How And When Do You Grow Sweet Potatoes - Knowledgebase Question

Question by poche01
June 4, 2000
How and when can I plant sweet potatoes?

Answer from NGA
June 4, 2000


Sweet potatoes grow best in the southern states where the days
are long, warm and humid. You can try to grow them, but
choose a quick-maturing sweet potato that will have a chance to mature in
your area (most sweet potatoes
need 90-120 warm days to mature).

Sweet potatoes for the garden are usually started by
planting slips or prestarted plants that are sold bareroot
(Burpee offers several types). They require a warm soil so they are planted in late spring or early summer. To help the soil warm faster you can use a raised bed and cover it with black plastic.

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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