The Q&A Archives: Harvesting Sweet Potatoes

Question: When should I dig my sweet potatoes? The plants are still growing, but I can see parts of the potatoes bulging up from the ground.

Answer: You can harvest sweet potatoes as soon as the leaves of the plant start to yellow, but the longer the crop is allowed to remain in the ground, the larger the tubers and the higher the vitamin content. However, if frost blackens the vines, the tubers can quickly rot. Dig tubers on a sunny day when the soil is dry. Tubers can grow up to a foot away from the plant, so dig carefully so you won't damage the thin skins. Dry tubers in the sun for several hours, then move them to a well-ventilated spot and keep them at 85 to 90 degrees F for 10 to 15 days to cure them. Properly cured and stored sweet potatoes will keep for several months.

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