Back in the spring I first wrote about my weed-free garden experiment in which I used woven weed block fabric as mulch for my sweet potato bed.
Whelp, I pulled the bed two days ago. Here’s the video:
I started a bunch of various sweet potato slips over the winter, then planted a batch of them in the bed… then it was time to wait… and wait… and wait. Fortunately, there was absolutely NO weeding to do in the interim!
I’m not exactly sure what happened, but the sweet potatoes seem to be exclusively a boniato type – and the bed wasn’t as productive as I had hoped it would be. I blame the variety in the video; however, on further reflection, I think I could have burned the holes in the landscape fabric a lot closer and planted a tighter bed.
Live and learn.
The yield was likely 30lbs. I think 60-100 would have been easily possible for a bed of this size.
On the up side, it REALLY ended up creating a super nice harvest and a totally weed-free garden. It was the best-looking sweet potato bed I’ve ever had.
NOTE: I pulled this bed earlier than I normally do. Usually, I find it best to wait until close to the first frost before pulling sweet potatoes since you’ll get larger tubers.
This year I was out and about doing a lot of yard and garden clean-up, plus we were low on roots in the pantry… so I just went for it.
Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m going to hit my goal of a ton of food this year. Nursery work, book writing, etc. put a bit of a hole in my plans… but I haven’t given up.
As a final note: this DeWitt woven nursery fabric / plastic mulch is really good stuff and lasts a long time, unlike normal plastic which you might use once then throw away. I hate that kind of waste.
This also lets water through and allows the soil to breathe. In the video you can see how pretty and fluffy the ground was beneath it. It’s good stuff for killing off weeds in a food forest, too. Just pin some to the ground and leave it for a few months and you’ll be left with nice, bare soil.
Bonus points if you grow sweet potatoes at the same time!