How To Grow Sweet Potatoes – Gardening Guide
Sweet potatoes are vibrant and tasty vegetables with many culinary benefits. In recent years, sweet potatoes have become increasingly popular in the home garden setting due to their hardiness and ease of cultivation. This article provides detailed directions on how to successfully grow sweet potatoes at home.
The first step to successful sweet potato gardening is selecting the right variety for your particular climate. The two main types of varieties are soft-skinned (the most common type) and firm-skinned sweet potatoes. It is also important to consider soil conditions when choosing a variety as some prefer drier soils while others thrive in more moist soils. Additionally, certain varieties may be better suited for warmer or cooler climates than others.
Once the appropriate variety has been selected, it’s time to plan out where the crop will be planted within the garden space. Sweet potatoes do best when planted near areas that receive direct sunlight for several hours each day; however, they can tolerate light shade throughout parts of their growing cycle if needed. Furthermore, adequate spacing should be respected between plants so that tubers have enough room to develop properly underground without competing for nutrients from neighboring plants.
Overview Of Sweet Potatoes
The sweet potato is a versatile vegetable, used for anything from smoothies to pies. It has been grown around the world for centuries and provides plenty of nutrition in its nutritious orange flesh. Growing sweet potatoes at home can be a rewarding experience, with a garden bed dedicated to this delicious root crop providing an abundant harvest each season.
Sweet potatoes require certain conditions to thrive; they are usually planted in warm soil that receives full sun during most of the day. They prefer sandy loam soils, which allow them to expand their roots easily without becoming compacted or waterlogged. The pH level should be between 5.0 and 7.5, as too low or too high levels will impede growth. Moreover, adequate drainage is important so that the plant does not become over-saturated with water. Additionally, mulch can also help retain moisture in the soil and keep weeds away from young plants.
To maximize yields and get started on cultivating one’s own sweet potatoes, it is best to start with certified virus-free slips (young shoots). These slips should then be planted 12 inches apart in rows spaced 24 inches apart in prepped beds containing compost or well-decomposed manure along with any other needed fertilizer blends for optimal nutrient availability for healthy root production and development. With proper care and attention given to these growing requirements, there is potential for a bountiful harvest at the end of the season!
Types Of Sweet Potatoes
When deciding how to grow sweet potatoes, it is important to understand the different types of varieties available. Sweet potatoes can be divided into two main categories: firm and soft. Firm varieties are typically used for baking, roasting, or mashing while soft varieties are best suited for making dishes such as French fries or hash browns.
Beauregard is a popular variety that produces high yields with vibrant orange flesh and a sweet flavor. It grows well in warm climates and requires full sun exposure. This variety does not do well when planted in pots or raised beds but can thrive in square-foot gardens if given enough space to spread out its vines.
2. Georgia Jet:
Georgia Jet has attractive red skin with white-fleshed tubers that produce good yields even during cooler seasons. The plant itself is more compact than other varieties, so it is ideal for growing in containers or raised beds where space is limited.
3. Okinawan Purple:
Okinawan Purple produces small tubers with deep purple flesh and mild sweetness compared to other sweet potato varieties. This type of potato prefers temperatures between 60°F–80°F (15°C–27°C) and needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day to grow properly which makes it great for container gardening on a balcony or patio garden area.
Regardless of the type selected, all sweet potatoes require loose soil that drains quickly, consistent watering throughout their growth cycle, and plenty of organic compost mixed into the soil at planting time for optimal health and yield production. Planting depth should also be considered; most cultivars will benefit from being planted about 2 inches below the surface for better root development and increased yields at harvest time
Requirements For Growing Sweet Potatoes
Although it may seem intimidating, growing sweet potatoes in a garden is actually an achievable goal for any gardener. With the right conditions and requirements met, anyone can successfully grow yams or sweet potatoes at home.
When planning to grow sweet potatoes, there are several environmental factors that need to be addressed first. First, the soil must be warm enough; as a tropical plant, sweet potatoes require temperatures of at least 55°F (12°C). Next, they will need ample sun exposure; six hours of direct sunlight daily should suffice. Lastly, adequate drainage is essential so water does not accumulate around the roots – if possible, raised beds with sandy soil are ideal.
It is also important to remember that while you can use store-bought tubers or slips to get your crop started quickly, planting certified disease-free seed tubers is preferable since this reduces the risk of acquiring diseases such as verticillium wilt which could kill off your entire harvest. Additionally, many find success in mulching around their plants as this helps maintain consistent moisture levels throughout the season and prevents weeds from germinating.
