Growing Sweet Potato Shoots

We make plans when we garden and then there’s those things that just happen and you add them to the plans you made.There’s this large stockpot that my mom gave me.This pot is large enough to feed an army, type stockpot.I use it in the kitchen to hold my potatoes and as of late I’m using it to store the rest of our sweet potato harvest from last year.

While in the kitchen the other day, I looked down in the pot and saw an itty bitty leaf sticking out.You’d thought I found hidden treasure.

After seeing the leaves I called my husband to tell him what I found.This lead us to do some research on how we can create our own sweet potato plants.Every year my husband goes on a search to find sweet potato plants and it’s a quest because most of the garden nurserys don’t get them in stock until late spring or early summer.

We also have a 4×16 raised gardening bed to grow our sweet potatoes in.

Which means we have to plant a maximum of atleast 30 something sweet potato plants to fill this baby up.Purchasing the plants aren’t overly expensive, but what’s better than growing your own sweet potato plants from the previous season’s harvest?

Nothing gets better than that.

 

Some of our harvest from last year and this is just a portion of it.

After researching we found out that we need to get the sweet potatoes to make shoots by either placing them in water or cutting off the part of the potato that’s sprouting, place them in dirt and allow the roots to grow.

So, that’s what we did.Next, we just add a little more dirt, but not to cover them fully.

Follow up buy watering it.

And since we’re doing the winter sowing method we added tape to close the milk jug so we can take them outside and place them in our raised beds under our hoop houses.

Yeah, out here in this snow is where we have our plants growing under the hoop houses. Thank God for micr-climating.

This is crazy Chicago weather and here are some crazy Chicago gardeners.

Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Stay tuned for an update on how our sweet potato shoots come out.

Nicole

Helping Moms power on faith, Tune-In to family life, Flip through to do list, Turnip in the garden & tell you what’s on the Menu. Nicole is a wife, mother of 3 and a Chorkie. Blogging and vlogging about the things that she enjoys in life, her family, cooking, gardening, decorating, planning, crafts/diy, thrifting, giving roadside finds new life and more.

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Gardening Plans 2017 #GardenTalk

Let’s get our garden talk on!The weather here in the Chicagoland area has been amazing.We’re definitely aren’t out of the woods, but we certainly can’t complain.With the weather being so amazing this has giving us the opportunity to get some yard work done and begin making our garden plans for the year.

Check out the video below and let’s get our garden talk on!

Nicole

Helping Moms power on faith, Tune-In to family life, Flip through to do list, Turnip in the garden & tell you what’s on the Menu. Nicole is a wife, mother of 3 and a Chorkie. Blogging and vlogging about the things that she enjoys in life, her family, cooking, gardening, decorating, planning, crafts/diy, thrifting, giving roadside finds new life and more.

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Pre-Spring Garden Clean-up

The Weather Outside is Delightful

The weather in Chicagoland is DELightful!!So we had a chance to get out and enjoy it by cleaning up the garden beds and I cleaned up some flower beds too.Thankfully I did do a little fall cleanup so, that made this pre-spring cleanup easier.Of course there’s still lots more work to get done, but getting ahead start gets us ahead of the game.

So Much Done
We’ve also got ahead start on our gardening plans as well.Checking our seed supply, making a list of things we’ll need to begin gardening this spring and setting our gardening goals.

It Took A Beating
Although we’ve had a wonderful winter our greenhouse took a beating.We’ve lost nearly all of the top window panels with the exception of two of the small window panels.We were hoping to find some sort of plexiglass to replace them, but the prices were astronomical.Since we purchased our greenhouse it has went down to almost half the price. We darn near can buy another just by replacing the windows from the manufacturer, but we have to replace them. Last year I added some chicken wire around the bottom of the greenhouse to reinforce the panels.Our wind here is high and I was chasing panels on windy days, but since I’ve added the wire we haven’t had any blowouts on the bottom panels.Once the top panels are replaced we’ll add the wire there too to keep them in place.

Has the weather been beautiful in your area and has it inspired you to begin preparing for gardening season?I know we’re not out of the woods, but having the preliminaries out of the way will make things a breeze.

