I’ve started to joke that hope is a perennial.
I think it has to be, if you’re a gardener. Every year, you pull up the remnants of your efforts in the fall, scheme and dream a new vision through the depths of winter, and burst into spring with new harvest goals.
I tried sweet potatoes for the first time this year.
But I didn’t just buy slips somewhere and plant them, hoping for the best. Oh, no. I don’t do anything the easy way, if I can help it. (Understand—this is more of a compulsion than a conscious decision.)
I bought an organic sweet potato, grew my own slips, rooted them, then planted them.
I learned a lot of things.
I learned sweet potatoes take their sweet time. Especially when growing slips.
I learned rabbits like to eat sweet potato vines…something they do not do with regular potatoes. Which are‚ I now know, not at all related.
I learned rabbits don’t like being on concrete, so most anything that would otherwise tempt them is fairly safe on the patio.
I learned sweet potato slips will suffer being transplanted in a pot on said patio mid-season, but this will make them that much slower to take off.
And I learned that digging up even the smallest sweet potato gives me hope for next year.
Honestly? For a first try, it’s enough.
A friend on Instagram said that if she fails with anything two years in a row, she leaves it be. I think that’s smart. The first year is all about learning.
Anything that comes of it—even if it’s literally small potatoes—is a win.