Sweet potatoes aren't started by seed like most other vegetables, they're started from slips. We are not familiar with starting sweet potatoes from seed and your purchase was unfortunate. Grow sweet potatoes with other root crops: beets, parsnips, and salsify. % of people told us that this article helped them. Sweet potatoes aren’t too picky, but they do prefer soil on the sandier side, and need plenty of air space in the soil for roots to reach down. Overgrown or leggy looking plants can be cut back to encourage bushier growth and keep them under control. Set a floating row cover over the plants. (. However, store-bought sweet potatoes are often waxed to prevent sprouting. Sweet potatoes are easily trained onto trellises, lattice, or wires strung between sturdy poles. If these were our sweets we would cut out the damaged area and proceed as normal—eating them or slipping them. Thanks. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Do not trim those! Sweet potatoes are typically grown from slips, which are sprouts that are grown from stored sweet potatoes. It is also worth noting that it is ill-advised to eat any element of a sweet potato vine that has not been specifically cultivated for food purposes, without knowing what pesticides may have been used on it that could be harmful when ingested. Set rooted slips in the garden on mounded rows 12 inches (30cm) wide and 8 inches (20cm) high; space rows 3 feet apart (.9m); plant slips at 12 to 18-inch (30-45cm) intervals. You can buy slips from garden centers, nurseries, or local farmers. If not, you need to go to your local nursery and inquire. Though the variety of sweet potato plant that produces the edible tubers can be planted for its trailing vines, more recently, different variations have been cultivated specifically for their ornamental foliage. To do this, you take each sprout and carefully twist it off of the sweet potato. (Regular potatoes belong to the nightshade family). I am going to give it a try. Submitted by Jim Duplex on November 3, 2018 - 4:54pm. Stop watering before your mound starts to erode. In dry air, the plant's leaves will quickly lose moisture through the stomata, and this will be further worsened by the fact that it enjoys full sun, which can increase the rate at which the leaves dry out. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Control adult weevils by knocking them from plants and crushing them or spray with pyrethrins. Add fresh water once a day or so to keep the slips healthy. In the microwave, a whole sweet potato baked on high should be ready in 4 to 6 minutes. For sweet potatoes to grow well, they do need soil with plenty of organic matter for food. I'm, "I put in dirt without realizing how they grow, but now I see how to grow them in water beforehand, which helps me, "Very helpful, simple instructions. We hope you’ve found this information on caring for sweet potato vine plants to be helpful. Your instructions for sweet potatoes and other products, "This will be my first year of planting sweet potatoes in the ground. Loose soil is more critical than almost any other factor when it comes to growing sweet potatoes successfully. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Do you have a friend who grows garden sweet potatoes? They contain high dietary fiber, too. ", "Very easy to follow. Any other alternatives? One of the best I've found. These, like seed (white) potatoes, are set in the soil. Should I trim the vines on sweet potato plants? Andrew Carberry has been working in food systems since 2008. As a general rule, don’t substitute sweet potatoes for regular potatoes in recipes; the two aren’t related. Shoots will appear in about 3 weeks. Curing the potatoes allows a second skin to form over scratches and bruises that occur when digging up the potatoes. To trim specific areas, use a pair of shearing scissors and cut stems back to around a quarter inch from the node. Andrew Carberry has been working in food systems since 2008. All rights reserved. I grew sweet potatoes two years ago and was unable to cure them due to harvesting them in November when the temperature is cool and air is dry. Winter temperatures there are probably in the 65-70 degree range. Leave it in a warm (75°F/24°C)), sunny location where it will sprout. Trees.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Slips are small sprouts that are grown from pre-existing sweet potato plants. Is there a way to cure them for 10-14 days in this northern environment? Regarding the question of having great looking vines but few potatoes, first I would get a good soil test done, but as they were grown in a raised bed, too much Nitrogen may be the problem, as excess N will tend to put more growth into the vines than the roots. One sweet potato should yield about 12 plants. ", "This article answered my questions clearly. If not, you can dig around in the box and see how big the roots are and decide then whether to take it altogether or harvest what you find. (Boiling reduces the flavor considerably.). When the roots are about an inch long the new slips are ready to plant. Submitted by The Editors on November 8, 2018 - 1:37pm. Yes. Usually, sweet potatoes are ready to harvest when the leaves and ends of the vines have started turning yellow, but you can leave them in the ground up until the fall frost. Thank you. This plant can become quite unruly if left to its own devices and will benefit from an occasional pruning session. "My success story? Many, many things grow very well, but sweet potatoes barely survive. Mulch around plants with loose straw or chopped, dried leaves to control weeds and slow soil moisture evaporation. Let them dry outside under a shed (out of the sun and rain) for several days. I always learn a new technique or additional information. My basement is humid but not 80-90%. Sweet potatoes are also not related to yams. You would be better off with a well draining soil, rather than horse manure. Spreading to three feet, this vine is slightly more compact than others and features rusty bronze-colored foliage. The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. A table outside in a shady spot works well. It just seems that there are so many things that can be used as containers why get tires involved. We have 1/4 acre garden. ), Submitted by Lanre Adebayo on October 14, 2020 - 7:27am, I have planted sweet potatoes since April 2020 and as at yesterday 13th October, no good tubers were seen but roots that have not developed. My question is, can sweet potatoes be planted this way as well? In terms of growing habit, sweets do not grow like “regular” potatoes; it is not necessary to stack dirt up around sweets. For a brighter look, the lime colored leaves give a vibrant tropical feel. https://www.lsuagcenter.com/portals/our_offices/research_stations/sweetp... https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/browse/featured-solutions/gardening-l... Sweet potatoes need 3 to 4 months of warm temperatures in order to produce a worthwhile harvest, so the key is to plant them early enough for them to mature properly, but not early enough for them to get killed by a late spring frost. Harvest the sweet potatoes about 120 days after you planted them. If you buy a potato from the store, be sure to find out if you're getting a bush type or a vining type. You can order slips from a mail order or Internet catalog or you can start slips from a sweet potato you bought at the store or one from your garden. You can choose to order these online or from a garden center, but you can also grow them at home easily. Check out our ten best sweet potato recipes! The care of sweet potato plants is similar to most other vining houseplants in the home, spending summers outdoors. Radicchio is a gourmet green prized for its peppery bite. Slips are shoots that are grown from a mature sweet potato. Eventually, the foliage of the maturing sweet potato plant will shade out new weeds. This plant is a sun worshipper and thrives in bright direct sunlight. Thank you. I am glad this is quite simple. We love to DIY. The Sweet Caroline vine grows less aggressively than some of the other vine variants, making it ideally suited to planting in container pots. slips are shoots that are grown from a mature sweet potato.