These careful steps taken when setting up your bed will ensure that you have everything necessary for the successful growth and harvesting of delicious sweet potatoes come autumn!
Preparing The Soil For Planting
Sweet potatoes are a warm-weather crop that thrives in soils with good drainage. Prior to planting, the soil should be prepared to ensure optimal growth and yield. To begin, test the pH of the soil using a home testing kit or by sending it to an agricultural laboratory for analysis. Sweet potatoes prefer slightly acidic soil (pH 6.0 – 6.8). If necessary, amend the soil with lime or sulfur to adjust the pH as needed. Adding organic matter such as composted manure is also beneficial as it helps improve water retention and nutrient levels in the soil.
Next, till or dig down approximately eight inches into the ground and mix in aged fertilizer – 1/2 pound per 50-foot row is recommended – into the top layer of soil prior to planting sweet potato slips. This ensures that your plants have adequate nutrients during their growing period. Additionally, make sure you remove any rocks from the area where you plan on planting; they can disrupt root development and cause stunted growth.
Finally, rake away all debris until you have a flat surface suitable for planting sweet potato slips directly into rows about twelve inches apart at a depth of two to three inches below ground level. Once planted, mulch between rows with hay or straw which will help keep weeds under control and retain moisture in the soil for better plant health throughout its life cycle.
Choosing Where To Plant Sweet Potato Plants
When deciding where to plant sweet potato plants, it is important to take the time needed to choose an area of the garden that will provide the best conditions for growth. It is also essential to make sure that there are no nearby sources of disease or pests that may harm your crop. Taking note of these steps ensures a successful harvest and a plentiful supply of sweet potatoes.
As an example, if you live in USDA hardiness zone 9a, then planting sweet potatoes near other vegetables such as tomatoes can be beneficial due to their similar growing requirements. Additionally, choosing a sunny location with well-drained soil is ideal for establishing a healthy root system. Furthermore, leaving at least twelve inches between each row and two feet from any surrounding structures helps ensure adequate air circulation and enough room for vigorous vines when they begin to grow.
Below are four key points to keep in mind when selecting a spot for growing sweet potatoes:
- Make sure the area experiences full sunlight on most days throughout the year;
- Ensure that soils have good drainage properties;
- Plant away from existing sources of disease or pest infestations;
- Leave ample space in between rows and around structures for proper ventilation and vine development.
By following these simple guidelines while picking out a location to grow your sweet potatoes, you can increase your chances of harvesting plenty of delicious tubers come the autumn season! Knowing when to harvest your crop is just as important as knowing where – typically once leaves start dying back (usually sometime in September through October depending on variety), it’s time to dig up some tasty treats ready for storage or consumption straight away!
Propagating And Planting Sweet Potato Plants
Sweet potatoes, also known as kumara, are a popular vegetable in many parts of the world. Growing sweet potatoes at home is an easy and rewarding process that can be done through propagation methods such as cuttings or slips. Cuttings are pieces of rooted stems taken from existing plants while slips are shoots sprouted from tubers planted in soil. Once established, these sweet potato plants can be moved to the garden for further growth and development.
When propagating cuttings, it is important to select healthy rootstock with large buds and no visible signs of disease or insect damage. The cutting should include two to three nodes (the point where leaves emerge), but not more than five nodes so that there will still be enough energy left for root formation. These cuttings should then be soaked overnight before being placed in well-draining containers filled with moist potting mix. After about four weeks, when roots have formed on each stem node along with several new leaves, the plant is ready for transplanting into the garden bed.
Slips typically take around eight weeks to mature enough for planting outdoors. To create them, purchase certified virus-free tubers from a reputable nursery or grower and place them in shallow trays or egg cartons filled with damp seed starting mix at temperatures between 65°F – 75°F (18°C – 24°C).
Slips will soon start sprouting at which time they need to be separated carefully using a sharp knife before being transplanted into individual pots. When transferring slips directly into the garden bed, wait until nighttime temperatures remain above 55°F (13°C) consistently over several days before proceeding; otherwise, they may not survive due to cold shock.
Once both types of sweet potato plants have been securely planted outdoors in full sun areas with plenty of space between rows, water deeply once per week during dry periods and apply mulch if necessary—keeping dirt mounded up around each plant helps conserve moisture levels in addition to deterring weed growth. With proper care and attention, you’ll soon be enjoying your own delicious harvest!
