A sweet potato is a root vegetable with a high water content, typically orange in color, and is usually prepared by boiling, baking, or roasting.
Sweet potatoes are common in the United States and Europe. In Africa and Asia they are less commonly eaten but they are consumed more in the Caribbean islands.
Why Grow Sweet Potatoes?
Sweet potatoes are a great vegetable to grow in your own garden because they can thrive in a variety of conditions, they are easy to grow, and they taste delicious.
Grow sweet potatoes for the benefits: Sweet potatoes are versatile and can be eaten raw, roasted, fried, boiled or mashed. They’re also rich in Vitamin A and C.
The best way to grow sweet potatoes is indoors. Indoor sweet potato plants will produce more than enough food for you during the growing season.
Choosing the Right Place for Your Garden
Sweet potatoes are a great crop to grow and they’re easy to maintain. They require little water and grow quickly, so they’re perfect for small gardens.
Sweet potato gardening tips:
– Plant the sweet potato in the ground in full sun
– Plant it in fertile soil that has been amended with compost or manure
– Space your plants 8 inches apart
– Put the plant at least 4 feet from any structure
The Best Time of Year to Plant Your Sweet Potatoes
The best time to plant sweet potato plants is after the ground is thawed and after the last spring frost date has passed. If the ground doesn’t freeze in your location, then the best time to plant is usually a month after your last spring frost date.
The Best Time of Day to Water Your Sweet Potatoes
The best time of day to water your sweet potatoes is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., as the plant needs more water during these hours, according to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).
Deep watering in hot, dry periods will help to increase yields.
How to Grow and Care for Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potato plants are fairly easy to grow and care for. There are many ways to grow them, but they require a lot of attention because they need a lot of care during their growth stages.
• Sweet potatoes need plenty of water and nutrients during their growth stages. They also need plenty of warmth, so make sure you plant them in the right time of the year.
• The leaves should be mowed down to prevent the plants from going too high. They should not be allowed to touch the ground or they will rot and die.
• It is important that you make sure that your sweet potatoes have enough space to grow without being crowded or touching each other, as it can cause disease among other issues
• When your sweet potatoes reach maturity, it is important that you harvest them
How to Harvest Sweet Potatoes
Harvest-sized sweet potatoes may be found several inches below the soil surface. Carefully remove the soil from around the plant’s roots and examine the tuber size. If they are a couple inches across or larger, they are ready to be harvested. You can selectively remove the sizable sweet potatoes and re-cover the plant’s roots to allow continued development of smaller ones. Be careful not to bruise, scrape, or puncture the skin of the sweet potatoes as this can cause quality issues like rotting, especially in storage. Remove any excess dirt from your harvest.