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RE: [fukuoka_farming] Smothering Bermuda Grass...How?

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  • Golden Love
    I use cardboard. I also solarized my backyard with black plastic for 4 plus months, (fried Bermuda an Kikuyu grass). Golden Love Love s Gardens Creating and
    Message 1 of 15 , Oct 5, 2004
      I use cardboard. I also solarized my backyard with black plastic for 4 plus
      months, (fried Bermuda an Kikuyu grass).



      Golden Love

      Love's Gardens

      Creating and Maintaining Sustainable Urban Landscapes

      California Licensed Contractor C27 363672

      127 National St.

      Santa Cruz, CA 95060

      Phone (831) 471-9100

      Fax ( 831) 471-9200

      goldenlove@...



      _____

      From: benonthenet [mailto:benonthenet@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, October 05, 2004 9:09 AM
      To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Smothering Bermuda Grass...How?




      It's preparation time for my Southern California arid natural
      garden. I am still in my first year with this garden. When I took
      over this community garden plot it was mostly covered in bermuda
      grass which I had to begin to dig out just to get started...the
      ground was hard and the root mat of the grass was in some places a
      foot deep.

      Someone told me that macuna ssp. (velvet bean) will smother bermuda
      grass. Is there anything else I can use to smother and control the
      bermuda grass.

      Benjamin
      Long Beach, CA








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    • benonthenet
      ... for 4 plus ... Golden Love - That s not an option for me since this my garden is in a community garden. Black plastic covering the ground for that long
      Message 2 of 15 , Oct 5, 2004
        <goldenlove@c...> wrote:
        > I use cardboard. I also solarized my backyard with black plastic
        for 4 plus
        > months, (fried Bermuda an Kikuyu grass).

        Golden Love -

        That's not an option for me since this my garden is in a community
        garden. Black plastic covering the ground for that long would not be
        allowed. Besides, solarizing the ground detroys all life in the
        topsoil. I don't want to do that because I would loose valuable
        growing time. So far I've been using the garden plot to test drought
        tolerance of some edibles. Now I'm ready to put it space into high
        productivity.

        Bermuda is a sun lover and will die back under dense shade. So, I
        want to keep the ground densly covered with a cover crop that will
        outcompete it for long enough to keep it at bay.

        I'll plant sweet potatoes on the edge that the grass is invading
        from to keep the grass from coming in. But in the middle I have to
        use a different strategy. I need to be able to walk on
        (periodically) the cove crop to get to other things. Walking on
        sweet potatoes wouldn't be a good idea. I'm thinking of chickpeas
        and tall fava beans to shade out the grass. I can walk through them
        well enough.

        During the warm season pumpkins, squash, new zealand spinach and
        lablab beans will smother out the grass.

        So, I guess what I'm looking for after all this rambling is
        something that will smother out the bermuda grass during the cool
        (but rainy season).

        Thanks to everyone for your advise.
        Benjamin
      • Judy Hayes
        I cant tell you the results yet.. but I just scattered clover seed to try to drown out the bermuda, I know that on a smaller scale I tried basil this summer
        Message 3 of 15 , Oct 5, 2004
          I cant tell you the results yet.. but I just scattered clover seed to try to
          drown out the bermuda, I know that on a smaller scale I tried basil this
          summer and it almost completly killed out the bermuda. One thing I noticed
          though is the bermuda then trys growing loooong little blades of grass to
          peep out and get some sun. So you have to be diligant on pulling those...
          and on a large scale I am not sure I will be able to keep up.

          Judy Lynn
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "benonthenet" <benonthenet@...>
          To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Tuesday, October 05, 2004 5:27 PM
          Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: Smothering Bermuda Grass...How?


