Information About Sweet Potatoes

Information About Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Internal Cork : What Is Sweet Potato Feathery Mottle Virus

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Speckled leaves with purplish borders may be pretty but can be the sign of a serious disease of sweet potatoes a?? feathery mottle virus. The disease is transmitted by tiny insect vectors and can be difficult to diagnose and control. Learn more here.

Sweet Potato Stem Rot – Treating Sweet Potatoes With Fusarium Rot

By Mary Ellen Ellis

The fungus that causes sweet potato stem rot causes both field and storage rot. The rot can affect leaves, the stem, and the potatoes, creating large and deep lesions that ruin the tubers. You can prevent and control this infection with some simple measures. Learn more here.

Sweet Potato Scurf Information: Treating Sweet Potatoes With Scurf

By Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

Like any plants, growing sweet potatoes can have its own challenges. Scurf on sweet potato plants is perhaps the most common of these challenges. Click on the following article for sweet potato scurf information and possible treatment.

Sweet Potato Black Rot : How To Manage Sweet Potatoes With Black Rot

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Sweet potato black rot is a potentially damaging disease caused by a fungus. The disease is easily transmitted from equipment, insects, contaminated soil or plant material. Learn more about sweet potato black rot in this article.

Sweet Potato Foot Rot: What Is Foot Rot Of Sweet Potato Plants

By Amy Grant

Foot rot of sweet potato is a fairly minor disease, but in a commercial field can result in significant economic losses. While disaster potential is relatively inconsequential, it is still advisable to learn how to control foot rot in sweet potatoes. This article will help.

What Is Sweet Potato Pox : Learn About Soil Rot Of Sweet Potatoes

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

If your sweet potato crop has black necrotic lesions, it may be pox of sweet potato. What is sweet potato pox? Soil rot of sweet potatoes occurs in soil, but the disease progresses when roots are stored. Learn the signs and symptoms of this disease to prevent its spread here.

Sweet Potato Vine Division: Tips On Dividing Sweet Potato Vines

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Splitting sweet potatoes is one way to create new vines with very little investment of time or money. Dividing sweet potato vines to propagate new vines is easy, as the vines grow from fleshy underground tubers. Click here for tips on sweet potato vine division.

Winterizing A Sweet Potato Vine: Overwintering Ornamental Sweet Potatoes

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

There are three different methods on how to overwinter sweet potato plants. Which way you save your sweet potato vines over winter depends upon how much work you want to do and how cold your region becomes during winter. Click here to learn more.

Companion Planting With Yams – What To Plant Next To Yams

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

You may not know it, but if you've ever had sweet potatoes, you have had yams. Yam companion plants must share the same growing conditions as the tuber and have the ability to repel certain pests. Learn more in this article.

Yellow Sweet Potato Leaves: Why Do Sweet Potato Leaves Turn Yellow

By Amy Grant

Sweet potatoes are incredibly high in vitamin A, are a great source of beta carotene and antioxidants. Even so, this "super food" has its share of growing problems such as yellow leaves on sweet potatoes. Learn why sweet potato leaves turn yellow in this article.

Sweet Potato Varieties: Learn About Different Types Of Sweet Potatoes

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Sweet potatoes are versatile veggies that may be mild or extra sweet, with flesh of white, red, yellow-orange or purple. Learn about a few of the most popular sweet potato varieties in this article. Click here for more information.

Sweet Potato Storage – Tips On Storing Sweet Potatoes For Winter

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

You can have homegrown tubers for months past the growing season if you know how to store sweet potatoes after harvest. Sweet potato storage requires careful curing to prevent mildew and trigger the formation of sugar producing enzymes. Learn more here.

Potato Vine Plant Leaves: Are Sweet Potato Leaves Edible?

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

In the United States, most gardeners grow sweet potatoes for the big, sweet tubers. However, the leafy green tops are edible too. If you've never tried eating potato vine leaves, you're missing out. Learn more in this article.

Information About How To Harvest Sweet Potatoes

By Jackie Rhoades

So you've decided to grow some sweet potatoes in the garden and now you need information about when and how to harvest sweet potatoes once they've matured. Read this article to learn more.

Information On How To Grow And Harvest Sweet Potatoes

By Kathee Mierzejewski

Sweet potatoes are a warm weather vegetable. Growing sweet potatoes require a long frost-free growing season in order to do well. They do not grow like regular potatoes. Read here for tips on how to grow sweet potatoes.

A Fast and Easy Way to Make Sweet Potato Slips

Sweet potatoes aren’t grown from a seed – they are grown from slips . A slip is a rooted sprout from a mature sweet potato. You can order sweet potato slips online or you can grow your own. If you’re wondering how to grow sweet potato slips, you’ve come to the right place .

Begin the process about 4 – 8 weeks before your planting date for sweet potatoes. Here in the low desert of Arizona our planting window for sweet potatoes is from March – June.

Sweet potato slips ready to plant

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How To Grow Sweet Potatoes

Traditional potatoes are sold and planted as “seed” potatoes. To plant, you can simply chop them up with an eye or two, and place in the ground.

Traditional potatoes are planted using chunks of potatoes cut up.

A traditional potato grow stems and leaves from the eyes. As a result, new potato plant emerges above ground.

And of course, new potatoes form underground.

But to grow sweet potatoes, it is a completely different process.

Instead of growing from portions of potatoes planted in the ground – sweet potatoes grow from slips.

