Sweet Potato Slow To Grow - Knowledgebase Question

Marshfield, MA
Question by jpmsr65
May 25, 2001
I received Georga Jet sweet potato slips from you last week and I planted them right away. Unfortunately my weather up here in the north east has been rainy and cool around 45 overnight to 50 to 60 during the day. The slips are still kind of wilted over. Do you think they have a chance? What should I be looking for as a sign of new growth and that their going to make it?


Answer from NGA
May 25, 2001


This is the problem with trying to grow sweet potatoes in the northern cold climates with shorter growing seasons. Sweet potatoes require a warm soil and warm temperatures to grow. Using a raised bed and covering it early in the spring with black plastic can help the soil warm faster, also make sure it is well drained as a heavy and overly wet and cold soil is really not optimum for sweet potatoes. At this point, it is a matter of wait and see. You might try erecting a mini hoop house over top to serve as a cold frame on cold nights (open it for venting during the day) and try to keep the soil warming as fast as possible that way. Good luck!

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