          >
          >
          > <goldenlove@c...> wrote:
          > > I use cardboard. I also solarized my backyard with black plastic
          > for 4 plus
          > > months, (fried Bermuda an Kikuyu grass).
          >
          > Golden Love -
          >
          > That's not an option for me since this my garden is in a community
          > garden. Black plastic covering the ground for that long would not be
          > allowed. Besides, solarizing the ground detroys all life in the
          > topsoil. I don't want to do that because I would loose valuable
          > growing time. So far I've been using the garden plot to test drought
          > tolerance of some edibles. Now I'm ready to put it space into high
          > productivity.
          >
          > Bermuda is a sun lover and will die back under dense shade. So, I
          > want to keep the ground densly covered with a cover crop that will
          > outcompete it for long enough to keep it at bay.
          >
          > I'll plant sweet potatoes on the edge that the grass is invading
          > from to keep the grass from coming in. But in the middle I have to
          > use a different strategy. I need to be able to walk on
          > (periodically) the cove crop to get to other things. Walking on
          > sweet potatoes wouldn't be a good idea. I'm thinking of chickpeas
          > and tall fava beans to shade out the grass. I can walk through them
          > well enough.
          >
          > During the warm season pumpkins, squash, new zealand spinach and
          > lablab beans will smother out the grass.
          >
          > So, I guess what I'm looking for after all this rambling is
          > something that will smother out the bermuda grass during the cool
          > (but rainy season).
          >
          > Thanks to everyone for your advise.
          > Benjamin
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • Elinor Jean
          Hi, I ve got two questions: Firstly: How does Fukuoka deal with root vegetables (jerusalem artichokes, yacon, potatoes, sweet potato)? How do you get them out
          Message 4 of 15 , Oct 5, 2004
            Hi, I've got two questions:

            Firstly: How does Fukuoka deal with root vegetables (jerusalem artichokes,
            yacon, potatoes, sweet potato)? How do you get them out of the ground
            without digging? Or are you allowed to dig?

            Secondly: I live in quite a cold area, but I would really like to grow
            sweet potatoes. The problem is that I really need to be starting them now,
            but you don't find them shooting in the shops until january. The ones I
            grew from jan last year went everywhere and did some tuber growing but not
            nearly enough. Is there any way of making a tuber shoot? I suspect if I
            just put it in the ground it will still be too cold and it will rot. Or if
            there are any Australians out there, is there a good source of seed (e.g.
            by mail order?).

            Thanks, Eli.
          • benonthenet
            Elinor, You have do dig the root vegetables out to get them. Or soften the ground with water sufficiently so that you can pull up them easily. Sweet potatoes
            Message 5 of 15 , Oct 6, 2004
              Elinor,

              You have do dig the root vegetables out to get them. Or soften the
              ground with water sufficiently so that you can pull up them easily.

              Sweet potatoes are a tropical/subtropical crop. They need a pretty
              long warm growing season to produce (about 9 months in my
              experience). You can get more warmth to the vines if you need to by
              planting the sweet potatoes up against rocks, bricks, or
              cinderblock. You might even surround the plants with rocks to trap
              heat.

              If you put sweet potatoes with some greening eyes in the ground,
              they will sprout. Once they are going and have begun to root along
              the nodes of the vine, periodically trim the vines back. This sends
              more energy towards tuber production instead of vine production.

              Near the end of the season, take some cuttings of the vines and put
              them in some compost to root them. If you do this every year, you'll
              never need to start new tubers. Just plant out the rooted cuttings
              when it warms up outside.