Care And Maintenance Of Sweet Potato Plants
It is estimated that sweet potato plants occupy an enormous 5% of the total area cultivated in the United States. Growing and harvesting sweet potatoes can be a rewarding experience, but how to grow them successfully at home requires knowledge and care. Here are some tips on how to take care of your sweet potatoes when they’re planted in the ground:
- Keep soil moist by watering regularly; water deeply once or twice per week depending on weather conditions.
- Fertilize and mulch around plants with compost or aged manure to keep weeds down and maintain moisture levels.
- Inspect frequently for signs of pests or disease, such as aphids, beetles, blight, or mildew, and treat accordingly.
When it comes time to harvest sweet potatoes, wait until the foliage starts to yellow before digging up plants carefully. The roots should have enough time to mature on the vine so that you get large tubers from each plant. After harvesting, let them sit out for a few days in direct sunlight so their skins harden off before storing them in a cool dry place away from light and heat. With proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of delicious sweet potatoes year after year!
Fertilizing Sweet Potato Plants
Fertilization is a key factor in successfully growing sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are heavy feeders, meaning they require an abundance of nutrients to thrive and produce a bountiful harvest. Before planting the slips or transplants into the ground, it is important to mix fertilizers for potatoes into the soil for optimal growth.
Organic fertilizers such as composted manure or fish emulsion should be mixed into the soil at rates recommended by product labels before planting. To ensure consistent nutrition throughout the season, applying additional organic fertilizer every few weeks may be beneficial. If using chemical fertilizers, it is best to apply them before or shortly after transplanting sweet potatoes into the ground since these products can burn plant roots if applied too close when plants become established.
Sweet potato plants will benefit from side dressing applications of nitrogen-rich fertilizers during mid-season as well as potassium and phosphorus sources around two months before harvesting begins. Fertilizing sweet potatoes correctly plays an essential role in maximizing yields while helping improve leaf health and increase resistance to pests and diseases.
Pest And Disease Control Techniques
Pest and disease control is an essential part of growing sweet potatoes. Starting with healthy, virus-free seed pieces will help reduce the need for pest and disease management during cultivation. Raised beds are an ideal way to start sweet potatoes because they allow you to maintain better soil health which in turn keeps your plants healthier. Here are a few methods you can use to protect against pests and diseases:
1. Monitor Plant Health –
Regularly check for signs of insects or disease on both the leaves and roots of your plants. Pay special attention to wilting or discolored foliage, as this could be indicative of a problem requiring immediate action.
2. Remove infected plants –
If you find any diseased plants, promptly remove them from the garden bed before they have a chance to spread their illness further. Discard any affected material away from the garden area so that it cannot re-infect other plants or contaminate new planting areas.
3. Provide Adequate Spacing –
Planting too close together can lead to overcrowding which can contribute to fungal infections due to poor air circulation between individual plants. Make sure to provide enough space between rows when setting up raised beds for optimal growth conditions and less risk of infection spreading throughout your crop.
4. Use Natural Remedies –
Depending on what type of pest or disease is causing problems, there may be some effective home remedies available such as neem oil spray or garlic extract solution for controlling common insect infestations like aphids or whiteflies on sweet potato vines. There are also various organic fungicides available if the fungus is present in the soil around your crops that won’t harm beneficial bacteria levels found within it either!
Harvesting And Storing Sweet Potatoes
Harvesting sweet potatoes is the most crucial step in growing this vegetable. Sweet potato tubers should be harvested when the vines have died back and before a hard frost sets in. The ideal time for harvesting is usually two or three weeks after the tops of the plants die off, depending on local weather conditions. Tubers can also be dug out earlier if desired. Care must be taken to not damage any of the tubers by digging too close or handling them roughly during harvest.
When harvesting, gardeners should look for mature sweet potatoes that are at least 4 inches long with smooth skin and no signs of decay or disease. Potatoes with cuts, bruises, blemishes, wilting leaves, brown spots, or soft areas should be discarded immediately as they will quickly spoil once harvested and stored. Unwashed sweet potatoes will last longer than washed ones so it is best to leave them unwashed until ready to use them in cooking.
Once harvested, store sweet potatoes in a cool (but not cold) dark place like a cellar or basement where temperatures stay between 50-55°F (10-13°C). Higher temperatures can cause sprouting while lower temperatures may lead to freezing which could destroy their texture and flavor. If stored properly, freshly harvested sweet potatoes should keep up to 8 months.
