Sweet potatoes aren’t linked to potatoes in any way. Although orangish sweet potatoes are the most common, sweet potatoes can also be white, yellow, or purple.
Sweet potatoes keep growing slowly and are always sown in the springtime since they demand four months of hot weather to build up whole tubers. Bush kinds are also available for tiny gardens.
We will learn how much and often watering sweet potatoes is required. But let’s start with how to plant a sweet potato and its requirements.
Planting Sweet Potatoes
Creating your slips is straightforward, and you may choose a sweet potato of last year’s crop, a supermarket shop sweet potato, or a vendor’s field sweet potato. Look for tubers that are free of dark spots and disease.
You’ll probably require a couple of sweet potatoes in slip growing, based on how many seedlings you want. Evey tuber has the potential to produce lots of slips.
When you have the sweet potatoes, there will be two ways to make slips:
- Insert toothpicks into the upper third of the potato, then place that in a jar full of water, such that the lower two-thirds remain submerged.
- Cover a pot, sowing tray, or deep container using pre-moistened, high-quality soil mix and lay’s entire sweet potato on its surface inside it. Cover the pot halfway with soil mix to reach the lower portion of the sweet potato.
Put your sweet potato pots or jars in a light, warm location and relax. The slips usually appear after a few fortnights, but they can take two months.
This suggests you begin the sweet potato slips approximately two months ahead to plant them in the yard.
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When Should You Plant?
Because these species are tropical, wait till the ground has wholly heated before sowing.
Sweet potatoes are frequently grown in high rows approximately 8 inches tall to provide them a good start.
This allows the soil to warm up quicker and leaves it well-drained. Placing plastic on the ground would also heat up quickly if you plant in a colder region.
Choosing a Planting Location
Sweet potatoes might very well grow in any ordinary, well-drained land in a bright place. If the ground is too thick or rough for sweet potatoes, try growing them in high beds loaded with sandy yet rich potting mix.
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Support, Level, and Distance
Put slips 12 – 18 inches away, with rows 3 to 4 feet off each other. Allow lots of space for the plants to grow and grow in.
Perfect Growing Environment
Sweet potatoes are notoriously difficult to prepare. Cool-weather, on the other hand, they despise. Even a minor cold will harm them.
They do, however, function well in high temperatures and drought. Nonetheless, the more acceptable the growth circumstances, the greater the yield. Because this is a root vegetable, soil quality is quite essential. It is best to grow in the mildly acidic ground with a 6.0 to 6.5.
The sun-loving tropical plant will thrive in well-draining, nutritionally dense sandy soil. Raised beds are another good alternative because they heat up fast and are generally complete with a loamy earth combination. Roots may proliferate in loose soil.
A week or two before sowing for increased fertilizers and raw material, add some fresh, natural manure. If you favor chemical fertilizers but don’t want to get your soil analyzed, use a combination of 5-10-10 N-P-K (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium).
Remember that excessively high nitrogen results in robust plants but a slight crop. Add a natural mulch coating, like pine bark and grass clippings, to protect and conserve soil water and warmth while reducing weeds.
When plants begin to grow, you may presume they’re rooted. Containers also work nicely but don’t attempt to jam so many slips into a tiny space. The number of tubers that grow per plant will be drastically reduced when you do.
Plants that have ample area to develop will yield a considerably greater crop. After they are well set, sweet potatoes may thrive in dry areas.
You’ll have to feed it just once a day for a week, subsequently once per 2 days for another week or two, then finally once a week with one inch of water.
It’s also vital to remember that you shouldn’t water the sweet potatoes for the final three weeks before harvesting; else, ripe tubers can break.
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How frequently should sweet potato plants be watered?
In general, checking the top half-inch of topsoil for the moisture is the most straightforward approach to estimate how frequently to irrigate the sweet potato vine plants.
As a general rule, water it when the sweet potato vine is dry. There’s no need to feed the sweet potato vine if it’s still soggy or wet in the top half-inch.
How Often to Water Sweet Potato Plants?
When it refers to how much to water sweet potato plant seedlings, always want to be sure you provide your new sweet potato vines with the water they require for their initial growth.
Sweet potato vines are sometimes cultivated in groups. This might absorb water more quickly, so keep a watch on the moisture content for such seedlings.
Watering them moderately more regularly is preferable to feeding them infrequently. When plants are overwatered, they are far more prone to “sinking.”
Far too much moisture in one go also could trigger the plant to detach itself since soil wipes away more easily whenever the plant lacks a firm root system.
Hydrate your sweet potato plant in a few days, if not every day. Stay updated on the top-level dampness of the ground and water the plants if it doesn’t appear damp.
Sweet potato plants develop quicker if they barely receive sufficient water; thus, if the vine is withering and the ground is dry, a lack of water is likely the cause.
Harvesting and storing
Sweet potatoes are generally ready to be harvested when the tips of the vines become yellow or shortly before winter in the north.
To prevent damaging tubers, locate the central crown of the plants you wish to harvest and open an 18-inch large circle surrounding it using a digging tool.
Lift the top and grab your sweet potatoes with your hands. You may clip part of the plants away before excavating to make digging simpler to get the plants off your path.
Harvest prior cold since low temperatures may impair tubers’ shelf life and quality. When freshly scooped, sweet potatoes aren’t lovely; however, they are suitable for sweetened desserts or casseroles.
They require rest and “cure” for a while to draw out their flavor. Wipe off the dirt and set the unwashed potatoes in a sunny (80°F – 90°F), well-ventilated location for around ten days.
A sheltered table outside, away from the rains, works excellent. Any scrapes in the covers will mend as the sweet potatoes recover, and the content inside will grow tastier and more healthy.
This process is essential since raw, uncured tubers do not cook. Following ten days, transfer your cured potatoes to a chilly, dry location, but do not freeze or keep them under 50°F.
Healed sweet potatoes can be kept for six months at temperatures near 60°F with humid conditions; a basement is best, but an air-conditioned warehouse area or pantry would suffice.
Those root tubers taste like sweets in a new diet household with or without the additional powdered sugar. Therefore, if you’re searching for healthy and delicious garden produce, sweet potatoes are indeed the way to go.
This readily kept warm-season food is tasty and flexible for brunch, lunch, and supper. And while it takes up a lot of room in the yard, it’s a relatively simple crop to produce.