The Q&A Archives: Growing Sweet Potatoes

Question: My yield on sweet potatoes has been poor. What is the proper fertilizer and planting depth?

Answer: 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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