SWEET! POTATO THAT COUNTS

The Northern Star - - WEEKEND - IN MY GAR­DEN WORDS: ANGIE THOMAS

Pota­toes un­for­tu­nately don’t count to­wards your five-a-day vegie goal, but thank­fully de­li­cious sweet pota­toes do. They’re rich in vi­ta­mins and min­er­als, have a low GI and are high in carotenoids, which are great an­tiox­i­dants.

The most com­mon va­ri­ety of sweet potato is the or­ange skinned and flesh Beau­re­gard, but there are also va­ri­eties avail­able with red skin and white flesh (North­ern Star) and white skin and pur­ple flesh (of­ten called Hawai­ian Sunshine).

If you have a warm sunny spot and a frost-free win­dow of five months, you can grow your own sweet pota­toes at home.

Sweet potato plants are vig­or­ous vines that will grow over the ground, with the edi­ble tu­bers de­vel­op­ing below ground. Sweet pota­toes can be started from tu­bers, pot­ted plants (avail­able in gar­den cen­tres) and also “slips”, which are shoots taken from a sprout­ing sweet potato tu­ber.

Pre­pare and en­rich soil be­fore plant­ing sweet pota­toes by dig­ging in Dynamic Lifter. Ap­ply again around the root zone ev­ery six weeks to en­cour­age healthy leaf growth and de­vel­op­ment of tu­bers.

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