              Benjamin
              Long Beach, CA

              --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Elinor Jean <u3288545@a...>
              wrote:
              > Hi, I've got two questions:
              >
              > Firstly: How does Fukuoka deal with root vegetables (jerusalem
              artichokes,
              > yacon, potatoes, sweet potato)? How do you get them out of the
              ground
              > without digging? Or are you allowed to dig?
              >
              > Secondly: I live in quite a cold area, but I would really like to
              grow
              > sweet potatoes. The problem is that I really need to be starting
              them now,
              > but you don't find them shooting in the shops until january. The
              ones I
              > grew from jan last year went everywhere and did some tuber growing
              but not
              > nearly enough. Is there any way of making a tuber shoot? I suspect
              if I
              > just put it in the ground it will still be too cold and it will
              rot. Or if
              > there are any Australians out there, is there a good source of
              seed (e.g.
              > by mail order?).
              >
              > Thanks, Eli.
            • Judy Hayes
              I plant mine above ground in a chicken wire cage... then at the end of season just remove the chicken wire and they fall out... its a no dig method.. but so
              Message 6 of 15 , Oct 6, 2004
                I plant mine above ground in a chicken wire cage... then at the end of
                season just remove the chicken wire and they fall out... its a no dig
                method.. but so easy too
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "benonthenet" <benonthenet@...>
                To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 12:25 PM
                Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: sweet potatoes


                >
                >
                > Elinor,
                >
                > You have do dig the root vegetables out to get them. Or soften the
                > ground with water sufficiently so that you can pull up them easily.
                >
                > Sweet potatoes are a tropical/subtropical crop. They need a pretty
                > long warm growing season to produce (about 9 months in my
                > experience). You can get more warmth to the vines if you need to by
                > planting the sweet potatoes up against rocks, bricks, or
                > cinderblock. You might even surround the plants with rocks to trap
                > heat.
                >
                > If you put sweet potatoes with some greening eyes in the ground,
                > they will sprout. Once they are going and have begun to root along
                > the nodes of the vine, periodically trim the vines back. This sends
                > more energy towards tuber production instead of vine production.
                >
                > Near the end of the season, take some cuttings of the vines and put
                > them in some compost to root them. If you do this every year, you'll
                > never need to start new tubers. Just plant out the rooted cuttings
                > when it warms up outside.
                >
                > Benjamin
                > Long Beach, CA
                >
                > --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Elinor Jean <u3288545@a...>
                > wrote:
                > > Hi, I've got two questions:
                > >
                > > Firstly: How does Fukuoka deal with root vegetables (jerusalem
                > artichokes,
                > > yacon, potatoes, sweet potato)? How do you get them out of the
                > ground
                > > without digging? Or are you allowed to dig?
                > >
                > > Secondly: I live in quite a cold area, but I would really like to
                > grow
                > > sweet potatoes. The problem is that I really need to be starting
                > them now,
                > > but you don't find them shooting in the shops until january. The
                > ones I
                > > grew from jan last year went everywhere and did some tuber growing
                > but not
                > > nearly enough. Is there any way of making a tuber shoot? I suspect
                > if I
                > > just put it in the ground it will still be too cold and it will
                > rot. Or if
                > > there are any Australians out there, is there a good source of
                > seed (e.g.
                > > by mail order?).
                > >
                > > Thanks, Eli.
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
              • William Stocker
                ... From: benonthenet To: Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 12:25 PM Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re:
                Message 7 of 15 , Oct 6, 2004
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "benonthenet" <benonthenet@...>
                  To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 12:25 PM
                  Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: sweet potatoes


                  Ben, I send to you because you post most often. William

                  > Dear Students of fukuosa san, 10.05.04

                  I see many of us are starting "natural gardens" this year. I feel that
                  I must say to you, If you must have Sweet Potatoes, buy them at Safeway for
                  two or three years. Your ground is not ready for specialty crops.

                  First you must establish a "Edible Jungle". Learn the essential
                  composition of a seedball.

                  Best if your land has been fallow for three years or more and has a
                  vigorous crop of weeds. Do not forget, "There is no such thing as a noxious
                  weed". Spread seedballs anytime of year. The sooner the better.

                  Spend lots of time in your garden. Learn to identify many plants long
                  befor it must screem "I'm a tomato!". "Nature will teach you"

                  I feel that Seed balls in the Fall Should be reseeded in the Spring,
                  after the last frost. Different things will survive for each. This crop
                  should go to seed. Possibly next springs crop also.