Containers For Growing Sweet Potatoes
Containers are a great way to grow sweet potatoes. Commercially produced pots or bags of soil can be used, while the perfect environment for growing these tubers is created by upcycling old containers such as buckets and barrels. Depending on the size of the container, one tuber should fill it easily. If multiple plants are desired in each pot, careful spacing must be considered when planting. It is important that there is ample drainage within whichever type of container is chosen.
When using commercially made containers for planting sweet potatoes, instructions should be followed carefully considering their exact dimensions and material composition. The roots need plenty of room to spread out and if too many seeds are planted together without enough space between them, overcrowding will occur leading to smaller yields at harvest time. In addition, any kind of plastic container needs to have several holes punched into its bottom for proper water drainage.
The UK climate can support growing sweet potatoes in containers with relative ease as long as temperatures stay above 10°C (50°F). During warmer months they require more frequent watering compared to other vegetables due to the fact that they contain high amounts of sugar which causes evaporation rates to increase quicker than normal; however, this also helps maintain an optimal size during harvesting season. To ensure success when growing in containers, fertilizing with nitrogen-rich products periodically is recommended throughout the growth process.
Benefits Of Growing Your Own Sweet Potatoes
Growing your own sweet potatoes in the garden has many benefits. One of these is that it allows you to get fresh vegetables without having to buy them from a store or market. You can also be sure that they are grown naturally and free from any chemical treatment, ensuring that they are as healthy and nutritious as possible. Additionally, growing your own sweet potatoes will save you money in the long run by providing an inexpensive source of food for your family.
When growing sweet potatoes at home, there are certain steps to keep in mind when selecting the right variety for your needs. In the UK, some popular varieties include Beauregard, Georgia Jet, Jewels, and O’Henry. It is important to choose one suited to your local climate conditions so that it produces maximum yields with minimum inputs such as water and fertilizer. Once planted, most varieties require around 100 days before being ready for harvest.
Harvesting is done carefully using a spade or fork; too much force may damage the tubers underneath the soil surface. Harvested tubers should then be cured in a warm environment with good airflow for two weeks before storing them away in cool temperatures where they will last up to several months if kept properly moist but not wet. Knowing how to grow sweet potatoes can ensure successful cultivation season after season which can reap great rewards for gardeners.
Alternatives To Growing In The Ground
As the old adage goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat. This certainly holds true when it comes to growing sweet potatoes. When traditional methods of planting in the ground are not available or feasible, growers have several alternative options for getting their potatoes off to a good start. In Las Vegas’ climate specifically, these alternatives can be especially beneficial and help ensure success with this crop.
The first option is raised bed gardening. Sweet potatoes prefer soil that drains well, so by raising the beds off of the ground will allow air circulation and promote better drainage which helps reduce disease problems and promotes healthier root development.
Planting sweet potatoes in raised beds also makes harvesting easier as they won’t need to be dug from underneath other plants like they would if planted directly into the ground.
Additionally, small spaces can benefit from using container gardens such as barrels or grow bags – both work great for growing larger quantities of potatoes efficiently in limited space.
No matter what method you decide on for growing your sweet potato crop, keeping up with regular irrigation and fertilization schedules is key to achieving healthy yields come harvest time.
Making sure adequate nutrients are present throughout the season will set you up for a bountiful harvest at its conclusion; without proper attention given during times of higher demand (such as flowering), yields may suffer due to poor nutrition levels prior to tuber formation.
With some thoughtful planning ahead of time and regular maintenance while your crop grows, gardeners should have no problem transitioning away from traditional methods to get their sweet potatoes started successfully – no matter where they call home!
Tips For Successful Harvests
Having determined the best methods for growing sweet potatoes, it is now important to consider how to ensure successful harvests. Each method has its benefits and drawbacks; however, there are some general tips that should be employed regardless of the chosen strategy.
One key factor in achieving a high yield is fertile soil with adequate drainage. Sweet potato plants require relatively loose soil so roots can spread freely and water can penetrate deeply into the ground. Additionally, square-foot gardens are especially well suited for cultivating sweet potatoes due to their higher nutrient density than traditional garden beds.
For those who choose to start from seedlings or slips, planting time must also be considered as this will affect when harvests occur. Planting at least two weeks after the last frost date ensures that temperatures remain warm enough for optimal growth throughout the season.
Furthermore, spacing out plantings over several months allows for staggered harvest times which can extend beyond one season if necessary. Finally, using mulch around each root helps reduce weed competition while locking moisture into the soil and protecting against extreme temperature changes.
