You would think this subtropical vegetable wouldn't have enough time to grow large, edible roots in Vermont. But amazingly, sweet potatoes thrive during our short, intense summers.
The key to success is growing quick-maturing varieties, waiting to plant, and protecting the plants and roots. Keep the bed well weeded for the first few weeks and then watch as the vines take over. While you wait to harvest, eat the greens. Young sweet potato shoots make a great substitute for spinach and chard when cooking.
The only problem I've found with sweet potatoes are voles and deer. Voles tunnel in the soil and eat the roots while deer can clean out a bed overnight.
Learn more about growing sweet potatoes and how to keep them safe by listening to this episode of The Vermont Garden Journal.
Now for this week's tip: Spray beneficial nematodes now on the ground where Japanese Beetles have fed on plants in the past to kill grubs. Water them in well.