                  There is no harm in harvesting discreetly. Like the early American
                  Indians taught, When you find a new herb, look around. Do not kill the last
                  of a species.

                  Let the fourth year suprise you with its generosity. The fifth year
                  should suprise you again by maxing out. You probably do that well from now
                  on.

                  You will know that you are getting there when you see many bids, gofers
                  and moles. Let us try to remember the noble earthworm. It has been quoted
                  that the deep topsoil of England (some 20 to 40 feet deep on average) has
                  been thru the bodies of earthworms hundreds or thousands of times. He does
                  not need a compost pile.

                  William (a gardener)



                  >
                  > Elinor,
                  >
                  > You have do dig the root vegetables out to get them. Or soften the
                  > ground with water sufficiently so that you can pull up them easily.
                  >
                  > Sweet potatoes are a tropical/subtropical crop. They need a pretty
                  > long warm growing season to produce (about 9 months in my
                  > experience). You can get more warmth to the vines if you need to by
                  > planting the sweet potatoes up against rocks, bricks, or
                  > cinderblock. You might even surround the plants with rocks to trap
                  > heat.
                  >
                  > If you put sweet potatoes with some greening eyes in the ground,
                  > they will sprout. Once they are going and have begun to root along
                  > the nodes of the vine, periodically trim the vines back. This sends
                  > more energy towards tuber production instead of vine production.
                  >
                  > Near the end of the season, take some cuttings of the vines and put
                  > them in some compost to root them. If you do this every year, you'll
                  > never need to start new tubers. Just plant out the rooted cuttings
                  > when it warms up outside.
                  >
                  > Benjamin
                  > Long Beach, CA
                  >
                • benonthenet
                  William, I like that! My dream is to have my own plot that I completely have control over so that I can cocreate a natural garden without having to worry about
                  Message 8 of 15 , Oct 7, 2004
                    William,

                    I like that!

                    My dream is to have my own plot that I completely have control over
                    so that I can cocreate a natural garden without having to worry
                    about others being concerned about my weeds and fallow ground.

                    Natural gardening is more than an activity. It presents a relaxed
                    wholistic perspective on life if one is willing to see it.

