Sweet potatoes are grown mostly in the Southern
States or where there is warm, sandy soil, and are not especially
recommended for the home garden. If space permits a few plants may be grown.
If you wish to grow your own plants start a hotbed
about six weeks before apple-blossom time. Place 5 or 6 inches of sand over
the manure in the hotbed and lay down small, healthy sweet potatoes, close
together but not touching. Cover them with one or two inches of sand; water
occasionally to keep slightly moist. Sprouts will soon begin to grow and
immediately send out roots into the sand. When these sprouts are four or
more inches long they may be pulled from the potatoes and are rooted and
ready to be planted. They need not be pulled, however, until time to plant
them in the garden, when all danger of frost is past. They should be set 14
inches apart. If only a few plants are wanted they should be purchased from
a seedsman, as the trouble involved in growing them in small quantities is
too great to make it worth while.
On land which is not thoroughly drained the plants
should be set on ridges and these should be made broad, as narrow ridges
will dry out too rapidly. The ridges should be maintained during the entire
Sweet potatoes should be dug when the soil is dry and
the weather bright, before there is danger of hard frosts. A spading fork
may be used in digging them. Guard against bruising or injuring them in
digging and handling. Let the roots lie out to dry for two or three hours
Use strong plants two years old, which may be
purchased from seedsmen. Set them 18 inches apart, in rows 3 feet apart. The
rows should be 8 to 10 inches deep, with width of 6 to 8 inches at bottom
After spreading out rots cover crowns with 2 inches of soil. With the growth
of the shoots gradually fill in with earth until level with surface. Careful
cultivation is required during the season. A small bed heavily manured will
furnish plants for 2 or 3 persons.
Beans form a staple crop which may be raised in
almost every climate. They need a rich soil which holds moisture, but is
well drained. Frequent shallow cultivation must be given and they must be
kept growing with out a check until harvested. Never cultivate while
moisture is on vines.
Beans are susceptible to cold and for sure results they
should not be planted until danger of frost is past. So little trouble is
involved in bean planting, however, that it is a good plan to take a chance
on making the first planting as soon as the ground is reasonably warm. If
the first planting should be killed by frost there is a good chance that the
second will come up and that it will mature early. In this way a crop will
be assured early enough to make it worth while to take the small risk
involved in the possible loss of the early planting.
dry shell beans are planted and treated the same as
string beans are planted and treated. The beans are allowed to mature in the
pods. They should be thoroughly dried, shelled and stored as directed for
storage of seed on page 32.
String and lima beans are grown alike. There are two
sorts of each––low bush vines and bean vines that climb poles. Pole beans
are best for small gardens.
Plant beans and bush limas 1 inch deep, 4 to 6 inches
apart in rows.
Make successive plantings every ten days until hot
weather. In late summer make successive plantings of string beans until
eight weeks before the usual time of first frost.
Plant pole beans and pole limas in hills 1 inch deep, 4
seeds to hill, hills 3 feet apart. Thin to 2 plants to the hill. Before
planting fix firmly in each hill a pole 5 to 6 feet long. If desired have
two rows of hills and slant the poles so that each set of 4 may be tied
together at the top like an Indian teepee. This prevents the poles from
falling, but reduces the yield of the vines.
Help the vines to start twining around the poles from
right to left. Note: Plant lima beans with the "eyes" of the seed downward.
Fig. 16––Lima bean vine on pole.
Sow seed rather thickly in row, using 1 oz. to
50 feet, but thin the young plants by pulling until the survivors are 4
inches apart. The pulled plants make fine greens for cooking or canning.