Saturday, May 30, 2015

Planting Sweet Potatoes

This year we decided to plant a garden. With 3 boys, we eat a lot of produce. Sweet Potatoes is one of our favorites and I really wanted to grow our own. If you have never grown sweet potatoes, it is quite a bit different then growing regular potatoes. Sweet potatoes are grown from slips. You need to purchase these from a supplier.

We planted two varieties, Ginseng Red and Beauregard. We had 6 slips of each variety. Each plant will provide us with 4-10 potatoes. Usually, if you plant them and just leave them without doing much care you will get 3-4 potatoes. If you take time and care for your plants, you will yield up to 10 or more potatoes. It really depends on how much time you invest in your garden.

It is important to keep weeds away from sweet potatoes as much as possible. Therefore it is best to use a plastic mulch on this part of your garden. First lay out the weed barrier and cover sides and ends with soil to keep it in place. The plastic mulch will also hold the heat into the ground which the plants love. Also, sweet potatoes need plenty of sun, so pick an area of your garden that has lots of natural light.

To prepare our garden for planting we had a tractor come till the ground. Then we spread fertilizer on the ground. Here B is helping Luke spread the fertilizer. Then Luke raked the ground to ever the fertilizer out.  I added the black plastic mulch in the first row for our sweet potatoes. 

Here is the sweet potato slips ready for planting. When you first get them, be sure to unwrap and place the roots in water until ready to plant.  Use a trowel, poke a hole into the mulch making sure to dig into the ground to bury the roots. Place the slip into the hole and pack the soil around in firmly.
Space the plants about 18 inches apart. Water them well. For best results water them regularly throughout the summer.
5 easy steps to planting sweet potatoes
1. Fertilize garden
2. Add black plastic mulch to sweet potato rows.
3. Use trowel to dig hole through mulch into ground for planting.
4. Plant sweet potato slip in ground leaving only a couple leaves above ground.
5. Water plants regularly.

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