Growing Sweet potatoes: Sweet potato is an edible root vegetable, which is one of the much-esteemed veggies around, that, is large in size, starchy in pulpy quality, and sweet in taste. Several gardeners choose this vegetable to cultivate because of its amazing adaptableness and low maintenance. This easy-to-grow crop can be cultivated effortlessly in a garden circumstance. Unlike the other typical vegetables, you can even grow it in water as well! As we know that sweet potato could make numerous healthy and scrumptious dishes, thus, many of contemporary gardeners feel affectionate to grow this root-veggie in their own backyard. Hence, let’s check out the precise procedure of cultivating this vegetable at home, take a look-
Growing Sweet Potatoes
- Sweet potato needs warm and moist soil type to grow properly.
- Arrange some well-drained sort of soil to plant your sweet potato so then the soil could resist enough water for its nourishment.
- The pH level for the perfect soil of sweet potato should keep in between 5.8 and 6.2 measurements. You can add some additional acidic fertilizer if the pH level is found 5.0.
- Combine at least 1 inch of compost to your soil before planting the sprouted sweet potato into it.
- If you have heavy clay soil to grow this root vegetable then, always mix some more compost and sand to your soil to have the right drainage consistency in it.
- You can make an artificial shield to your soil with black plastic or mulch. It will help the soil to warm up for a long while.
- Nutrition rich soil would the ideal type for having the healthy types of crops.
- You can merge peat moss or wood ash to increase the acidity of your soil before planting this root vegetable.
- Beginning of the spring season is the ideal time to plant sweet potatoes in your garden as this plant needs warm soil condition to grow.
- The sprouted potatoes should keep in the temperature of 85 degrees F to 95 degrees F to get the best-growing outcome of it.
- You can start your preparation from the last week of the frost to begin the planting at the perfect time.
- At the tender stage needs 80 to 90% humidity for at least 5-10 days.
How to plant and care sweet potatoes
- For planting your sprouted sweet potato plants, choose a garden space first that can have enough sunlight throughout the entire day.
- As sweet potato is a root vegetable thus, it needs adequate space grow. Hence, make sure that there is enough space for tilling the soil about 12 to 14 inches deep under the ground.
- Now after arranging the perfect well-drained soil along with 1-inch of compost layer, make some really deep holes into the soil.
- Holes must have a depth of 1 to 2 inches and distance of 12 to 24 inches from each other.
- After placing the plants, cover them up with some base of compost mixed soil.
- Now water them with lots and lots of water and once the start to grow a bit, keep reducing the amount and times of watering about once a week.
- After a few days, when the root will spread the vines outwards about 6 to 10 inches, add your pre-prepared mulch to your plants that will help them greatly to get the proper growth.
- Now all you need is that just wait to take appropriate care and wait for the harvesting period!
- After the first few days, you need to provide some warmth trapper mulch over the top of your sweet potato plants to trap the heat for a long period.
- Fertilize your whole sweet potato planting ground with 3 pounds of 5-10-10 fertilizer per every 100 feet of row to cater adequate nourishment to your plants.
- Dig over soil occasionally to keep the weeds away and the growth continual. If you still have some weeds in the beds, take them off as soon as possible to keep the sweet potatoes healthy.
- Water is an imperative part of this process as well as the other planting procedure, but remember to reduce the frequency of watering once the sweet potato plants start growing; or, the crop may rotten or damaged by the stems. Watering weekly is a perfect routine to keep the growth of your sweet potato plants appropriate.
- Never interrupt the tubers during the growing season and never pluck too, before they hit the proper maturity.
Pest and Diseases:
Sweet potato can be infected by various types of pests, wilts, worms and diseases for the utmost times. Its sweet taste and pulpy quality are the vital reasons to get affected by these troubles easily. The tender stems and leafs also swallow the attractive taste that makes this plant more delectable to the garden wilts! Let’s check out some top pests of sweet potato plants along with their remedies below-
- Weevil is a very common insect that could harm your crop seriously! These weirdly flaunted bugs could eat the root vegetable in its tender condition and leave the crop gnarled and bitter with some disgusting larvae! If you want to get rid of this trouble you just need to throw the infected sweet potato from the root to protect rest ones!
- Beetles are other unwanted pests which could deeply harm your crop as well as your plants. They can create several holes on your plants and kill them from the root! Just use row covers on young plants to get remedy from this problem.
- Aphids are not the new troubles for this plant as well! These creatures usually cluster on small buds or in tight spaces between the leaves and stems. Use some organic pest killers to get off these problems.
- Alternaria is a disease of the sweet potato plant that could leave unwanted spots on leaf and stem of your plants. This is basically a fungus that could infect is you keep your plants in humidity or touch of soil for the very long time. Provide adequate sunlight and mulch your plants properly to get remedy from this trouble.
