How to Grow Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a nutritious and delicious vegetable that can be grown in a variety of climates. They are easy to grow, require minimal care, and can be harvested in as little as three months. With a little bit of knowledge and some patience, you can enjoy sweet potatoes from your own backyard!
The first step in growing sweet potatoes is to purchase some starter plants or slips from your local garden center or even online. These slips are small pieces of sweet potato that have been cut and allowed to sprout. Once you have your slips, you need to prepare your soil. Sweet potatoes prefer a soil that is high in organic matter and has a pH of between 5.5 and 6.5. If you are unsure of the pH of your soil, you can purchase a soil test kit at your local garden center.
Once your soil is prepared, it’s time to plant your slips. Plant your slips in rows and space them about 12 inches apart. Cover the slips with a few inches of soil, and water them thoroughly.
Caring for Your Sweet Potatoes
Once your slips are planted, you need to make sure they get plenty of water. Sweet potatoes need about an inch of water per week, so make sure you water them regularly. You can also mulch the soil around your sweet potatoes to help retain moisture and reduce weeds.
Fertilizing your sweet potatoes is also important. Use a fertilizer that is high in phosphorous and potassium, such as a 10-10-10 fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer once a month during the growing season.
Harvesting Your Sweet Potatoes
Harvesting sweet potatoes is easy. When the leaves of the plants begin to yellow and die back, you can begin to dig up your sweet potatoes. Use a garden fork to loosen the soil around the plants, then carefully dig up the sweet potatoes. Be sure to handle them gently, as they are fragile and can easily be damaged.
Once you have harvested your sweet potatoes, you can store them in a cool, dry place for up to six months.
Growing sweet potatoes is a great way to add a nutritious and delicious vegetable to your garden. With a little bit of knowledge and some patience, you can enjoy sweet potatoes from your own backyard!