Growing Sweet Potato, also Kumara

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17 Nov 20 Henk Stengs (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I have experimented with kumara for several years in Greymouth with mixed success so last summer tried growing them in old car tyres. Their black colour absorbs heat thereby increasing soil temperature. Three sets of tyres were used, each stacked two high. These were placed inside our tunnel house on the surface in a sunny position and filled with soil, with one slip allowed to grow from each central position from late November. Harvesting took place in early April, producing a total yield of 9 kg, with about 60% of shop quality, my best result yet. When I harvested the tubers I saw that they were confined to centres of potential growth areas, with no root development at their circumferences inside the tyre rims. Therefore over half of the volume of soil in each pair of tyres was not utilised. This year I will plant 2 sllps per tyre pair, positioned diametrically opposite, with root ends inside the rims to see if this will give a better result. I am interested in hearing from anyone else who has tried growing kumara in tyres. .
18 Nov 20 (New Zealand - temperate climate)
They grow sweet potato/kumara where I live (Qld Australia) by the thousands of acres. They hill the soil up into rows about .5m high with a base probably .7m wide. They take pieces of vine (called a slip) about .4m long, strip most of the leaves off. Keep the growing tip on it. They place the whole slip just under the soil horizontally with the growing tip sticking out of the soil. Where each set of leaves were on the slip, roots will grow and potatoes will form. Water each day for the first 2-3 weeks. Just a side issue, tires may not be the best thing to grow vegetables in. Rubber compound/chemicals could leach into the soil.
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