Camote, February’s Featured Crop

By Michelle Domocol

Back to Inflourish: Cebu Blog

Want a fun, plant-powered recipe for your vegetable harvests? Check out Healing Present’s e-books. And great news, later in February, I’ll post downloadable gardening pamphlets, educational posters and e-books just for you. For now, enjoy some quick techniques on camote care.

1) HOW DO I EAT & COOK CAMOTE (SWEET POTATO)? I grew up with classic recipes like Camote-Cue (Caramelized Sweet Potato) and Camote Tops Salad. The leaves, purple camote and orange camote tubers are so delicious, versatile and nutritious.

2) WHEN DO I GROW CAMOTE IN CEBU? Generally January to March, November to December. But it always helps to ask experienced gardeners, farmers or plant nursery staff for your area’s specific planting seasons. Local knowledge is golden.

3) IS THERE AN SAMPLE LAYOUT WITH CAMOTE AND COMPLEMENTARY PLANTS? Yes! Here’s a diagram with camote, eggplants, mixed with beneficial flowers like iris and purslane. And here’s an article that more vegetable garden combinations.

ANY SPECIAL TIPS FOR GROWING CAMOTE (SWEET POTATO)? Here are general tips and reminders for growing camote. If you want a more detailed description for growing and harvest, later in February I will post special, illustrated downloadable gardening guide.

  • Grow camote in a sunny location where it’s exposed to 6 hours of sunlight. Camote thrives in garden soil with good drainage and lots of organic matter. If you have low-quality soil, you can mix the soil with earthworm vermicast (“worm manure”), aged compost or other sources of organic matter.
  • Remember to plant vine cuttings or clean, sprouted camote tubers. These tubers are called slips. One way to plant slips is by burying them at a 45-degree angle, leaving the sprouting end exposed.
  • Harvest the camote tops or young shoots any time while you wait for the camote roots. The roots require more patience. It can take 4 months to harvest them.
  • If your harvest camoted has cracks and rough skin, your soil needs organic matter.
  • Heavy, clay with lots of limestone rocks soil is common in Cebu. This isn’t ideal for camote. So plant your camote in large containers like a raised bed with light, well-draining for the best harvest. In Healing Present, we even designed custom raised beds with netting to help with drainage. Check out pics in this link.

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