Nicole

Helping Moms power on faith, Tune-In to family life, Flip through to do list, Turnip in the garden & tell you what’s on the Menu. Nicole is a wife, mother of 3 and a Chorkie. Blogging and vlogging about the things that she enjoys in life, her family, cooking, gardening, decorating, planning, crafts/diy, thrifting, giving roadside finds new life and more.

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Freezer Preserving Tomatoes & Peppers

One of the things I’ve been trying to perfect with gardening this season is preserving our harvest for future use.  Enjoying the fruit of your labor at a later date is one of the many perks of raising your own vegetables and that’s something I’m trying to culminate.

Dehydrating Garden Fresh Herbs

 

We’ve been doing good with preserving our herbs and now, that we have harvesting, dehydrating and storing herbs down, it’s time to do the same with the other vegetables.However, when it comes to preserving your harvest, what often happens is you may only have enough to harvest and eat now and nothing to eat later. So, the now and later plan goes out the window and you’re eating for the now. Of course that all depends on how much we plant and if everything goes well with the vegetables.  Thankfully we’ve been getting an overflow of roma tomatoes.

 

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Once we harvest one or two baskets, it’s time to harvest more.  To keep from becoming overwhelmed, I quickly take care of the batches of tomatoes as we bring them in the house.  I’ll start off by cleaning my harvest and prep them by removing the area the stem was and cutting an X on the bottom of the tomato.  After they’ve been cleaned and prepped I boil them for about 30 minutes and the amount of time depends on how many tomatoes I’m preparing. Many people roast their tomatoes, but with preparing so many, I like to make the task as easy as possible by boiling them.  Once they’ve boiled and cooled off, I remove the skin, put them in the crock pot and after a few hours blend them with a hand blender and add my fresh seasonings.

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Next year’s goal I’d like to learn how to can.  After having a bad experience with canning a few years ago, I gave canning up.  Although, seeing mason jars filled with garden fresh vegetables lined up on shelves will bring back childhood memories of my annual trips to Missouri with my grandma, lined up in my freezer will have to do.

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Another vegetable I’ve freezer preserved are those tasty poblano peppers.  Hubby planted poblano peppers this year and they’ve been plentiful as well, unlike last year.  Last year we got nothing.  Not one darn poblano.  My husband loves when I make stuffed poblano peppers.  They have the best flavor and make great appetizers or a meal when served with rice and some vegetables.

So, I harvest all the poblanos that were ready, cleaned them up and blanched them.  Once they cooled I layed them on a tray and placed them in the freezer to freeze.  After they were frozen I removed them from the freezer and place them all in a large freezer bag.  Freezing them before placing them in a bag assures that they won’t stick together and when I was ready to use them I can grab as many as I need.

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Although we’ve been getting a great harvest, we’ve also had some trouble in the garden.  One being powdery mildew and the other blossom end rot.   Although some of the tomatoes and peppers have been experiencing the blossom end rot, I’ve still been able to get some use out of the vegetables that have been plagued with this problem. Like this variety of pepper mix here that I put together.

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All the peppers that had the blossom end rot, I removed the damaged part and cut up the part that was good, placed them in small portions in freezer bags to use in any meal. I can officially say that this week has been a successful week with freezer preserving tomatoes and peppers.  Have you been preserving any of your garden vegetables and if so, which vegetables and how do you like to preserve your vegetables?

Watch video below

Nicole

Helping Moms power on faith, Tune-In to family life, Flip through to do list, Turnip in the garden & tell you what’s on the Menu. Nicole is a wife, mother of 3 and a Chorkie. Blogging and vlogging about the things that she enjoys in life, her family, cooking, gardening, decorating, planning, crafts/diy, thrifting, giving roadside finds new life and more.

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Get your skunky hands off my mators!

​Time for more pasta sauce.

We’re thinking a skunk has been helping itself to our tomatoes. Hence the picked over tomato and the half eaten one on the ground. Last night was the second night we smelled an awful skunk smell. If it wasn’t for the skunky fragrance my husband and I would’ve been playing the who blew it game. 

Nicole

Helping Moms power on faith, Tune-In to family life, Flip through to do list, Turnip in the garden & tell you what’s on the Menu. Nicole is a wife, mother of 3 and a Chorkie. Blogging and vlogging about the things that she enjoys in life, her family, cooking, gardening, decorating, planning, crafts/diy, thrifting, giving roadside finds new life and more.

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