So what are slips? Slips are nothing more that a sweet potato root with a few leaves.

Sweet potato slips can be made by submerging a sweet potato in water.

They can be purchased, or you can easily make your own from partially submerging a sweet potato in water. And after a few day – it will begin to grow it’s own slips.

One final note before getting on to planting instructions.

Sweet potato vines (edible) are not the same as the ornamental sweet potato vines that are grown in pots, baskets and containers.

While ornamental sweet potato vines will sometimes grow tubers or small potatoes – they are not in the least bit tasty!

How To Plant And Grow Sweet Potatoes

The best time to plant sweet potatoes is in late spring to early summer.

When planting, sweet potato slips should be planted up to their top set of leaves.

Although traditional potatoes are planted in early spring, sweet potatoes need a bit warmer soil. They are highly frost sensitive.

Sweet potatoes grow best in loose fertile soil. Adding a bit of compost to each planting hole goes a long way towards success. See : How To Make Great Compost

Plant slips 6 inches deep in the soil, spacing them 12 inches apart. It is best to mound the soil a bit before planting. Sweet Potato Slips – Product Link

Bury each slip in the soil all the way to the top set of leaves. Once planted, tamp the soil down around the top of each plant.

How To Grow Sweet Potatoes – Maintaining Plants In The Summer

Sweet potatoes need water to grow to proper size. Be sure to water plants at least twice a week if there is little rain.

Once sweet potato vines begin to grow, they will suppress most weeds.

It is a good idea to mulch plants early on. A bit of straw around each plant helps to conserve water and keep weeds at bay.

Once the plants begin to grow – their massive leaf structure will suppress the majority of weeds.

How To Grow Sweet Potatoes – Harvest Time

Sweet potatoes can begin to be harvested as soon as the plants begin to yellow.

However, the longer they stay in the ground, they continue to develop additional flavor.

You can partially harvest as well up until the threat of frost. This is a great method to take only what you will be using until you are ready for a full harvest.

Sweet potatoes dug up and ready for the curing process.

Sweet potatoes can store for a long time if kept in a cool, dark place. But they do need to be cured first.

Curing is a simple process of letting the potatoes dry out completely before moving to long-term storage.

In addition to preparing them for long-term storage, curing also aids in sweetening the potatoes up.

To cure sweet potatoes, begin by gently brushing all of the soil off of the skins. Do this without water – they will store much better keeping without cleaning completely.

Curing prepares the sweet potatoes for long term storage.

Once brushed off, place in a well-ventilated but warm spot for about 10 to 15 days.

A back porch, barn, or garage are all great places to cure. After the curing period, the sweet potatoes are then ready to take to a cool, dark spot to keep long-term.

Be sure to save back a sweet potato or two to grow your own slips the next year!

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Sweet potato slips can be purchased from online garden sources, local garden centers or hardware stores. While tempting, it is not always a good idea to rely on sprouts grown from store-bought sweet potatoes. Many of the sweet potatoes have been treated to reduce sprouts, and you won't know the specific type of sweet potato you have purchased.

As an experienced gardener, you know that all containers are not created equal. Containers created specifically for potatoes, such as this Garden Vegetable Grow Bag, are easy to work with and are quite inexpensive compared to plastic or ceramic. These bags are designed specifically to provide aeration to the roots, adequate drainage and even side pockets to sneak a small spud here and there. When your sweet potatoes are ready to harvest, you simply lift the bag and dump the contents into a wheelbarrow making the harvest extremely easy. The Grow Bags are reusable and can be stored away for the next season. You can also use other containers such as whiskey barrels or clay containers just make sure they are wide and deep with adequate aeration and drainage.

A Few Quick Tips

I realize there may be a few other questions left to answer when curing and storing sweet potatoes. Let’s begin with how long sweet potatoes can last when cured.

First, if you cure your sweet potatoes, they can last up to one year. Everyone’s curing process can vary depending on how close they get to the actual recommended conditions.

So to be on the safe side, it is a good idea to meet the recommended conditions and allow the potatoes to stay in them for about a week. If your potatoes begin to darken, then you know that you need to turn up the heat because your potatoes are being stored in colder than desired temperatures.

Next, be sure that you have a proper location to store your sweet potatoes. This can be in a root cellar, in wooden boxes in a closet or basement, or you could do what I once did. I stored my produce in wooden boxes under my bed.

Either way, be sure to place them in the box in an orderly fashion with straw or sawdust to separate them to reduce the opportunity for rot to take place and ruin your harvest. You can also wrap them individually in a newspaper to keep them from directly touching and allowing rot to form.

Third, I mentioned this a little before, but be sure not to wash your sweet potatoes. Some people say that their potatoes are covered in hard clay so they give them a slight wipe down to remove some of the clay and haven’t faced any issues with rot.

However, unless your sweet potatoes are just really nasty, then I’d recommend avoiding washing them. This brings moisture to your products which obviously gives rot a head start.

Once you wash them, they are no longer shelf-stable and won’t last more than a week or two.

Finally, how will you know that your sweet potatoes have actually cured? In my own experience, the best way to judge is after between 7-10 days when you check them, they should be moist but more firm. If this is the case, then they are ready to be stored for another 6-8 weeks before eating.

So I think we have covered all you will need to know when curing a sweet potato. Hopefully, this will help you to enjoy your harvest all year long.

Watch the video: Sweet Potatoes: History u0026 Nutrition