My sweet potatoes faced an uphill battle from the moment I planted those slips into the ground. The odds of receiving any autumn harvest of sweet potatoes seemed insurmountable; the confluence of happenstance and necessity bode a poor crop.
- I planted the sweet potatoes late.
- I planted them in poor-quality soil.
- I didn’t have time to go out and purchase additional soil to top off the raised garden bed (I was already late, remember), so I had to utilize the extra low-quality topsoil and clay-rich soil from a surplus pile at the back of the garden that one day I intend to dispose of somehow.
- The rabbits ate the tops off each and every single one of my sweet potato tops.
- I strapped chicken wire around the bed and hoped they would grow back. They did.
- Finally, August and September were, on average, unseasonably cool for Kansas.
None of those pitfalls would necessarily be a death knell to a sweet-potato harvest even if I did initially fantasize about rabbit stew as I waited for the sweet potatoes tops to grow back. Still, the combined odds looked unfavorable. (Granted, choosing to plant sweet potato slips in clay-rich soil is nigh well an act of defiance against predestination, but I remember how harried I felt then and can afford some kindness to my past self now!)
My expectations were so low for my sweet-potato harvest that the fact that I have any sweet potatoes to boast of is a triumph!
So, please allow me my moment: My sweet potatoes are some of the most charming ones I’ve seen. I’d totally pick them at the farmers’ market or grocery store and take them home with me, except I don’t have to because I grew them myself in completely terrible conditions. And they look perfectly scrumptious! WOO HOO!