Q: Does the length of the sweet potato vine affect the yield? I have some 6 feet long. Should these be cut back to about 3 feet? — Allan McKinley, Borden
A: Cutting back sweet potato vines is not generally recommended. Healthy vigorous vines generally should improve yield. Although overabundance of nitrogen can promote foliage growth at the expense of root formation, this should not be a problem if you have appropriate balanced nutrient availability in the soil.
More information on growing and harvesting sweet potatoes can be found at purdue.edu/hla/sites/yardandgarden/time-to-harvest-sweet-potatoes/.
Q: Help! We really like rhubarb, however, mine has not fared well the last couple years. It is not producing much, and the stalks are thin and spindly. It is in a raised bed and has a soaker hose. I always use the leaves from cuttings as mulch. It is 22 years old and has always been good until recently. Do I fertilize or what? It has full sun. — Gen Dornbush, Avilla
A: Sounds like your rhubarb could benefit from dividing to rejuvenate the planting. You can dig and lift the plants in early spring before the new growth starts. Divide the crowns so that each section has three-four buds. Reset the divisions so that the buds are only about 2 inches deep.
Find more information at hort.purdue.edu/hort/ext/Pubs/HO/HO_097.pdf.
Longtime Indiana Connection contributer B. Rosie Lerner, a Tipmont REMC consumer, is a retired Purdue Extension consumer horticulturist. Questions about gardening issues may be sent to “Ask Rosie,” Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606,
or use the form at IndianaConnection.org.