Are you looking for some tips to grow some sweet potatoes with less labor and cost at your won yard? Don’t worry. They are very simple to grow, fun to attendance, and finally great pleasure to enjoy. No one can deny the ornamental value of sweet potatoes disrespecting where they are planted- in your garden, on a trellis or in a simple container. And in considering their food value, there is hardly any comparison. They are full with vitamins, fiber, minerals that can boost your body and mind up.
Sweet potatoes are the root vegetables that have a deep orange flesh along with a mouthwatering taste. The sweet potatoes are one of the best sources of beta carotene while it provides a low calorie relatively. Also it is well known for the longer preserving period. To grow them, you must be practical, exact and well planned. Let’s have a look on how to grow sweet potatoes, attendance and harvesting method.
Planting preparation and method
- This sweet vegetable plant is not produced from “seeds”, rather from “slips”; that means the sprouts that grow from an existing one.
- Wait until 3-4 weeks after the last frost of spring. When the night temperature will be at least 55-degree F, it’s time for you to plan further. Plant them early enough to mature. But be careful so that they are not so innocent to be killed by a late spring frost.
- Ensure a long growing season as most of the verities need 3-4 months to harvest (about 90-120 days).
What to do for growing sweet potatoes
You can collect the slips from the garden centers, e-markets, local farmers or from nurseries at the time they are ready to use. Or you can produce your won slips from the potatoes but it will require a more time and labor. Before collecting them, be sure of the varieties.
Steps to follow
- Store the selected potatoes in a cool and shady place that is usually dark.
- Wait until it is mid-April or approximately 90 days ahead of the last frost.
- Ensure a level of light, well drained and organic soil in a container (having a height of 3 inches only).
- Place the potatoes on the level and ensure required space between them.
- Apply some additional soil to cover the potatoes and ensure watering them to keep your soil enough damp; control irrigation to get rid of soggy soil.
- You must maintain 70-80 degrees of temperature for your soil during sunlight.
- Wait for 4-6 weeks and your waiting will come to an end when the slips will be matured with several leaves and root having a height of 6-12 inches.
- Carefully divide the slips with its roots from the potatoes. It you do not find any root developed, place the slip in water and your will see roots within 1-2 weeks.
Planning your planting site
- Select a spot that is sunny enough and well drained. Consider a raised bed if you think your soil to be rocky, compacted or clay.
- You will be in need of running vines. Ensure sufficient space for them (not less than 3 feet between rows).
- Apply fertilizer with well-drained soil, add perlite, compost, coconut coir if possible. Of course you will avoid animal manure.
- Think covering your yard with fabric or plastic for about 3 weeks before starting plantation if you are from northern US or Canada. It will develop the growth rate for your plants ensuring enough warmth for them.
- Develop mounds that are raised, having 6-8 inches of length and 12 inches of width.
Growing sweet potatoes
- After the plants being transplanted for 3-4 weeks, ensure side-dress for them with 5-10-10 fertilizer. You need to apply more if you think your soil to be sandy.
- Start cleaning the weed from your beds regularly soon after the plants are of 2 weeks.
- Do not dig deeply with instruments like hoe as it will disturb the feeder roots, can damage or destroy the whole production.
- Irrigate regularly in mid-summer. In hot and dry periods, deep watering will help increasing yields.
- Never prune young vines
- In order to avoiding the cracking of the tuber’s skin, reduce watering in the late season.
Pests or diseases
- Flea beetles
- Sweet potato scurf
- Stem rot
- White rust
How to harvest
- Dig up your potatoes when they are mature enough for applying in the meal.
- Start harvesting them when the vines and leaves are yellow and they seem to die. Also you can harvest after 100 days from planting.
- Remove the soil carefully so that the tubers are not hampered and cut some of the vines away.
- Avoid washing the roots; you can shake off the extra dirt.
- Don’t hesitate to complete the harvesting totally by the first fall frost.
Varieties to try
There are several varieties of sweet potatoes to try. You can select any one of them based on your interest and advantages.
Originated from Louisiana but has a reputation to grow well in the north as well. It stores well having a dark orange flesh and dark red roots.
Having a carrot colored root, it is a famous kind of potato in the northern areas.
It has a bright skin of copper color and a flesh of orange color. Better known as a disease resistant and well stored variety.
If you are looking for a purple colored one, try stokes. It cooks well and better for smashes.
If you are a small gardener and looking for a bush type of verity, try this one. Having a blue or purple foliage and golden colored skin along with a flesh of radish to orange color, it stores well for a long span of time. Hope you understand- How to grow sweet potatoes, attendance and harvesting.