How to easily grow sweet potatoes

by Natasha Starkell | 02.04.2014 | 4 steps | easy | 40 Min. | 1 times | Rating: 3 votes

Want to triple the amount of vitamin C you get from root vegetables? Grow sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are growing in popularity, and though they’re well established in warmer parts of the world, these veggies have only recently come into the home growing niche for countries in temperate zones. They can be grown outdoors as long as you have a warm and sunny position to place them in, and will result in you having a fresh vegetable that gives three times the amount of Vitamin C than an ordinary potato.

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Plants
Materials
Black polythene
Liquid potassium fertiliser
Tools
Cloche
Plant sweet potato slips in pots

Plant sweet potato slips in pots

Plant sweet potato slips in pots

Step 1

Plant sweet potato slips in pots

Sweet potatoes are not grown from seeds, but small cuttings called ‘slips’. These are easily ordered online during April, and when they arrive, you should put them immediately into pots of soil. Place each slip on the surface and cover the pots with plastic bags to retrain heat and moisture whilst sweet potatoes root. Alternatively buy young plants.

Items:
Krumpholz Pflanzenkelle, Eschengriff
16.50 €
LABio Kräuter und Gemüseerde, 10 L
5.98 €
Süßkartoffel bronze
2.99 €
Süßkartoffel grün
2.99 €
Süßkartoffel purpur
2.99 €
Prepare the ground for sweet potatoes

Prepare the ground for sweet potatoes

Prepare the ground for sweet potatoes

Step 2

Prepare the ground for sweet potatoes

Once the slips have rooted, you can start growing them on. If you want to grow sweet potatoes outdoors, you need to prepare the ground before planting. Choosing a sheltered and sunny position with free draining soil, dig in a large amount of organic matter such as well rotted manure or compost. From late March, lay black polythene on the soil surface to help warm up the ground below and prevent weeds from growing.

Image source: Some rights reserved by littlenomada

Items:
Krumpholz Frankfurter Schaufel
28.99 €
NEUDORFF Azet VeggieDünger
5.99 €
Black polythene
Replant sweet potato plants

Replant sweet potato plants

Replant sweet potato plants

Step 3

Replant sweet potato plants

Once sweet potatoes have outgrown their pots and the last frosts have passed, they can be planted outdoors after first being acclimatised. The easiest way to do this is to plant directly through the plastic by making a small cut. Cover plants with a cloche to retain heat, and feed with a high potassium liquid feed every two weeks.

Image source:  Some rights reserved by Odalaigh

Items:
Cloche
Liquid potassium fertiliser
Harvesting sweet potatoes

Harvesting sweet potatoes

Harvesting sweet potatoes

Step 4

Harvesting sweet potatoes

Slips will take between four and five months to mature, and you should lift sweet potatoes as the leaves become yellow. Unfortunately, tubers do not store well and should be eaten quickly.

Items:
Black&Decker Grabegabel
27.95 €
Plants
Materials
Black polythene
Liquid potassium fertiliser
Tools
Cloche
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