Sweet Potato Storage Update

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A couple of months ago, I posted here asking about storing sweet potatoes and got several interesting suggestions. We ended up treating them like the regular potatoes, storing them clean and dry in old milk crates, those plastic boxes with fairly open sides to allow air circulation. They've been out in the laundry room, a room without a radiator tacked on the south side of the house. It's a bit chillier out there as the only heat is what drifts in from the rest of the house. We're in Maryland so it's fall here.
The sweet potatoes are holding up perfectly. No spoilage or rot noticed yet. My wife serves them regularly at dinner and they've kept their color, texture and flavor.
Paul
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Store them in peat moss. It really isn't much good for anything else. They will keep for a long time in a cool environment.

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Thos wrote:

An interesting idea to explore.
How does it work?
Should the moss be damp or not?
If not what does it do?
If so would it encourage fungus?
Would the peat moss cost more than the taters?
David
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No, it shouldn't be moist. Keep it dry and your potatoes will keep for a long time. It will not encourage fungus, in fact peat moss is an anti-fungal. It might cost a little bit more up-front, but it doesn't go bad, so you can use it over and over. You can get more info at www.dirtdoctor.com (no, I'm not affiliated other than being a member of the site) In the search window type in "peat moss potato storage" It will take you to a window so you can scroll down and find "peat moss-I found a use" Take a look and see what you think. This website is an incredible source for information, because the majority of the information comes from people who have tried and used these methods and shared them.

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will work. I use newspaper, native pine straw or the (purchased) wheat straw that I use for mulch. Of course, the insulator should be dry material: Its purpose is to separate the sweet potatoes from one another, to absorb moisture and to wick condensate that may form on the potatoes' surfaces.
--
Derald

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Peat moss has other uses also. Good for lightening up the garden soil, used in making your own potting soil and if you soak it in water it makes that great material used for those wire like hanging baskets (looks like nesting material).
--
Enjoy Life... Nad R (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)

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My wife's parents bought a bale of peat moss every year and incorporated in their beds. This in N. Jersey where clay was more about than our sandy loam down here next to the pine barrens. Seem to recall there was some sort of heath issue with sphagnum moss but I’ve forgotten the particulars.
Peat moss is OK!
http://www.garden-services.com/sphagnum_moss.htm
--
Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden



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Thanks for the post on sphagnum moss. One more excuse to get rid or roses :)
--
Enjoy Life... Nad R (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)

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On Sat, 27 Nov 2010 16:17:12 -0500, Bill who putters

Our soil is heavy clay and we use a lot of peat moss as an amendment. I was always under the impression that sphagnum and peat moss were one and the same and peat moss was just dried, milled sphagnum moss so this health issue prompted me to do a quick search. First, I went out to the shed and checked some left over from this year's garden, it is a 3.8 cu. ft bale labeled Sphagnum Peat Moss.
Next, I do the Google thing, define:peat moss
http://tinyurl.com/2g9pj7l
Here's a sample of the resultant 13 definitions.
A valuable asset renowned for its ability to retain air and water. Peat moss is partially decomposed sphagnum moss or sedge and is used in making both compost and potting soil. Also known as Feat Moss(their typo) or simply Peat. plantcare.com/gardening-guides/soils/potting-soil-term.aspx
Sphagnum is a genus of between 151 and 350 species of mosses commonly called peat moss, due to its prevalence in peat bogs and mires. ... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peat_Moss
sphagnum: any of various pale or ashy mosses of the genus Sphagnum whose decomposed remains form peat wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
I might be a little more careful using "peat moss" now.
Ross. Southern Ontario, Canada. AgCanada Zone 5b 43 17' 26.75" North 80 13' 29.46" West
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I'm stunned that any gardener these days would recommend, approve or in any way encourage the use of either spagnum or peat. The use of these in any garden where the gardener has even any mild concern for the environment is a total no-no.
Coconut fibre is OK and is a very good replacement.
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What ? Care to elaborate ? I've never seen coconut fiber.
http://www.peatmoss.com/pm-me2.php
"In 1999, 1.2 million metric tonnes or about 10 million cubic metres of peat were produced in Canada. This volume of peat harvested each year is small in comparison to the estimated 70 million tonnes or more of peat that accumulates naturally each year in Canada. On a volume basis, there are an estimated three trillion cubic metres of peat deposits in Canada. Peat is accumulating nearly 60 times faster than the amount harvested."
--
Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden



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Well it's certainly around in this country and has been for years. Sometimes it's called coir and it's a byproduct of the coconut industry.

