Sweet potatoes are easy to grow. Even a child can grow sweet potatoes, with a little bed preparation help. Not only that, growing sweet potatoes is inexpensive. Why? Sweet potatoes can be grown easily from – you guessed it – sweet potatoes. There’s no need to buy sweet potato sprouts. Here’s the cheapest, easiest way to grow sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes grow best from shoots (sprouts).
*Cut several sweet potatoes in half.
*Place them in water filled jars, cut ends down.
*Use skewers to suspend potatoes in the water.
*Keep water level consistent as shoots grow.
*Each sweet potato will produce multiple, leaved shoots.
When shoots are about 4 inches long:
*Twist each shoot carefully from the sweet potato.
*Suspend in a water filled jar to root.
*Shoots are ready to plant when roots are an inch or more in length.
What type of garden bed is best for sweet potatoes?
A raised garden bed is simple to make and serves as a perfect home for your sweet potato crop. Why? A raised garden bed keeps weeds out and invasive sweet potato vines in. Just line it with landscape fabric, so plants can breathe. A raised bed also offers superior drainage and the ability to sow your sweet potatoes in the perfect soil. Planting in ground makes it more difficult to amend soil.
What type of soil works best for sweet potatoes?
Root crops like sweet potatoes do best in loose soil. Clay is not their friend. You can amend soil with vermiculite or sand to achieve a loose consistency. Another option is to purchase premixed potting soil from a home and garden store, greenhouse or landscape material supplier.
Planting sweet potato shoots:
Note: Be gentle. Sweet potato shoots are fragile!
*Dig holes 4 inches deep across the center of the raised garden bed.
*One at a time, carefully insert the root of each shoot.
*Cover each root with soil.
*Press soil lightly so vine stays upright and above ground.
*Water gently. (Immediately and then daily for the first week.)
*Water as needed after the first week.
*Let soil dry between waterings to discourage fungal growth.
Harvesting and storing sweet potatoes:
*Sweet potatoes can be dug up about 3-4 months after planting.
*Do a test dig, then re-bury if not ready.
*Dig gently to avoid bruising or puncturing potatoes.
*Dry potatoes outdoors in the sun for several hours after harvesting.
*Cure in a cool, humid location for about a week.
*Store in a cool location, such as a root cellar or basement.
More from Jaipi:
How to Grow Great Peas
How to Grow Great Asparagus
How to Grow Great Acorn Squash