Inner to Outer

Emotional support for women of color weeding useless thoughts cultivating flowers of a joyful life. Relieve the tension between inner self and outer self with devotion to peace and love to black sisters accross the world. Tending the garden of the mind is here for support to explain simple but powerful ways to start the love from within your black divine being.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Healthy Habits Checklist and Growing Sweet Potatoes

Healthy Habits Checklist and Growing Sweet Potatoes

Make a healthy habits checklist because it is time to start giving a good hard kick to unhealthy habits. Growing sweet potatoes may sound odd to add to your healthy habits checklist but gardening is good for reliving the stress in life.

In life, face, pave, or fortify with stones

Healthy Habits Checklist and Growing Sweet Potatoes

Now is the time to make a plan to ensure you will be productive in your health and happiness. We at Tending the Garden of the Mind have come up with seven ways to kick unhealthy habits:

Get outside 
Any day that produces beautiful sunshine and blue skies should be celebrated. When you see the sun-shining take a walk, have a picnic, or find an activity that allows it to warm your skin.

Clean out negative relationships 
You may have found that relationships changed or perhaps you are not getting the support you had hoped. Never feel ashamed for making the decision to improve yourself. If there are people in your life that are bringing you down, keep your head held high and create distance from those people.

Clean out the clutter and organize 
Now is the time to make a plan to ensure you will be productive in your health and happiness.It is a great time to give your house, your office, your car, your pantry and any other disorganized areas of your life a good clean of clutter and dust.

Clean up your diet 
Now is the time to make a plan to ensure you will be productive in your health and happiness. Clear out the processed foods and stock up on fresh, whole foods! Fill your fridge with lean meats, fresh fruits, and colorful vegetables. Keep a container of cut-up mixed raw vegetables such as carrots, celery, red onion, red bell peppers, and cauliflower. Sprinkle with some salt, pepper, and fresh lemon juice.

Clean out your closet 
Get rid of the old baggy clothing that once fit you. Get rid of the stuff that you once wore to hide your body when you were not feeling confident. Donate or toss any articles of clothing that do not make you feel fantastic. Make way for clothes that fit and show off the new you.

Put away electronics 
Cut down on the time you spend on phones, computers, and television. Spend that time engaging with your family and friends instead. Play games, talk, go outside, listen to music, and dance. When you spend less time on electronics, it creates a lot more time to build your relationships with your loved ones.

Plant a garden 
Pull out the weeds that sprouted during the winter and make way for a garden! Plant your own fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers that you can continue to yield. Not only will it look beautiful but also it is very rewarding to pick a fresh ingredient from your garden and bring it right to the dinner table. Nothing is healthier than homegrown fresh produce and sweet potatoes are easy to grow.

How to Grow Perfect Sweet Potatoes in Your Backyard Tips from Bonnie Plants.
How to Grow Perfect Sweet Potatoes in Your Backyard Tips

Don't know where to start? Well, here you go:

Historically, sweet potatoes have been a poor soil crop that produces a decent harvest in imperfect soil but will do much better when planted in good soil and given regular doses of fertilizer. Sweet potatoes are not very sweet when first dug, but they are fine for sweetened pies or casseroles. They need a period to sit and cure to bring out their sweetness.

Sweet potatoes are tropical plants that are very sensitive to cold weather. In warm climates, many gardeners plant sweet potatoes about a month after the last spring frost, when both the air and soil are dependably warm. The plants produce lush vines that make a pretty ground cover, so they are a great crop for beds that adjoin areas that are difficult or tiresome to mow.

Soil, Planting, and Care

Growing sweet potatoes works best in loamy, well-drained soil. Ideally, the pH should be between 5.8 and 6.2, although they will tolerate a more acidic pH (down to 5.0). Before planting, mix in several inches of compost or aged compost-enriched organics. to improve soil texture and nutrition, then thoroughly dampen the bed. If your soil is heavy clay, try growing sweet potatoes in raised beds filled with soil designed for that growing environment. Good root development depends on there being plenty of air space in the soil. They are the ideal crop for areas with sandy soil. In the North, it is a good idea to cover the soil with black plastic or black fabric mulch about 3 weeks before planting to warm the soil.

Plant sweet potatoes about 12 to 18 inches apart, and allow 3 feet between rows so the vines will have plenty of room to run. When setting out sweet potatoes in very hot, sunny weather, cover the plants with upturned flowerpots for 3 days after planting to shield them from baking sun.

Sweet potato seedlings in containers have a tendency to become root-bound. When the roots — which turn into the actual sweet potatoes — begin to grow in the pot, they will often circle around the inside of the pot. Once that happens, there is a chance they will not fill out properly. To remedy that, before planting, cut each plant off just above the soil line in the container, and then plant it (without roots) straight into your garden bed. The slip will form new roots in just 2 to 3 days, and those roots will eventually become fine well-formed sweet potatoes. Be sure to keep the slips watered well, especially during the first week.

Sweet potato vines will soon cover a large area. Thoroughly weed your sweet potatoes 2 weeks after planting by pulling them gently; if possible avoid deep digging with a hoe or other tool that disturbs the feeder roots that quickly spread throughout the bed. These give rise to your sweet potatoes. Water weekly. Water is especially important as plants grow and roots spread. Continue weeding and adding more mulch for another month. After that, sweet potatoes can usually fend for themselves, though they do benefit from weekly deep watering during serious droughts.

Harvest and Storage

Sweet potatoes are usually ready to harvest just as the ends of the vines begin to turn yellow, or just before frost in the North. To avoid injuring tubers, find the primary crown of the plant you want to dig, and then use a digging fork to loosen an 18-inch wide circle around the plant. Pull up the crown and use your hands to gather your sweet potatoes. To make digging easier and get the vines out of your way, you can cut some of them away before digging. Harvest before frost because cool temperatures can reduce the quality of the potatoes and their ability to keep.

Shake off the soil, and then lay the unwashed sweet potatoes in a warm (80°F to 90°F), well-ventilated place for about 10 days. A shaded table outdoors and out of the rain works well. As the sweet potatoes cure, any scratches in the skins should heal, and the flesh inside will become sweeter and more nutritious. This step is very important, as fresh, uncured potatoes do not bake as well. After 10 days, move your cured tubers to any spot that stays cool and dry, but do not refrigerate or store below 50°F. Cured sweet potatoes will keep for up to 6 months when stored at around 60°F with high humidity; a basement is ideal, though an air-conditioned storage room or pantry will do fine.

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