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Growing Sweet Potatoes



You can start growing sweet potatoes for a refreshing and tasty change from other food and they are low in starch. If you enjoy gardening, especially the vegetable garden where you can be growing food that you can eat at your table, then sweet potatoes are appropriate for cultivation in your garden.

Sweet potatoes are a rich source of complex carbohydrate. They are also a fitting addition to many dishes.


There are several different varieties of sweet potatoes:

  • The Centennial, which has an orange colored flesh and takes approximately 95 days from planting to harvesting.

  • The Bush, which has a red or orange colored flesh and has a growth period of approximately 125 days.

  • The Georgia jet, again with an orange colored flesh that is firm and sweet, and which takes approximately 90 days to grow.

  • The O'Henry, which has a 90 day growth period and has a white colored flesh.


When growing sweet potatoes is important to know that they should be planted in the spring, May in the northern hemisphere, and November in the southern hemisphere, when the soil is relatively warm; but you must remember that they are very sensitive as far as frost is concerned, and so they should be harvested before the winter frosts begin.

Growing sweet potato plants in the garden


Sweet potatoes are planted from what are called slips. You can grow your own slips by placing some sweet potatoes into a cold frame, and lightly covering them beneath two inches of sand, or fine soil. Keep the vegetable garden bed warm and when the sprouts begin to appear, sprinkle on a little more soil. Then it will grow roots and it is these that will form you seedlings of sweet potatoes.


You should plant the slips approximately twelve inches apart into small, raised, rounded ridges of soil.

They must be kept slightly moist throughout their growth period, up to about three days before the scheduled harvesting time.

The sweet potato plant is very versatile and will thrive in most types of soil, although for maximum results a more sandy soil is best. The soil should also be rich in nutrients. You are best advised to avoid fertilizers as they can lead to stunted growth. When the plants are young, a good mulching between them will help.


If you want your growing sweet potatoes crop to be long and tubular, not short and dumpy, plant them in raised ridges.

It creates more effective drainage and it provides an easy, loose depth of soil for the tubers to develop within.

Sweet potatoes do not keep for very long after harvesting, it is recommended that you should plant your slips in the vegetable garden about two weeks apart so that you get a steady harvest over the period of a few weeks, bearing in mind of course their aversion to frosty conditions.

Simple if you follow the advice above after between 90 to 125 days, depending on the variety you want, you will be harvesting a tasty, healthy vegetable that will make an addition to your table.










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