Gardening in a new climate is both terrifying and exhilarating. (And yes, I do realize that these are strong words, but I get a bit worked up about my garden!). On the one hand, I feel like I’ve just landed on another planet trying to figure out what works here and what doesn’t. When is the best time to plant? What about the rain that falls in the summer time? What kinds of pests will I encounter? Luckily, I have many knowledgeable gardening friends in the area, and they will undoubtedly coach me through my first year of Missouri gardening.
In the exhilarating category are all of the new plants that I will be able to grow: watermelons, big bell peppers, eggplants, corn, and sweet potatoes! After gardening in a cool creek side hollow for 13 years, I am ready for some full sun exposure and warm weather crop success! Last week, I learned it was already time to start sweet potatoes. I found some good resources online (this link and this one were helpful), and enlisted Ella’s help in beginning some sweet potato slips.
Since I’m brand new to this, I’d recommend consulting other more experienced folks for more fleshed out instructions, but the basic steps are to place a sweet potato in a jar of water, and fill it so it covers about half the potato. You can hold them in place with toothpicks. Set the jars in a warm place and check on them occasionally to replace or add water. In a few weeks, the sweet potatoes will grow leafy sprouts on top, and roots into the water. (The next step, which is rooting the slips, I’ll share in a few weeks!)
I’d love to hear what you have going in your garden, or what your plans are for the coming months. And if you have experience gardening in the Midwest, do you have a favorite watermelon, corn, or tomato that you grow? Please share! I’m getting ready to place a seed order and welcome any suggestions.
And, in case you have not done so already, I’d love for you to enter my giveaway for a copy of the book Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes. The giveaway ends tonight, so hop on over to this post, and share a comment to enter. If you want extra chances to win, you can share my blog post on social media, “like” Homestead Honey on Facebook, or join my email list. But be sure to come back and comment again to let me know you’ve done so!! I’ll announce the winner later this week.
Have a great day!