Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:54 pm
Planting sweet potatoes is not difficult. If you want to grow and harvest the vegetable yourself, all you need is a garden, patience and our planting tips.
Planting sweet potatoes: Soil, light and water
If you want to grow sweet potatoes, you need a soil in which the tubers can thrive. A loose, sandy soil with high nutrient, nitrogen and humus content is ideal. To grow properly, the tubers also need a lot of sun. A sunny, sheltered spot in a balcony box or raised bed works well. Only a greenhouse is even more suitable. You should also water sweet potatoes regularly. They like a moist environment, but not waterlogging.
The right time to grow sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes originate from the tropical regions of South America and are not accustomed to frost and cold. Therefore, you should not plant the young plants outside until after the Ice Saints. Cuttings should be grown indoors as early as January so that they are the right size when you plant them out.
Grow sweet potato cuttings yourself
Sweet potato seeds are very difficult to cultivate. However, amateur gardeners can easily grow cuttings from sweet potato tubers:
Place a sweet potato in a bucket or box of soil. With enough light and warmth, they will sprout after a few weeks.
Separate shoots ten centimeters or longer from the plant and plant them in a bucket with growing soil.
Now the cuttings need plenty of warmth and humidity to sprout roots. A mini greenhouse for the windowsill works best for this. When buying, please look for models made of environmentally friendly materials such as glass and wood.
If you use a sweet potato from the supermarket, you run the risk that the variety will not tolerate our climate. To make it worth the effort, we advise you to ask for suitable cuttings at the garden center.
Propagation via the sweet potato tuber
Another option is to propagate via the tuber:
Cut a sweet potato into four to five equal-sized pieces and let the intersections dry out for two to three days.
Now plant them in potting soil and place the pot in a place that is as warm as possible. Temperatures of 20-25 degrees and consistently moist soil are optimal.
A mini-greenhouse could also be useful here. After a few weeks the sweet potatoes should sprout.
The right time to harvest sweet potato
The ideal time to harvest the planted sweet potatoes is reached when the leaves turn yellow. In our country, the harvest time usually falls on October. Attention: sweet potatoes must be harvested before the first frost. If frost is announced before the optimal harvest date, you should still take the tubers out of the ground. They are very tasty even a little earlier.
When harvesting, be careful not to break the skin of the tubers, as this makes them harder to store. Afterwards, you should wash and dry the tubers briefly before they go into the cellar or cooking pot. Home-grown sweet potatoes can be stored at 12 to 16 degrees for about three to four weeks.