                    Benjamin
                    Long Beach, CA

                    --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "William Stocker"
                    <stoc85@s...> wrote:
                    >
                    > ----- Original Message -----
                    > From: "benonthenet" <benonthenet@y...>
                    > To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
                    > Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 12:25 PM
                    > Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: sweet potatoes
                    >
                    >
                    > Ben, I send to you because you post most often. William
                    >
                    > > Dear Students of fukuosa san, 10.05.04
                    >
                    > I see many of us are starting "natural gardens" this year. I
                    feel that
                    > I must say to you, If you must have Sweet Potatoes, buy them at
                    Safeway for
                    > two or three years. Your ground is not ready for specialty crops.
                    >
                    > First you must establish a "Edible Jungle". Learn the
                    essential
                    > composition of a seedball.
                    >
                    > Best if your land has been fallow for three years or more and
                    has a
                    > vigorous crop of weeds. Do not forget, "There is no such thing as
                    a noxious
                    > weed". Spread seedballs anytime of year. The sooner the better.
                    >
                    > Spend lots of time in your garden. Learn to identify many
                    plants long
                    > befor it must screem "I'm a tomato!". "Nature will teach you"
                    >
                    > I feel that Seed balls in the Fall Should be reseeded in the
                    Spring,
                    > after the last frost. Different things will survive for each. This
                    crop
                    > should go to seed. Possibly next springs crop also.
                    >
                    > There is no harm in harvesting discreetly. Like the early
                    American
                    > Indians taught, When you find a new herb, look around. Do not kill
                    the last
                    > of a species.
                    >
                    > Let the fourth year suprise you with its generosity. The fifth
                    year
                    > should suprise you again by maxing out. You probably do that well
                    from now
                    > on.
                    >
                    > You will know that you are getting there when you see many
                    bids, gofers
                    > and moles. Let us try to remember the noble earthworm. It has been
                    quoted
                    > that the deep topsoil of England (some 20 to 40 feet deep on
                    average) has
                    > been thru the bodies of earthworms hundreds or thousands of times.
                    He does
                    > not need a compost pile.
                    >
                    > William (a gardener)
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > >
                    > > Elinor,
                    > >
                    > > You have do dig the root vegetables out to get them. Or soften
                    the
                    > > ground with water sufficiently so that you can pull up them
                    easily.
                    > >
                    > > Sweet potatoes are a tropical/subtropical crop. They need a
                    pretty
                    > > long warm growing season to produce (about 9 months in my
                    > > experience). You can get more warmth to the vines if you need to
                    by
                    > > planting the sweet potatoes up against rocks, bricks, or
                    > > cinderblock. You might even surround the plants with rocks to
                    trap
                    > > heat.
                    > >
                    > > If you put sweet potatoes with some greening eyes in the ground,
                    > > they will sprout. Once they are going and have begun to root
                    along
                    > > the nodes of the vine, periodically trim the vines back. This
                    sends
                    > > more energy towards tuber production instead of vine production.
                    > >
                    > > Near the end of the season, take some cuttings of the vines and
                    put
                    > > them in some compost to root them. If you do this every year,
                    you'll
                    > > never need to start new tubers. Just plant out the rooted
                    cuttings
                    > > when it warms up outside.
                    > >
                    > > Benjamin
                    > > Long Beach, CA
                    > >
                  • francisco cotejo
                    Dear Elinor, You have to dig if you plant those root crops in the soil.However, if you have wood shavings, rice hull, etc., on top of your soil as your growing
                    Message 9 of 15 , Oct 7, 2004
                      Dear Elinor,

                      You have to dig if you plant those root crops in the soil.However, if you have wood shavings, rice hull, etc., on top of your soil as your growing medium, pulling is enough.

                      Francisco

                      Elinor Jean <u3288545@...> wrote:
                      Hi, I've got two questions:

                      Firstly: How does Fukuoka deal with root vegetables (jerusalem artichokes,
                      yacon, potatoes, sweet potato)? How do you get them out of the ground
                      without digging? Or are you allowed to dig?

                      Secondly: I live in quite a cold area, but I would really like to grow
                      sweet potatoes. The problem is that I really need to be starting them now,
                      but you don't find them shooting in the shops until january. The ones I
                      grew from jan last year went everywhere and did some tuber growing but not
                      nearly enough. Is there any way of making a tuber shoot? I suspect if I
                      just put it in the ground it will still be too cold and it will rot. Or if
                      there are any Australians out there, is there a good source of seed (e.g.
                      by mail order?).

                      Thanks, Eli.


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                    • Sean Phelan
                      William, ... that ... for ... I could not disagree more. Sweet Potatoes are the absolute easiest thing I can grow, and they have worked wonders for my
                      Message 10 of 15 , Nov 9, 2004
                        William,

                        > I see many of us are starting "natural gardens" this year. I feel
                        that
                        > I must say to you, If you must have Sweet Potatoes, buy them at Safeway
                        for
                        > two or three years. Your ground is not ready for specialty crops.

                        I could not disagree more. Sweet Potatoes are the absolute easiest thing I
                        can grow, and they have worked wonders for my property so far.

                        What's the catch? I live in Florida.

                        I assume the short growing season up north make sweet potatoes a lot of
                        work, but down here, I just put it in the ground and it becomes a very
                        agressive groundcover, which eventually gives me something to eat. They
                        survive year-round in the ground, since we don't get any real frosts.

                        I might call them weeds if I hadn't planted them deliberately!

