Grow Sweet Potatoes

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Grow sweet potatoes with these tips and ideas. Learn about the best sweet potato plants and planting tips.

Grow Sweet Potatoes

The tuberous roots of vining sweet potato plants are what produces the "fruit" of the sweet potato.

The vines take root wherever they touch the ground and, as they spread, can produce a bumper crop of sweet potatoes. 

If you have a garden that is too small to accommodate spreading vines, you can plant sweet potato bush varieties.

Growing your own vegetables is a wonderful way to help the household budget and a rewarding outdoor endeavor.

The Sweet Potato Lover's Cookbook: More than 100 ways to enjoy one of the world's healthiest foods

How to Grow Sweet Potatoes

You are likely most familiar with the orange fleshed sweet potato. Sweet potatoes can also be white, yellow or even purple. Try several varieties and colors. Just be certain you have certified disease-free roots by buying them from a reputable seed supplier. 

If you prefer to "start" your own sweet potato plants by sprouting them in water, here are a few tips:

  • The young sprouts need warmth so set them on a window sill or near a radiator or other heat source. (warm, not hot).
  • In just a few weeks your sprouts should have developed a root system below the leafy sprouts.  

As soon as the ground is warm... and danger of frost has passed, you can plant your sweet potato slips...the small rooted pieces of a tuber. Here are a few more tips about how to grow sweet potatoes:

  • One way to plant sweet potatoes is in raised rows. This method allows the soil to warm faster and gives the plants good drainage.
  • Sweet potato plants can grow and mature in either full sun or partial shade.
  • If you live in a cool climate, spread black plastic on the soil to help it warm faster.
  • Space sweet potato plants 12" - 18" apart and with 3' - 4' between rows. This allows the vines room to spread. 
  • Dig your young plants in up to the top leaves.
  • If you are planting the bush variety of sweet potato, they can be somewhat closer together.
  • Over-fertilizing sweet potato plants causes them to produce lots of foliage but few sweet potatoes. If the sweet potato vines are started in good, organic soil they do not need further "feeding."
  • To prevent the maturing sweet potatoes from splitting, don't water them for 3-4 weeks prior to harvest.

How to Grow Potatoes

Types of Potatoes

Seed Potatoes

Planting Potatoes

Harvesting Potatoes

Storing Potatoes

Potato Bugs

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