Successful cultivation of sweet potatoes requires careful selection of growing strategies as well as attention to factors such as timing and soil fertility. Employing proper techniques not only increases yields but also reduces pest pressure and other potential problems associated with gardening. Utilizing these tips provides gardeners with an increased chance of reaping abundant harvests of delicious sweet potatoes year-round.
Troubleshooting Common Problems
Growing sweet potatoes in a garden can be an exciting and rewarding adventure. Even experienced vegetable gardeners may find themselves faced with common problems when growing sweet potatoes, however.
Square foot gardening is the ideal way to grow these delicious tubers as it gives them plenty of room to spread out their vines and produce abundant harvests. Knowing how deep sweet potatoes grow and troubleshooting any issues that arise quickly is essential for the successful cultivation of this flavorful root crop.
The first problem encountered by many home gardeners when raising sweet potatoes is inadequate spacing: Sweet potato plants need at least a square foot of space all around each tuber to give them enough room to sprawl without overcrowding. Too much crowding will cause reduced yields because there isn’t sufficient air circulation between the vines; this can also lead to diseases such as powdery mildew or other fungal infestations. Additionally, if soil moisture levels are too high, rot due to bacterial wilt may occur in close quarters.
Another issue commonly seen among backyard growers is not planting their slips deep enough into the ground: Sweet potato roots prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH level between 5-6.5 and should be planted no more than three inches below the surface so they have access to adequate oxygenation and nutrients from the soil. If planted deeper, insufficient amounts of light may reach them resulting in poor growth and malformed tubers with hollow centers caused by a lack of photosynthesis in the underground portions of stems and leaves.
In order for your sweet potato harvest to turn out successfully, proper spacing between plants combined with appropriate depth while planting are both key factors that must be observed closely during cultivation – failure to do so could result in diminished yields or even total crop loss!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Time Of Year To Plant Sweet Potatoes?
Planting sweet potatoes is a popular activity among gardeners due to the numerous varieties available and their nutritional benefits. When deciding when to plant, there are several factors to consider. The best time of year for planting sweet potatoes depends on the climate in which they will be grown.
In warmer climates, such as those found in U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones 8 through 11, it’s best to begin planting around four weeks before the last expected frost date. This allows enough time for the plants to become established before cold weather arrives. In cooler climates with shorter growing seasons (such as USDA Zone 7), it’s best to wait until two or three weeks after the last expected spring frost date to ensure optimal temperatures for growth and development.
Soil temperature also plays an important role when determining when to start planting sweet potatoes; soil should ideally reach at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit prior to sowing seeds or slips into the ground. If necessary, plastic can be used over the mulch to help warm up the soil if night-time temperatures remain too cool during the early spring months. With these considerations taken into account, growers can successfully plant sweet potatoes and enjoy a bountiful harvest come the fall season.
How Much Space Is Needed Between Sweet Potato Plants?
Growing sweet potatoes is a great way to enjoy fresh produce from your own garden. But, how much space must be left between plants for optimal growth? This article aims to answer this common question.
It may come as a surprise that the answer largely depends on the method used when planting them. Sweet potatoes are usually planted in two main ways: slips or tuber crops. Slips refer to young sprouts produced by placing mature tubers in warm and humid conditions until shoots emerge; these can then be replanted into the soil. On the other hand, tuber crops involve directly sowing pieces of mature tubers into the ground with at least one eye per piece.
When growing slips, it is important to keep an appropriate distance between plants because they have a more substantial root system than those grown from tuber crops due to their long period of growth before transplanting. Generally, allowing around 12 inches in between each plant should provide enough space for good development — irony alert!
In contrast, if you choose to grow sweet potatoes using tuber crops, 6–8 inches apart is ideal as these will only develop smaller root systems compared to slips. It is also possible to increase density up to 24-inch spacing while still achieving good yields – though beware of overcrowding which can result in poor harvests!
Therefore, correctly calculating the necessary spacing between sweet potato plants will ensure successful crop production and yield maximum results from your gardening efforts.
Are There Any Companion Plants That Should Be Planted With Sweet Potatoes?
Growing sweet potatoes can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, but there are certain considerations to keep in mind. One such consideration is the space needed between plants when growing sweet potatoes. Additionally, companion plants should also be taken into account:
Beans are a great accompaniment for sweet potatoes as they provide nitrogen-rich soil which helps the root vegetables thrive. Furthermore, corn works well too due to its tall stalks that help deter pests from snacking on the nearby crops of other varieties like beans or peanuts; this provides additional protection to the developing sweet potato plants.