                        As a ground cover, it smothers out most other weeds (except bitter melon and
                        a specific seeding grass variety), and is easy to mow back if it escapes the
                        borders you'd like to keep it in (I garden a small yard, so borders are
                        still important)

                        Anyhow, to conclude, advice is based on perspective, and perspective in
                        gardening is largely defined by where you live. My weed is someone else's
                        specialty crop. But ask me to grow an apple tree? Not much chance.

                        Happy gardening!
                        Sp

                        -------------------------------------------
                        Sean Phelan
                        Sequoia Consulting - Internet solutions that make sense
                        http://www.sqcn.com

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "William Stocker" <stoc85@...>
                        To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
                        Cc: "William Stocker" <stoc85@...>
                        Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 11:55 PM
                        Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: sweet potatoes


                        >
                        >
                        > ----- Original Message -----
                        > From: "benonthenet" <benonthenet@...>
                        > To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
                        > Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 12:25 PM
                        > Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: sweet potatoes
                        >
                        >
                        > Ben, I send to you because you post most often. William
                        >
                        > > Dear Students of fukuosa san, 10.05.04
                        >
                        > I see many of us are starting "natural gardens" this year. I feel
                        that
                        > I must say to you, If you must have Sweet Potatoes, buy them at Safeway
                        for
                        > two or three years. Your ground is not ready for specialty crops.
                        >
                        > First you must establish a "Edible Jungle". Learn the essential
                        > composition of a seedball.
                        >
                        > Best if your land has been fallow for three years or more and has a
                        > vigorous crop of weeds. Do not forget, "There is no such thing as a
                        noxious
                        > weed". Spread seedballs anytime of year. The sooner the better.
                        >
                        > Spend lots of time in your garden. Learn to identify many plants
                        long
                        > befor it must screem "I'm a tomato!". "Nature will teach you"
                        >
                        > I feel that Seed balls in the Fall Should be reseeded in the Spring,
                        > after the last frost. Different things will survive for each. This crop
                        > should go to seed. Possibly next springs crop also.
                        >
                        > There is no harm in harvesting discreetly. Like the early American
                        > Indians taught, When you find a new herb, look around. Do not kill the
                        last
                        > of a species.
                        >
                        > Let the fourth year suprise you with its generosity. The fifth year
                        > should suprise you again by maxing out. You probably do that well from now
                        > on.
                        >
                        > You will know that you are getting there when you see many bids,
                        gofers
                        > and moles. Let us try to remember the noble earthworm. It has been quoted
                        > that the deep topsoil of England (some 20 to 40 feet deep on average) has
                        > been thru the bodies of earthworms hundreds or thousands of times. He does
                        > not need a compost pile.
                        >
                        > William (a gardener)
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > >
                        > > Elinor,
                        > >
                        > > You have do dig the root vegetables out to get them. Or soften the
                        > > ground with water sufficiently so that you can pull up them easily.
                        > >
                        > > Sweet potatoes are a tropical/subtropical crop. They need a pretty
                        > > long warm growing season to produce (about 9 months in my
                        > > experience). You can get more warmth to the vines if you need to by
                        > > planting the sweet potatoes up against rocks, bricks, or
                        > > cinderblock. You might even surround the plants with rocks to trap
                        > > heat.
                        > >
                        > > If you put sweet potatoes with some greening eyes in the ground,
                        > > they will sprout. Once they are going and have begun to root along
                        > > the nodes of the vine, periodically trim the vines back. This sends
                        > > more energy towards tuber production instead of vine production.
                        > >
                        > > Near the end of the season, take some cuttings of the vines and put
                        > > them in some compost to root them. If you do this every year, you'll
                        > > never need to start new tubers. Just plant out the rooted cuttings
                        > > when it warms up outside.
                        > >
                        > > Benjamin
                        > > Long Beach, CA
                        > >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • Sergio Montinola
                        Dear Sean, In our tropical country, sweet potato is a prime commodity. It is nutritius too. We eat all parts of the plant all year round. Sweet potato frys is
                        Message 11 of 15 , Nov 9, 2004
                          Dear Sean,

                          In our tropical country, sweet potato is a prime
                          commodity. It is nutritius too. We eat all parts of
                          the plant all year round. Sweet potato frys is far
                          supperior to French Potato frys.

