Growing Sweet Potatoes: Here’s what you need to know
Sweet potatoes can be purchased anywhere. But growing sweet potatoes is actually straightforward.
It’s not the experience that matters as much as using the correct methods.
Where Do I Plant Sweet Potatoes?
The best places to plant them are warm spots like those in the southern US. You’ll want to pick a spot with plenty of sunlight.
Fertile soil is also recommended. Sweet potatoes are grown from vine cuttings called slips.
How to Plant Sweet Potatoes
Commence planting 30 days prior to the last expected frost. Or you can start a month before you decide to transplant.
There are lots of slips in a single piece. You only need a few to start growing sweet potatoes.
Nurturing slips from sweet potatoes is easy. Place the potato in potting soil halfway through.
Another method is to insert toothpicks into the potatoes and then put them in a bottle of water.
Slice off the slips when it reaches 6 inches in length. Do this gently because the slips are still fragile.
When the soil temperature gets to 70 degrees F, you can transplant them.
Bury the slip halfway in the soil. The slip should be on its side. Bury it half an inch deep. Don’t bury it too deeply because this will hamper its growth.
When growing sweet potatoes, plant each slips a foot apart. 18 inches would be better.
The rows should be spaced by four feet. Water the ground to keep it moist.
How Do You Take Care Of Sweet Potatoes?
Make sure there aren’t any fruits and veggies around the slips. These vines will need a lot of space. You’ll also want to put black mulch around the slips.
This will keep the moisture in the soil. Black mulch also helps draw in the sun. The heat will be of immense help to the sweet potatoes.
How Do You Harvest Sweet Potatoes?
You should harvest the sweet potatoes four months after planting. Do not wait any longer than five months.
Those growing sweet potatoes should dry the potatoes after collecting them. Just put them on the ground for a couple of hours.
Give it 2 weeks for curing in a warm place with some humidity. Next, place them in a cool container. Take them only when they’re to be used.
Diseases and Pests
Install mousetraps or other deterrents in the area. The mice will actually dig the ground and chomp down on the roots.
You’ll want to keep the place clear of other dirt that may affect their growth.
You don’t need to worry too much about weeds. The rapid growth of the vines will make it difficult for them to grow.
You can also grow these sweet potatoes in raised beds.
If an unexpected frost occurs, slice the vines from the roots. This is the best way to keep rot from spreading.
After you’re done growing sweet potatoes, you can use them in salads or eat them as is.
You can also use it for many other recipes, which is one other reason why it’s very popular with kids and old folks alike.