door had a creep to it and it always woke me up.  This morning I jumped out of bed and got dressed.  Opened the attic door and picked up the basket of sweet potatoes with sprouts just beginning to show.

Breakfast was ready when I arrived in the kitchen.  Bowls of Momma's oatmeal with a plate of sausage biscuits were steaming on the table.  Daddy had sausage drippings on his plate,  he added molasses  dipped his biscuit into the mixture and ate.  Daddy enjoyed molasses and pork drippings.  We finished eating.   Momma said,  "Go on, I know you want to get going."

Yes, we did.  Daddy had already hooked the wagon to the tractor.  I climbed on the tractor seat and started it.  Daddy got into the wagon and off we went.  Over to the woods and down to the creek where we would get sand.  Daddy had several buckets in the wagon and the shovel, he filled the buckets and I was picking the running cedar.  After the buckets were filled and loaded into the wagon, we went on a walk. In these woods we spent a lot of time and anything that changed we noticed.  New bird's nest, spring leaves coming out on the trees,  deer tracks and tiny deer tracks.  Maybe we would see a fawn.  There was a red headed woodpecker working on a dead tree.  The woods were busy with action.

We returned home and Momma had lunch ready, after eating Daddy announced there was work to do.  I went with him and we planted the sweet potatoes to make sets.  In the plant bed Daddy had put a big pot which we started filling with sand.  About 3/4's full he put in the whole sweet potatoes and we filled the pot with sand covering the sweet potatoes completely.  Watered the pot and now it is time to wait.  I checked the pot everyday until I could see the little leaves coming.  Slips were on the way.  Daddy let the slips grow until they were well rooted, slipped them off the mother potato and planted them in the garden.  We planted 2 rows of sweet potatoes.  They were given one can of water everyday until they perked up. Now they would grow into lush plants.

Yes, I start my own sweet potatoes, I am amazed at the price the seed companies get for slips.  If you have ever had a sweet potato growing in a glass of water you can slip and plant it.  The only thing I do different is, I plant my slips into 4 inch flower pots and when the roots come out of the bottom of the pots into the garden the plant goes.  This makes the plant stronger and it is off and growing.

One morning this week, I will have breakfast and head out on Mrs. Jones to the creek.  There I will fill my bucket with sand and I will walk thru the woods to see what is going on.  I will be planting my sweet potatoes in the cold frame.  My pot is ready and the sweet potatoes have sprouted.

                 Daddy, I think I can do this by myself.
                                   Plant the sweet potatoes and water.
                                              Did Daddy say?  "Now, Bootsie, we just have to wait.
                                                                                          Patience little girl, they will come."

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