Harvesting, Curing and Storing
-Harvest before the soil is 10C or cooler.
-Don’t water for a few days prior to digging so the soil is crumbly.
-You can cut the tops off a week before digging.
-Mark plants or leave a few inches above ground as markers. Topping before digging can harden the skin on the tubers.
-Very carefully, start digging 8-12 inches from the stem to ensure you don’t cut any tubers. The skin is very delicate, even if you’ve left them in the ground a few days without the vines.
-Do not wash the sweet potatoes. Gently brush off the dirt and wash as you use them once cured.
-Cure the sweet potatoes for longer storage life and sweeter taste!
Curing the sweet potatoes “heals” any harvest wounds, starts the conversion of starch to sugar and increases storage time.
Heat and Humidity are the key factors to curing.
Cure the sweet potatoes in a dark place at 26-28C and 85% humidity for 7-10 days.
Once the sweet potatoes are cured they should be stored at 14–16 C and 80% humidity for the longest shelf life. Lower humidity will cause the sweet potatoes to loose their moisture but will not spoil them.
Ways to Cure the sweet potatoes:
1. In a closet or stand up shower with a space heater and dish of water.
2. In a grocery bag with holes cut in it, placed in a sunny window.
3. A clear bag with holes cut in it and covered with a cotton blanket or sheet.
Store sweet potatoes in a dry, dark area with temperature between 13-15 C