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Sweet Potato Stat Summary

Plant Spacing: 12-18" (304-457 mm)
Row Spacing: 36-48" (914-1219 mm)
Planting Depth: 12-20" (304-508 mm)
Plants Per Person: 2
Soil Temperature: 60-75°F (16-24°C)
Days to Emergence:
Recommended Soil PH: 5.5-6.5
Earliest Outdoor Planting: Before Last Frost

Planting Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are started from plants called "slips." When the soil temperature is at least 55 degrees F, plant slips directly into the garden. To start earlier, plant indoors by placing slips in 4 inch pots and grow in warm location. Harden young sweet potatoes off before transplanting.

At planting time, select an area that receives full sun and has well drained soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. Turn in a 2 inch layer of compost and plenty of bone meal. Plant slips in a 12 to 20 inch deep trench and 12 to 18 inches apart; "hill up" the soil as the plant grows. Be sure to keep at least 12 inches of plant foliage exposed above the ground.

To grow your own plants, place several sweet potato roots about one inch apart in a hotbed and cover with two inches of sand or light soil. Add another one inch of sand when the shoots begin to appear. Keep the soil in the bed moist throughout the sprouting period, but never allow it to become waterlogged. When the sprouts (slips) are rooted and 6 to 8 inches tall, plant them directly in the garden from the sprout bed. Set the plants 12 to 18 inches apart.

Growing Sweet Potato

Water thoroughly every 7 to 10 days. Do not water during the last 3 to 4 weeks before harvest to protect the developing roots.

Harvesting and Storing Sweet Potato

After the weather cools in the fall, carefully loosen the soil around the roots. To cure, brush off the soil and place the sweet potatoes in a warm dry area for 8 to 10 days. After curing, store at 50 to 60 degrees F for up to 5 months. Dig the main crop of sweet potatoes around the time of the first frost in the fall. Use a spading fork or stout shovel and be careful not to bruise, cut or otherwise damage the roots. Dig below the level of the ridge and gradually move closer toward the plants, removing soil until the fat roots are exposed. Carefully dig under these roots to gauge the depth to dig as you go down the row.the roots should be allowed to dry on the ground for 2 to 3 hours, then placed in a warm room for curing (85°F and 85 percent humidity (if possible) for 10 to 14 days and then stored in a cool (55°F) location.use the potatoes as soon as possible after they have been stored.

Sweet Potato Insect and Disease Information

Use floating row covers to help discourage flea beetle invasions. Clean up debris in the fall will help reduce the risk of weevil and other insect populations. Deer are fond of sweet potato vines.

Sweet Potato Yield Information

No yield information for Sweet Potato.
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