                          Regards,
                          Sergio Montinola
                          Philippines




                          --- Sean Phelan <yahoo@...> wrote:

                          > William,
                          >
                          > > I see many of us are starting "natural
                          > gardens" this year. I feel
                          > that
                          > > I must say to you, If you must have Sweet
                          > Potatoes, buy them at Safeway
                          > for
                          > > two or three years. Your ground is not ready for
                          > specialty crops.
                          >
                          > I could not disagree more. Sweet Potatoes are the
                          > absolute easiest thing I
                          > can grow, and they have worked wonders for my
                          > property so far.
                          >
                          > What's the catch? I live in Florida.
                          >
                          > I assume the short growing season up north make
                          > sweet potatoes a lot of
                          > work, but down here, I just put it in the ground and
                          > it becomes a very
                          > agressive groundcover, which eventually gives me
                          > something to eat. They
                          > survive year-round in the ground, since we don't get
                          > any real frosts.
                          >
                          > I might call them weeds if I hadn't planted them
                          > deliberately!
                          >
                          > As a ground cover, it smothers out most other weeds
                          > (except bitter melon and
                          > a specific seeding grass variety), and is easy to
                          > mow back if it escapes the
                          > borders you'd like to keep it in (I garden a small
                          > yard, so borders are
                          > still important)
                          >
                          > Anyhow, to conclude, advice is based on perspective,
                          > and perspective in
                          > gardening is largely defined by where you live. My
                          > weed is someone else's
                          > specialty crop. But ask me to grow an apple tree?
                          > Not much chance.
                          >
                          > Happy gardening!
                          > Sp
                          >
                          > -------------------------------------------
                          > Sean Phelan
                          > Sequoia Consulting - Internet solutions that make
                          > sense
                          > http://www.sqcn.com
                          >
                          > ----- Original Message -----
                          > From: "William Stocker" <stoc85@...>
                          > To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
                          > Cc: "William Stocker" <stoc85@...>
                          > Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 11:55 PM
                          > Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Re: sweet potatoes
                          >
                          >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > ----- Original Message -----
                          > > From: "benonthenet" <benonthenet@...>
                          > > To: <fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com>
                          > > Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 2004 12:25 PM
                          > > Subject: [fukuoka_farming] Re: sweet potatoes
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Ben, I send to you because you post most often.
                          > William
                          > >
                          > > > Dear Students of fukuosa san, 10.05.04
                          > >
                          > > I see many of us are starting "natural
                          > gardens" this year. I feel
                          > that
                          > > I must say to you, If you must have Sweet
                          > Potatoes, buy them at Safeway
                          > for
                          > > two or three years. Your ground is not ready for
                          > specialty crops.
                          > >
                          > > First you must establish a "Edible Jungle".
                          > Learn the essential
                          > > composition of a seedball.
                          > >
                          > > Best if your land has been fallow for three
                          > years or more and has a
                          > > vigorous crop of weeds. Do not forget, "There is
                          > no such thing as a
                          > noxious
                          > > weed". Spread seedballs anytime of year. The
                          > sooner the better.
                          > >
                          > > Spend lots of time in your garden. Learn to
                          > identify many plants
                          > long
                          > > befor it must screem "I'm a tomato!". "Nature
                          > will teach you"
                          > >
                          > > I feel that Seed balls in the Fall Should be
                          > reseeded in the Spring,
                          > > after the last frost. Different things will
                          > survive for each. This crop
                          > > should go to seed. Possibly next springs crop
                          > also.
                          > >
                          > > There is no harm in harvesting discreetly.
                          > Like the early American
                          > > Indians taught, When you find a new herb, look
                          > around. Do not kill the
                          > last
                          > > of a species.
                          > >
                          > > Let the fourth year suprise you with its
                          > generosity. The fifth year
                          > > should suprise you again by maxing out. You
                          > probably do that well from now
                          > > on.
                          > >
                          > > You will know that you are getting there when
                          > you see many bids,
                          > gofers
                          > > and moles. Let us try to remember the noble
                          > earthworm. It has been quoted
                          > > that the deep topsoil of England (some 20 to 40
                          > feet deep on average) has
                          > > been thru the bodies of earthworms hundreds or
                          > thousands of times. He does
                          > > not need a compost pile.
                          > >
                          > > William (a gardener)
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > >
                          > > > Elinor,
                          > > >
                          > > > You have do dig the root vegetables out to get
                          > them. Or soften the
                          > > > ground with water sufficiently so that you can
                          > pull up them easily.
                          > > >
                          > > > Sweet potatoes are a tropical/subtropical crop.
                          > They need a pretty
                          > > > long warm growing season to produce (about 9
                          > months in my
                          > > > experience). You can get more warmth to the
                          > vines if you need to by
                          > > > planting the sweet potatoes up against rocks,
                          > bricks, or
                          > > > cinderblock. You might even surround the plants
                          > with rocks to trap
                          > > > heat.
                          > > >
                          > > > If you put sweet potatoes with some greening
                          > eyes in the ground,
                          > > > they will sprout. Once they are going and have
                          > begun to root along
                          > > > the nodes of the vine, periodically trim the
                          > vines back. This sends
                          > > > more energy towards tuber production instead of
                          > vine production.
                          > > >
                          > > > Near the end of the season, take some cuttings
                          > of the vines and put
                          > > > them in some compost to root them. If you do
                          > this every year, you'll
                          > > > never need to start new tubers. Just plant out
                          > the rooted cuttings
                          > > > when it warms up outside.
                          > > >
                          > > > Benjamin
                          > > > Long Beach, CA
                          > > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          >
                          >




