Having scraped the dish clean of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's sweet potato and crunchy peanut butter gratin (mot to be missed) one of the children threw me a challenge, “Can we grow sweet potatoes?”. “I don’t see why not” I replied, not having the faintest idea of how to go about it. And then I noticed sweet potato ‘slips’ advertised in a seed catalogue. Two months later they arrived with precise instructions, to soak for 24 hours, pot for 3 weeks and then plant under black plastic. The plants looked so knackered that I almost didn’t bother, but a week on they have perked up and now I’m feeling quietly confident.
It may be a while before it warms up enough to plant them out, but as long as I remember to water them often they should be fine indoors. It is a member of the convolvulus family, so I’m hoping for pretty blue flowers as well as orange tubers.
This cold spell is also making me nervous about putting tender plants in the cold frame or greenhouse, so my golden sunrise and little red pear tomatoes are forming an orderly queue inside. At times like this I’d like them to stop growing for a while, but I doubt they’ll oblige. Sun, where are you?
The young broad beans though seem to relish the rain and the cold as does the purple sprouting broccoli. The asparagus is less impressed. Since popping its head up a few weeks ago it has refused to budge. Hopefully its just biding its time, waiting for a bit more warmth. Whatever the weather there are always winners and losers. Lets hope the sweep potatoes are one of the winners.