If you only ever plant one thing, plant sweet potato.
Sweet potato is the easiest vegetable you will ever grow here in Florida. Sandy soil? No problem. Don’t like weeding? It doesn’t need it. Have trouble remembering to water? It will forgive you. It is pest resistant, virtually disease free, and it tastes great too.
Sweet potato can be started either from tubers, or from slips. Plant these in the ground once the weather starts to warm up, February is good. They will take off quickly on their own and once the summer rains come, they will cover everything. Their lush foliage crowds out all other plants, making weeding unnessesary. The plant is not very frost tolerant, and the leaves will die back, but it is very good at self sowing itself and will most likely be back in the spring. Save some small tubers or slips to replant just in case.
All parts of the sweet potato are edible. The greens have a high protien content and nutritionally complement the root. Tender shoots are best, as larger leaves can taste bitter and cooking them is recommended. The root of course, has almost infinite cooking possibilites from boiled, baked, and fried to pasta and noodles.
So brown thumb or not, get your hands on some sweet potato slips this spring and see how easy it can be to grow your food.
My favorite way to cook sweet potato:
3 medium sweet potatoes
3 medium red potatoes
1 medium onion, minced (divided into 1/3 cups)
1 half pint of heavy cream
1 cup shredded parmesean or romano cheese (divided into 1/4 cups)
tarragon, salt, pepper
Peel and thinly slice the potatoes. Place a single layer in a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the cheese, 1/3 of the onion, tarragon, and a small amount of salt and pepper. Repeat the layers until the dish is full. Pour cream over all and sprinkle remaing cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10-15 more minutes or until bubbly and potatoes are tender.