- Bacterial wilt is a bacterium that could affect the vascular system of the sprouts by making them yellowish brown to dark brown. It will totally prevent the growth of your plant from the beginning. To fight this trouble, rotate sweet potato with flood crops like paddy rice, corn or wheat.
Related Video on Growing Sweet potato
Harvest and Storage:
- Give the tubers full freedom to growth before harvesting or plucking them from the roots.
- Generally, could be harvested about 120 days after planting, so try to have patience at least 4 months to drag them out of the soil.
- After the precise day, gradually dig the hole bigger of your sweet potato plants and take them out from the ground.
- At first, find the primary crown of the plant you want to excavate to avoid any unwanted damages to your tubers.
- Make at least an 18-inch wide circle around each plant to take the tubers out carefully.
- Some gardeners get the vines out of their way before digging the circle to make the process easier.
- Now, curing is the very next step we need to follow and for that validate each crop thoroughly and wash them off with plain water.
- Remember to start your harvesting before the frost comes, or you can have least-tasted crops with a cool
- To store your harvested potatoes, initially, clear the sweet potatoes and keep them in a normal room with 85-90% humidity for 5 to 7 days.
- 50 degrees F to 60 degrees F temperature will be perfect atmosphere to store the sweet potatoes naturally.
- Try to choose comparatively dark and cool place of your room store these root vegetable for 1 whole month.
- Or you can preserve them in a loosely-cover bag too!
- If you want the exact taste of the raw sweet potatoes in your food, then never preserve them in your freezer, as that may ruin the fresh taste forever!
- To preserve them in your freezer, wash, peel and boil first your fresh sweet potatoes.
- Now, slice or squash your boiled sweet potatoes and drizzle some lemon juice over them.
- Then, let them cool completely and place those slices or mashed potatoes in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag.
- Finally, put them in your freezer for a very long while. But make sure that you are using only top categorized or freshest sweet potatoes for this type of preservation.
DIY Garden: How to grow sweet potato slips
How to Grow Sweet Potatoes in Water:
Sweet potato is one of those few particular plants which can grow in water as well as in the ground! For cultivating them in water the flawless procedure is as follows-
- At the initial stage, brought some fresh and healthy potatoes from the market.
- Now, rinse them off with lots of plain water to make the clear.
- Then, cut some potatoes from the middle in half, or you can even slice them into 3 or 4 pieces if they are larger to handle by only one cut!
- After that, take a mason jar or that kind of container and fill it up with filtered water to the 1/3 way up.
- Now place one piece of potato on the opening part of the jar and make sure that you are placing the slashed side in the water.
- Stick a few toothpicks out of the sides of that half potato central apart and close to the middle. Remember that the potato should flaunt like the spokes on a wheel.
- Now, repeat this process with the rest of the slices after arranging enough jars or glasses for each piece.
- After this step, you need to provide some sufficient light and heat by moving the jars on the windowsills to drag enough sunlight to germinate.
- After a gap of 2 to 4 weeks, you will see tiny leafy slips to initiate sprouting out from the head of your potato slice.
- Once they get an adequate length of 4 to 5 inches, and the top of the potato looks covered with them, harvest the slips immediately.
- Then, keep them in another shallow bowl that is filled with water and leaves them until roots are coming out.
- Never forget to change the water once a day to keep the slips fresh all the time.
- Once the root begins to wilt, take them out of the water and plant them in your selected garden area.
- This may take several days to reach, have patience until the root coming out from the slips!
Growing Sweet potatoes indoors
Sweet Potatoes Nutrition and Calories:
Sweet potato contains lots and lots of healthy nutrients in its every corn, thus several health experts suggest including this vegetable in their healthy diet chart despite the high-calorie content in this veggie. They are rich in vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, Magnesium, copper, pantothenic acid, carbohydrate, protein, fiber, and minerals. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B1, niacin, phosphorous, vitamin B2, and Carbs.
This root vegetable is enriched with calorie content with the low-sodium and less-fat quality. According to the research, every 100grms of sweet potato hold an amount of 86 calories which has not owe a bit of saturated fat or cholesterol!
Benefits of Sweet Potatoes:
- Because of the richness of vitamin C in sweet potatoes, this vegetable helps to reduce the homocysteine from our body that decreases the possibility of heart attack.
- It helps to strengthen the bones and tooth because of the richness of vitamin C in its every corn!
- Sweet potato also works for the blood cell formation as well as the digestion of your intestine.
- The iron of this product gives us a high immune power to fight against several diseases at once.
- This vegetable also works for our muscles and nerves condition that could run properly because of the magnesium in this vegetable.
- This root vegetable regulates the heart beat accurately and controls the activity of our kidneys as well!