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How to Grow Sweet Potatoes Easily at Home

Sangeeta Soni
Sangeeta Soni
Sweet potato slips
Sweet potato slips

Sweet potato is not grown from seeds like other plants. This root tuber is grown from the slip. Slip is an eye that has sprouted on a sweet potato or shoots grown from a mature sweet potato. 

Sweet potatoes are one of the most nutritious vegetables with vitamin A & vitamin C and many important minerals.

How to Grow Sweet potatoes?

Here is the complete process to grow sweet potatoes.

Requirements

  • In the beginning, you will need one tuber, some water, and a jar to grow sweet potato.

  • And after that, you will need a pot and a potting mix.

Root the Slips

Put the tuber in a jar and fill it completely with water. And put it at a sunny spot indoors. Once the tuber start developing roots, it will suck up the water, so you will need to keep topping up the water.

When your sweet potatoes have sprouted, you have to separate the sprouts. Twist off each sprout carefully from the sweet potato. Put each sprout in a shallow bowl with the bottom half of the stem submerged in water. After few days, you will see roots emerging from the bottom of each sprout, and they are ready to plant when roots are around an inch long.

Or you can purchase slip from the market.

Soil Preparation

Sweet potatoes prefer well-drained soil that is high in organic matter. Sandier soil is preferable.

Best time to Plant

Sweet potatoes need a slightly warm & moist environment; you can plant them about a month after the last spring frost.

How to Plant?

To plant the sweet potato, you will need a pot and good quality potting mix (with the soil mentioned earlier & organic fertilizer). Don’t compress the soil excessively. After filling the pot with soil, make a hole in the center. And put one or two rooted slips in the hole, and pat the soil around it. And water thoroughly. And make sure to protect your plant from frost.

Irrigation

Sweet potatoes will tolerate growing in dry soil after they are completely established. You will need to water it daily for a week, and then once every two days for a week or two, and then one inch of water once a week. And the important thing to note, don’t water your sweet potatoes during the last three weeks prior to harvesting, otherwise, mature tubers may split.

Pests & Diseases in sweet potatoes

Sweet Potato Weevils, Wireworms & Root-knot nematodes- These are ¼ inch long insects having dark blue heads & red-orange bodies and wings. They puncture stems and lay their eggs, and damage the vines and leaves. Weevils multiply quickly. And other pests are wireworms, root-knot nematodes. To protect your plant from all these, rotate their location in the garden year to year, and use certified disease-resistant slips.

Fungal Disease- Fungal diseases include stem rot or wilt, which enters the plant by injured insects & careless cultivation. To protect your plant, plant only healthy slips.

Harvesting of sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are ready to harvest in about three to four months. And if you want to consume the leaves too, you can harvest upper side leaves throughout the season, but make sure that you don’t damage the plant from growing.

Once the foliage starts turning yellow, you can dig up tubers.  

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