The fourth companion plant suggested is marigolds as it acts as a natural insect repellent with their strong scent helping to ward off potential predators while adding color and texture to the garden landscape.
It is important to remember that companion planting does not guarantee success; proper spacing between each variety of vegetable must still be observed in order for them all to grow successfully without competing for resources within the same area or overcrowding one another’s root systems.
Therefore, it is essential to research how much space should be allocated per type of crop so that their individual needs can be met adequately and optimally for maximum yield and minimal pest infestation risk when grown together in close proximity.
Before considering companion planting with sweet potatoes, growers should first ensure adequate spacing has been provided according to specific recommendations based on their particular environment; only then can they begin incorporating other types of vegetation that will benefit both themselves and potentially cohabiting species alike through increased productivity and reduced vulnerability against pests and disease.
How Often Should Sweet Potato Plants Be Watered?
Watering sweet potato plants is an important part of their growth and maintenance. Even though these plants are known for their deep root system, they still require regular watering during the growing season to ensure that the soil remains moist.
It is also necessary to water them properly so as not to drown or rot the roots. The frequency at which sweet potato plants should be watered depends on a variety of factors such as climate, amount of rainfall, time of year, and type of soil.
In regions with hot climates, more frequent watering may be required in order to keep the soil moist and prevent dehydration. In dry areas, however, less frequent but deeper watering sessions can help reduce water loss due to evaporation while ensuring that the roots get enough moisture.
Additionally, during periods of high temperatures and low humidity, it is best to water early in the morning or late in the evening when there is less sunlight exposure. This allows for more efficient absorption by the plant’s roots without risking burning from direct sunlight.
The most important factor to consider when determining how often sweet potatoes should be watered is soil composition; sandy soils tend to need more frequent watering than clay-based ones because sand does not retain moisture well. Clay-based soils will benefit from longer intervals between each session since they hold onto moisture better over time. By understanding different types of soil and local weather conditions it will become easier for gardeners to determine the ideal schedule for watering sweet potato plants.
Are There Any Special Techniques For Harvesting Sweet Potatoes?
Harvesting sweet potatoes requires special techniques that are not typically used with other vegetables. For example, in order to properly harvest the crop and ensure it remains undamaged, gardeners should wait until the foliage has died back entirely before digging up plants.
This can be done by cutting off all of the leaves at ground level using a sharp knife or scissors, and then waiting for two weeks before harvesting. The soil around potato plants should also be loosened prior to harvest to make extraction easier and reduce the risk of damaging tubers.
Once ready for harvesting, sweet potatoes must be handled carefully as they can easily bruise or crack during this process. As such, gardening tools like shovels or forks should not be inserted too deeply into the dirt to prevent accidental damage.
Instead, a wide-bladed spade is recommended as it will enable gardeners to more accurately feel for any tubers beneath them and minimize potential harm caused when lifting out larger root systems.
Additionally, when removing sweet potatoes from the ground, care should be taken to avoid dragging them over rough surfaces as this could lead to skinning or bruising on their surface which may ultimately affect eating quality.
When collecting harvested sweet potatoes it is important to take note of any damaged products and dispose of these appropriately so they do not contaminate healthy crops stored elsewhere. Damaged sweet potatoes can still have some uses however; they can be cut up into pieces and used in soups or stews where texture does not matter greatly. Alternatively, if left intact, bruised specimens might still be kept well enough if stored in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight for several weeks following harvest.
It is clear that planting sweet potatoes in any garden requires careful consideration. The best time of year to plant them depends on the climate, but it can generally be assumed that spring or summer are ideal times for planting. Additionally, plants should be spaced far enough apart so that they have room to grow without competing with each other; this distance will vary depending on how large a harvest one wishes to obtain.
Companion plants may also come into play when growing sweet potatoes; some examples include corn and beans as they help keep weeds away while also providing nutrients back into the soil. Furthermore, watering must be done regularly yet not too excessively so as to provide just enough moisture for the plants. Special techniques such as mounding can aid in harvesting larger yields from tuberous roots.
In conclusion, the successful cultivation of sweet potatoes often relies upon understanding when and how much space is needed between plants, what type of companion crops should accompany them, and special techniques for harvesting the yield. It is through these key steps that growers can ensure better harvests season after season regardless of their environment or climate.