How to Grow Sweet Potatoes

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How to Grow Sweet Potatoes

Required Materials

You’ll need common garden materials and tools to grow sweet potatoes.

Growing Slips

Sweet potatoes are not grown from seeds but from slips or root sprouts. Because of this, you will also need some (untreated) sweet potatoes since you are going to grow your own slips. Approximately six weeks before transplanting, you should place them in a box of moist sand, sawdust, or dead leaves, keeping this at up to 80 degrees F. When the slips grow to more than six inches in length, cut them and prepare them for planting. You should take care to dispose of the bottom inch from each slip, as these could harbor harmful microbes.

Planning the Site

Sweet potatoes love warm weather and have no tolerance for cold. A good site for growing sweet potatoes is one having a temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit and above. The site for growing should not experience frost or cold weather. Sweet potatoes love sandy soils.

Preparing the Site

You can plant sweet potatoes on dug mounds or on flat grounds. Clear the area for growing during the dry season. You can grow plants that add fertility to the soil. Put some rubbish and leave it to rot for a maximum of a month and soften the soil by plowing it.

Plant the slips about a foot apart in holes that are half a foot deep. The slips should be buried completely except for the top leaves.

Watering Requirements

Sweet potatoes do not need watering all of the time. Watering once a week will suffice. However, you should stop watering about two weeks before harvesting to prevent the roots from rotting.

Nutrients Required

Sweet potatoes need minimal care. They really don’t need much addition of fertilizers. However, during the younger days, it’s good to put black mulch around them to help the slips retain moisture. The black mulch will also absorb heat from the sun.

Seasons

There is actually no particular season for sweet potatoes. They can be grown throughout the year as long as the environment is warm and frost free.

Expectations/Results

In 4 to 5 months, expect that you will be able to harvest your sweet potatoes. It is best to harvest some time after the leaves start to yellow, but before any frost sets in. After harvesting the sweet potatoes, let them dry in the sun for several hours. Then store them in a warm room for 10 to 14 days for curing. Once cured, store them at temperatures less than 60 degrees F with a humidity level of about 80%.

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Comments

  1. on March 2nd, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    [...] These insects prefer fruits of various plants. They also feed on decaying organic material in lawns and gardens. Larvae of these beetles usually feed on roots of grasses and other plants too. Their favorites are the root portions of carrots and sweet potatoes (Learn how to grow potatoes). [...]