Growing Sweet Potatoes: Planting, Care


A tropical perennial plant of the Morning Glory family (Ipomoea potatoes), Growing Sweet Potatoes has been cultivated for a long time in America, Asia and Africa. In Europe, it first appeared in Spain and Italy before reaching France in the late 18th century.


It is possible to put Culture in our vegetable gardens. Then it behaves like an Annual, provided it is installed in a very warm and sunny place, in loose and rich soil. A creeping plant with long stems 2 to 3 m long, not very twining, the Sweet Potato includes many species and 400 varieties with variable leaf shape. Its trumpet-flowers resemble those of the jiwagoe, but are seldom seen in our climates, owing to want of heat in general.


They sprout the tubers

Start warm germination in late winter by placing a tuber purchased at an organic grocery store or retrieved from last year in a container filled with potting soil and keep moist. Vegetation and shoots appear quickly.


Install in the pattern garden when frosts are no longer to be feared (from mid-May). Cover initially to promote rooting. Cut into as many pieces as there are shoots. In the north of France, where the summer is too short for this type of culture, keep it in a greenhouse.


Sweet Potato Care

Form the legs to 15 to 20 cm when germination is well underway to allow the roots to develop. It is not necessary to water much, except in case of prolonged drought. As the plant twines (it’s a morning glory!), plan a pergola support and lots of space.


At the end of the summer, it’s time to plant buttresses or put on the sweet potato to get young rooted plants for planting next spring if they have been kept under cover (in a greenhouse, terrace) all winter.


When to Harvest Tubers?

Although sweet potatoes are harvested like potatoes, they should not be confused. Sweet Potato is a morning glory, not a nightshade!


tubers are harvested in October/early November, before the first frosts. Choose a sunny day. Cut the vegetation at the beginning of the week and leave the tubers in the ground. The sun will shine its rays directly on the ground and the heat required to ripen the sweet potato will have the effect. At the end of the week, we dig with a shovel, as for potatoes. Leave to dry for a day in the sun, then brush before returning to protected crates.


By the way, if you’re wondering how many sweet potatoes are harvested per plant, this other article (see further down) explains. when and how to harvest the sweet potato. The video allows you to see the result of Culture in detail.


sweet potato tubers are formed in number, elongated, rounded, of various sizes and yellowish, white, red or purple depending on the variety chosen.


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