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                        • Sean Phelan
                          Sergio, ... All parts? Including the greens? Could you explain to me how the greens are eaten? I ve heard about people doing that, but was looking for some
                          Message 12 of 15 , Nov 10, 2004
                            Sergio,

                            > In our tropical country, sweet potato is a prime
                            > commodity. It is nutritius too. We eat all parts of
                            > the plant all year round.

                            All parts? Including the greens?

                            Could you explain to me how the greens are eaten? I've heard about people
                            doing that, but was looking for some first-hand knowledge.

                            Thanks!
                            Sp
                            -------------------------------------------
                            Sean Phelan
                            Sequoia Consulting - Internet solutions that make sense
                            http://www.sqcn.com
                          • Sergio Montinola
                            Dear Sean, The problem of eating sweet potato tops is that the tubers will not develop. Its one or the other. I prefer the tubers. The tops can be eaten as a
                            Message 13 of 15 , Nov 10, 2004
                              Dear Sean,

                              The problem of eating sweet potato tops is that the
                              tubers will not develop. Its one or the other. I
                              prefer the tubers.

                              The tops can be eaten as a salad or cooked as a
                              vegetable garnish in soup or mixed with other recipes.


                              Its nutritious and high in Vitamin A & C.

                              Sergio







                              --- Sean Phelan <yahoo@...> wrote:

                              > Sergio,
                              >
                              > > In our tropical country, sweet potato is a prime
                              > > commodity. It is nutritius too. We eat all parts
                              > of
                              > > the plant all year round.
                              >
                              > All parts? Including the greens?
                              >
                              > Could you explain to me how the greens are eaten?
                              > I've heard about people
                              > doing that, but was looking for some first-hand
                              > knowledge.
                              >
                              > Thanks!
                              > Sp
                              > -------------------------------------------
                              > Sean Phelan
                              > Sequoia Consulting - Internet solutions that make
                              > sense
                              > http://www.sqcn.com
                              >
                              >




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