Sweet potatoes are a great crop to grow in your garden because they take up little space and have a big payoff.
You can also get a lot of sweet potatoes from just one plant. The best time to harvest is before the frost, so plan on harvesting around September or October.
One thing you’ll notice about sweet potatoes is that they have really long vines with large leaves so it’s easy to tell when they’re ready for picking.
Sweet potatoes mature in 90 to 170 days and are highly vulnerable to frost. Plant after the last frost when the soil has warmed. Make holes 6 inches deep and 12 inches apart in full sun. Press down firmly but gently on the soil and keep them well watered.
Where can I get sweet potato for planting?
The best options are to check at garden centers that often have young plants or suitable seeds.
If you are unable to locate any close to home then Amazon is a good option.
Can I grow plants from store bought sweet potatoes?
You can grow new plants from store bought sweet potatoes, but it will take a while for them to sprout so be prepared.
Start the sprouting process in late winter by placing the sweet potato with its best looking side facing up. Place it into a glass of water and leave it on your kitchen counter.
The top few inches will produce shoots.
The most vigorous and healthy sprouts will be about 4 inches long with a few roots already showing.
Once you’ve identified the best sprout, cut it off to leave only an inch or two which will fit into the planting hole.
The vine will likely suffer damage when you plant it, but don’t worry because the main roots are still intact.
Eventually the sprouts will break through the soil and begin to grow again.
What month do you plant sweet potatoes?
Sweet potatoes can be sown in the garden as soon after the last frost has passed as possible, usually around four weeks later.
Sweet potatoes are extremely vulnerable to frost and require a long, warm growing season of at least 150 days.
How many sweet potatoes can I expect to get from my plant?
You should be able to get around 2 or 3 pounds of fresh sweet potatoes from each plant.
Can you plant a whole sweet potato?
Yes you can but the best way to grow new plants is by ‘slipping’ which is the process described above where you encourage shoots to grow and then plant the shoots.
If you want to plant the entire sweet potato then only plant it very shallowly which will allow the shoots or ‘slips’ as they are known, to grow.
Do sweet potatoes come back every year?
In warm areas sweet potatoes will grow as a perennial – they come back every year. In cooler areas they are normally grown as an annual crop.
Can you grow sweet potatoes in a bucket?
Yes you can provided that the bucket is large enough and is well drained.
A 5 gallon bucket will provide enough depth and space for a single sweet potato plant.
Use good quality, well drained compost and keep the bucket in a well lit, sheltered spot.
Make sure to keep the plant well watered.
Is it better to grow them in the ground or in a pot?
It’s not only possible to grow sweet potatoes in a pot, it’s actually preferable.
Sweet potato tubers will produce best when they’re exposed to warmth and sunlight.
If you live in an area where temperatures fall below 40°F at night, plant your sweet potatoes in a pot that can be moved into your home to provide extra warmth.
Do I need to fertilize my sweet potatoes?
Yes, we recommend giving the plants a gentle liquid feeding every month.
A single teaspoon of high-phosphorus fertilizer in a gallon of water will supply all the nutrients and trace elements your potato plant needs for healthy growth.
How do I know when sweet potatoes are ready to harvest?
In the Northern Hemisphere, sweet potatoes are ready to harvest when the vines’ tips begin to yellow or just before frost.
To avoid injuring tubers, find the plant’s primary crown and loosen an 18-inch wide ring all around it using a digging fork.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of healthy carbohydrates, vitamins A and C, potassium, iron, fiber and more.
They can be grown in containers or by planting them directly in the ground if you live in a warm climate zone.
If you decide to grow your sweet potato vegetables inside during winter months, make sure that they receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day.
Remember to water them regularly.