The Q&A Archives: Sweet Potatoes

Question: When is the best time of the year to plant sweet potato slips in the northern portion of Texas?

Answer: Most Sweet Potatoes take about 100 days to mature and can be planted 2-8 weeks after your last frost date. In most years your last frost in northern Texas is March 31, so you can plant from mid-April through the first of June. Time to get those slips in the ground!

Sweet potatoes form best when they're given a light textured soil with lots of organic matter. If your soil is too sandy, they'll be stringy, and if the soil is too clayey, the roots will be deformed. To create the perfect environment, build long, wide, 10" inch high ridges spaced 3 1/3 feet apart. Work in plenty of compost and plant the sweet potato pips 6" inches deep and 12" inches apart. Avoid the use of fertilizers high in nitrogen, or you'll have luxurious tops and very little tuber production. Use a 5-10-10 or 8-8-8 formulation as a side-dress about 6 weeks after planting. Apply about one-inch of water to the plants every week.

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