Tag Archives: gardening

Roll that beautiful bean footage…

We have a feeling we’re on the edge of a beansplosion with the Chinese red noodle beans. We counted 40+ pods dangling from lightly scented purple flowers that are likely to be ready in just a couple days. But also, yes, we picked the first one yesterday at 14-inches long! We picked the second one just now and it’s even longer by a bit. The plan for this first harvest is a quick stir fry.

First Chinese red noodle bean at 14 inches long.
First Chinese red noodle bean at 14 inches long.

Growing sweet potatoes from existing potatoes

Know how if you forget about a sweet potato (sometimes called yams here in the US depending on the variety) and it’s in a dark, humid spot it will start to sprout? If you give it more of that fun treatment, you can grow your own sweet potatoes from those existing potatoes.

We always start with an organic potato because we’ve heard conventionally grown tubers may have a sprout inhibitor. It’s easy to get them started in quart jars in water or we’ve seen some methods with shallow pans of dirt. Both will have you a ton of slips to work with in very short order. We had so many this year we planted 6 bags with two plants each so…we’ll see. These are garnet red yams (again, really sweet potatoes) and they should really start heavy vining growth this month.

red garnet yams from slips growing in plant bag
Red garnet yams about a month old (when planted).

Tech to make life easier

We’ve implemented a converted 50-gallon lidded trash can to catch rain, built PVC trellis and bamboo trellis, added levels to existing raised beds, and started making our own concrete planters. The compost tumblers are a longer work in progress. Oh yeah, soaker hose which we haven’t had to use a ton yet because it’s been so rainy.

rain barrel from converted 50-gallon lidded trash can
Rain barrel connected to gutter downspout (from a conversion kit). Used a lidded 50-gallon trash can. Floating thing is a mosquito dunk.
Patreece the sassafras tree with a solar LED light, composter tumblers in the background
Compost tumblers tucked near the hose station.