Did you look at who produced that site? It was put up by a cartel of producers who make money out of their product.
Here's a few cites but I haven't really bothered to do anything other than scan them quickly to see if they mentioned the problems (albeit briefly, in some cases as it's such a done and ducted issue here): This first is perhaps the most interesting being an international workshop representing wetlands organisations with govt support. It says; 'Mires and peatlands are among the world's most endangered ecosystems' and lot of other quotes like that; http://www.imcg.net/docum/brisbane.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphagnum http://www.naturallifemagazine.com/0712/asknlpeat.html http://williamapercy.com/wiki/index.php?title=Hands_off_the_Peat !:_The_Rape_of_Minnesota%E2%80%99s_Big_Bog http://extension.oregonstate.edu/news/story.php?S_No 4&storyType=garde http://www.rhs.org.uk/Gardening/Sustainable-gardening/Peat-and-the-environment/Peat-and-the-gardener
This cite is a blast from the past as it's dated 2001. It comes from Australia's top gardening show and at least a decade would be the time frame I'd have guessed if asked how long ago I last heard it discussed in this country. http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s314639.htm
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Rodale has a different take on peat moss.
http://www.rodaleinstitute.org/search/node/peat
--
Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden



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Bill, "FarmI" was addressing the ecological impact of harvesting peat moss. Rodale seems to just address the use of peat moss. The two sites are talking past each other.
--
- Billy
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
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Billy wrote:

I grew up near Niagra Falls in a region with a thick clay layer of subsoil and a pretty thin layer of loom over it. We added peat moss to our gardens every year in an attempt to make the loom thicker. Mixed in and dilute it appeared to draw worms that consumed it in a couple of years. We could keep added moss every year as long as we lived there without any build up or ill effect. We never deposited a few meters of straight peat moss like happens in a bog so it did not build.
As to harvesting, it's like a forest. As long as new grows at least as fast as you harvest it renews. I'm sure there are sustainable and non-sustainable peat moss harvesting business out there. If I could tell which is which I'd buy my annual bale from the sustainable folks.
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Peat moss will certainly do the job, Doug, and can be useful if you want to add an a slightly acidic amendment to your soil. I'e done a little experimenting with rye and buckwheat, and have been very happy with the way that they have broken up my heavy clay soil. Once conditioned, and then kept covered with mulch, the soil has maintained its lightness.
--
- Billy
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:-)) You didn't read what was there did you?
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wrote:

Would you care to elaborate on this statement? I'm located in Canada and I'm not aware of this 'concern for the environment' about the use of sphagnum peat moss in a garden? Is it that the resource is being depleted? It's not. That it carries Sporotrichosis? It doesn't. What then? Check out http://www.peatmoss.com/pm-efaq.phphh There are more than 270 million acres of peatlands in Canada. Of that, only one in 6,000 acres (or .016 percent) is being used for peat harvesting. Canadian sphagnum peat moss is a sustainable resource. Annually, peat moss accumulates at more than 70 times the rate it is harvested. Harvested bogs are returned to wetlands so the ecological balance of the area is maintained.

Canada apparently has an unlimited and completely renewable resource in the form of Sphagnum Peat Moss but, I don't remember ever seeing any great number of coconut palms. I just searched for Canadian retailers of both products.
Coconut fibre, 1/2 cu. ft. block        $13.28 Sphagnum Peat Moss, 3.8 cu ft. block $7.99
Ross. Southern Ontario, Canada. AgCanada Zone 5b 43 17' 26.75" North 80 13' 29.46" West
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wrote:

Tell that to the people who buy thousands of bales of peat moss for use in their gardens in this part of the world.
Ross. Southern Ontario, Canada. AgCanada Zone 5b 43 17' 26.75" North 80 13' 29.46" West
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wrote:

Seems a little pricy when you consider that rye or buckwheat could condition your soil more cheaply.
--
- Billy
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