Monday, 22 July 2013

Growing Sweet Potatoes

Growing Sweet Potatoes:
From Tuber to Sweet Potato Vine
Sweet potatoes are grown from rootable cuttings, often called slips.
If you've never grown sweet potatoes before, it can be great fun to grow your own slips from small or medium-size sweet potatoes purchased at the market.
Sweet potato plants are not hardy so you will need to grow them on in warm, frost free conditions for 3 weeks or more until they are established.
Sweet potatoes require high temperatures of 21-26C.
Plant sweet potatoes 30cm apart, leaving 75cm between each row.
One sweet potato will produce between three and five slips.
This process takes about six weeks, so there is no need to hurry.
As the shoots, or slips, grow to 15 cm long, they can be broken off and transplanted to the garden, or to containers if outdoor conditions are too cold.
As long as the soil is kept lightly moist, the slips will develop roots and start growing within two weeks. Six weeks after that, the sweet potato vines will explode with growth and cover the ground with dense foliage.
Even the fastest-maturing sweet potato varieties should be allowed to grow for 90 days before you start looking for harvestable roots.
It is also important to dig sweet potatoes before soil temperatures cool too much.
Fresh sweet potatoes need to be cured for two to three weeks in a warm place.
During this time, wounds to the skin heal over, and the flesh becomes sweeter and more nutritious.
This process continues after curing, during the first months of storage at cool room temperatures, so stored sweet potatoes that are eaten in winter are often the best ones of the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment