The Q&A Archives: Harvesting Sweet Potatoes

Question: I planted sweet potatoes for the first time this spring. The ground around the plants is now starting to bulge, and I am wondering if it is time to dig them up. However, the leaves have not started to die. How do I store them once I dig them up?

Answer: Sweet potatoes can be harvested as soon as the leaves start to yellow, usually just before the first frost of the season. You can harvest sooner, but you'll be sacrificing size. Use a spading fork to dig the tubers on a sunny day when the soil is dry. Tubers can grow up to a foot or more from the plant, so dig carefully. Dry tubers in the sun for several hours, then move them to a well-ventilated area and keep them at 85F - 90F degrees for about two weeks. After they are cured, store at about 55F in an area has 75-80 percent humidity. Properly cured and stored sweet potatoes should keep for several months.

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