Sweet potatoes must have been familiar for everyone. They grow everywhere all over the world. The taste is mostly sweet and it’s included in healthy food. Thus, people are getting interested in sweet potato plants.
Regular potato usually grows in the cool soil. However, sweet potato grows best in hot soil. Sweet potatoes grow in warm climate, that’s why many gardeners plant them after the last spring. That’s the best time when the air and soil are warmn enough for the sweet potatoes to grow.
Varieties of sweet potatoes are many. However, there are two forms of sweet potatoes which are vining and bush types. However, there is no difference about the way they grow. Both grow in the hot summer sun or warm climate. It says that sweet potatoes are easy to plant and grow.
Before planting sweet potatoes, there are elements you need to consider, they are:
Soil is the first thing you need to prepare. As told above that the condition of soil for planting sweet potatoes is warm. Besides, it should be drained and loamy enough. Furthermore, ideal Ph of the soil is between 5.8 and 6.2. However, sweet potatoes can also stand on the soil with 5.0 Ph in minimum.
Unlike other vegetables, sweet potatoes aren’t started by seed but slips. They are shoots grown from a mature sweet potatoes. So, clean sweet potato and cut them in half. Amazingly, one sweet potato can produce up to 50 slip sprouts. Put each section in a jar that has been filled with water. Just fill the jar with the water a half so the potato will stay half above water and half below water.
Remember that sweet potatoes like warmth. To stimulate them, place the slips near the window and other warm places.
You will see in a few weeks that the slips will be covered with leafy sprouts and roots. Furthermore, move the sprouts into a shallow bowl.
Place the stem in the bottom half and let another half submerged in the water. About the leaves, let them hanging out over the rim of the bowl.
Wait few days until the roots emerge from the bottom. The roots will keep growing and when it’s about an inch long, then it’s ready to plant. Keep the cleanliness of the water to make the plants fresh and healthy.
The next step you need to do is to prepare the soil for the slips to grow. Make sure that the soil is loose and well-drained so that the slips can expand freely. Remember that sweet potatoes usually produce long vines so they need plenty of space to grow well.
Next, dig a hole and place one slip in each hole with care. Make sure to position the roots bottom and cover it with dirt. Press surrounding dirt to remove remaining air pockets.
Next, water them until the soil is soaked. You must water the plants everyday. However, when it reaches the third week, you only need to water them once a week. If the weather is too hot, then you may water them occassionally so they will still be able to produce lots of sweet potatoes.
When to Plant Sweet Potatoes
The best time to plant sweet potatoes is in a warm-season with full sun exposure. It is possible that you plant them in spring. Hence, you will get the best of new harvest in November.
Furthemore, when you start planting the slips, you can keep them until about 90 days before the last spring frost date. Then, you need to embed them in the soil for another 90 days. Keep them warm and moist so they will produce delicious sweet potatoes.
Planting sweet potatoes by yourself must be exciting, when the plants growing, you’ll see the flowers produced by sweet potatoes in the late summer.
Once you harvest them, you just need to shake the dirt-off without washing them to keep the sweetness. Most of people like sweet potatoes because they are nutritious and low in calories. To eat them, you can make them into your favorite dish. However, sweet potatoes cannot substitute regular potatoes because they taste different.