The Q&A Archives: Sweet Potatoes

Question: What is the best sweet potatoe to grow in my region? I live in southeast South Dakota.

Answer: Sweet potatoes grow best in the southern states where summers are long and hot, because tubers take 90 -170 days to mature. In your area you'll probably have the best harvest from 'Centennial', especially if you cover the bed with black plastic to hold warmth in. Work the soil first to loosen it, then cover with black plastic and cut holes in the plastic to plant the slips (root sprouts). Sweet potatoes will require about one-inch of water per week during the summer months, but allow the soil to dry out about two weeks prior to harvesting. You can harvest as soon as the leaves start to yellow, but before frost blackens the vines. Dry the tubers in the sun for a few hours, then move them to a warm, well-ventilated area to cure. Properly cured sweet potatoes will keep for several months.

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