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How to Grow Sweet Potatoes

  1. Sweet potatoes are a tropical plant. They are in the morning glory family not the potato family! 

  2. Sweet potatoes are started in a field/garden by transplanting vines. 

  3. Plant slips with at least 2 nodes (where leaf connects to stem) in the ground. 

  4. Slips can be planted 12-18 inches apart in a garden or as close as 4-6 inches in a planter if used for decorative.

  5. Slips will look very wilted when they arrive. Stand them in a jar of water until your ready to plant. 

  6. Sweet potatoes love heat! Cover the ground with a garbage bag or black plastic before planting. Melt or cut 2-3 inch holes and plant the slips into those holes.

  7. Tilled soil makes for easy planting by gently pushing the stem into the ground. 

  8. WATER! The first 6 weeks are the most important time to give the plant enough water. 

  9. Plant in full sun! 

  10. Cover on cool fall nights or spring nights. Sweet potatoes don’t like temperatures below 10C

  11. Sweet potatoes need to be cured with warm temps (26-28C) and high humidity (85-90%)  (see the Harvesting, curing and Storing page for more details.

  12. The leaves are edible. They are a great substitute for spinach! Cutting off too many leaves may reduce tuber yield. Designate a plants for greens and a few for tubers to get the best of both!

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