How and When To Plant Sweet Potatoes (5 Simple Steps)

Sweet potatoes are a fall favored in many areas. They are adaptable and colorful greens that present up just in time for the holiday seasons. If you adore sweet potatoes, you can try out your hand at growing your own. Sweet potatoes grow nicely in southern climates and can also be grown up north if you nail the timing. In the right situations, sweet potatoes grow extremely properly and are really minimal maintenance.

This information will go over what you require to develop sweet potatoes, including a action-by-phase program on how to begin expanding them, typical pests to appear out for, tips for harvesting, and the ideal time to plant. The information here will cover every thing you require to commence expanding your personal sweet potato crop and get a wonderful consequence just in time for tumble.

How To Plant Sweet Potatoes


The simplest way to develop sweet potatoes is from slips. Slips are sweet potatoes that have sprouted and are completely ready to plant. You can buy sweet potato slips from nearby nurseries or even on-line. Receiving slips that are previously began will drastically increase your probabilities of accomplishment in developing sweet potatoes of your personal.

You can commence your possess slips, but the procedure is complex and time-consuming. If you are making an attempt to develop sweet potatoes for the very first time, it is recommended that you get prepared-to-plant slips.

In order to successfully plant sweet potatoes, you will want the subsequent factors:

  • Sweet potato slips
  • A large amount of outdoor space
  • Loose soil
  • Gloves
  • Watering instrument
  • Spade

As soon as you have sourced all of these things and well prepared the location, you are completely ready to commence planting.

The 5 Simple Steps to Grow Sweet Potatoes

1. Build Mounds

sweet potato mounds
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Sweet potatoes grow ideal in mounds of free soil. You will want to create a mound for every single sweet potato slip that you are organizing on planting. The mounds must measure 6 inches tall and twelve inches wide. Be certain to maintain at least 36 inches in between mounds to give the plants room to distribute out and vine with no getting crowded.

Build the mounds out of planting soil and normal soil. Do not pack the mounds tightly.

2. Plant Slips

planting sweet potato
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Following your mounds are created, it is time to plant your slips. Make positive that the soil is at the very least 60 degrees F ahead of planting. Just take your slips and bury the bottom end with the roots going through downwards in your mounds. Break off any leaves that are growing as well near to the roots. You are likely to want to bury the stem all the way up to the prime leaves of the plant. Do this for every sweet potato slip.

3. Water In Slips

watering sweet potato plant
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When the slips have been buried, it is time to drinking water the plants in. You are likely to want to give the vegetation a very good soaking following they are planted. Soak every single mound and all of the encompassing soil right up until h2o commences to pool on the floor. New sweet potato plants need a lot of water. Strategy on watering your vegetation day-to-day for the first seven to 10 times and then each and every other working day for the next 2 weeks. Underwatering new vegetation is 1 of the most common techniques to harm their improvement.

4. Monitor

sweet potato field
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Right after the slips are planted and have taken root, it is time to keep an eye on the plants. Sweet potatoes just take ninety to a hundred and twenty times to experienced. In the course of this time, you want to make confident the plants have enough water and that they are not crowding each other or suffering from pests or diseases. Make sure the plants proceed to seem eco-friendly and are increasing appropriately for the up coming a few months and adapt your strategy if the plants cease flourishing.

5. Harvest

fresh harvest sweet potato crops
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After the growing period of time is in excess of, it is time to harvest. Gently split up the soil above the potato tubers with a shovel. It is very best to hold out until finally the soil is dry to dig up your sweet potatoes. Do not dig as well deeply or vigorously or you danger nicking your potatoes.

Uncover the buried tubers and then pull them out of the grime with your palms. Give them a very good shake to get the dirt off and established them apart. You now have sweet potatoes completely ready to cook dinner and take in at your leisure.

The Best Time To Plant Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a southern plant that thrives in warm climates. The window for planting sweet potatoes normally opens two weeks right after the closing expected frost of the period. Sweet potatoes want at minimum a few months of heat climate to increase effectively, and they do very best with four full months of heat temperature.

Northern Climates

In northern climates, the window for planting sweet potatoes can be tricky. If you plant too early, you chance having your potatoes freeze in an unforeseen frost. In some northern regions, the very last frost may not appear until finally Might. Planting sweet potatoes in June provides your plants the best window to thrive just before the coming of the next frost in the tumble. In cooler places, often hedge your bets against a frost. If you believe you are likely to get another wave of cold weather, do not plant. A single frost will get rid of your sweet potato crop right away.

Southern Climates

In southern climates, the window for sweet potatoes is significantly a lot more lenient. The very last frost in southern places may well appear in March or even before. That offers you a solid window to plant that goes from March through June. The 1st frost of the slide often doesn’t arrive until October or later in some areas. That signifies you can plant at any time from March until finally July and even now get a great crop prior to the following chilly snap.

For this cause, sweet potatoes are frequently developed in the south fairly than up north. However, there are sweet potato varieties engineered to develop in northern climates with short summers.

sweet potato plants
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Common Sweet Potato Pests

When growing your sweet potatoes, you should keep an eye out for a few pests. Sweet potatoes are prone to 3 sorts of decay and rot stem rot, sweet potato scurf, and white rust. If you see any signs of rot, white fungal disease, or other odd shades forming on your crops, you must deal with them with an antifungal.

In addition to that, there are two varieties of insect condition that sweet potatoes can endure from. Sweet potatoes entice flea beetles and whiteflies, which will take in and damage your vegetation. If you see these infestations on or around your crop, you will want to handle them with a pesticide to avert reduction.

Tips For Harvesting Sweet Potatoes

Wait around at least ninety times just before making an attempt to harvest your sweet potatoes. Right after the ninety times have passed, wait around until finally the ends of the sweet potato leaves and vine get started to change yellow or brown. This shows that the plant is prepared for harvesting.

If you want to check on the standing of your tubers, you can gently take away the best layer of soil in excess of the potato to see how big it has gotten. The potatoes can be harvested at any time soon after 90 days. As soon as you deem the potatoes big adequate to consume, you can harvest them.

Complete all of your harvestings just before the 1st frost of the fall. Any frost will kill the sweet potatoes, even mature ones.

When you are harvesting or checking your sweet potato tubers, be watchful not to crack the skin of the potato. Breaking the pores and skin can trigger rapid spoilage, which can trigger the crops to rot just before you are ready to take in them.

Really do not be concerned of a little dirt. The dirt will not damage the potatoes or you.

Sweet potato
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Difference Between Sweet Potatoes and Regular Potatoes

Even with sharing a identify and a general similarity in physical appearance, sweet potatoes and brown potatoes are very distinct. Sweet potatoes aren’t even connected to a normal potato. Typical potatoes are in the nightshade family members and like cold climates. Many potatoes are grown in locations these kinds of as Russia, Ireland, and Idaho, which function vastly distinct climates than the types sweet potatoes grow in.

Sweet potatoes are tropical crops that are element of the morning glory family. Sweet potatoes like heat, humid climates with lengthy growing seasons and tons of solar. Regular potatoes like cold soil, whilst sweet potatoes require soil that is at the very least sixty F.


Sweet potatoes are scrumptious and can be cooked and enjoyed in a selection of different methods. They can be baked like a common potato or lower into fries. They go excellent as a facet with numerous meals and are delicious with a small little bit of brown sugar. With this information, you will be in a position to expand and harvest your very possess crop of sweet potatoes for you to get pleasure from occur fall.



Featured Graphic Credit history: Sergiy Akhundov, Shutterstock