When thinking about how to grow sweet potato plants, realize that these particular tubers grow on vines. Each vine can grow to be over ten feet long. Many gardeners feel it does best in a partial sun situation where it gets a bit of afternoon shade. I put them in green smoothies all through the hot summer months when most other greens aren’t growing. The sweet potato is a warm-season crop that requires a long growing season, ample sunlight and light-to-medium, well-drained soils to perform well. They won’t hurt your plant but could affect the tasty harvest you’re hoping to grow! The potatoes themselves have been somewhat unpredictable, but I have produced some. In tropical regions they grow year round in permanent patches making a beautiful ground cover. Or wait for the leaves to turn yellow from the first frost. Here’s what I’ve learned so far. (A 10-foot row will produce 8 to 10 pounds of potatoes.) Now I realize they don’t need any water or care. But trust me, my lazy way works. I don’t even fertilize them, but then I plant everything in my homegrown, rich, organic compost. They will grow best when they are set in the ground in the late afternoon on a sunny day that is NOT windy. Florida’s Sweet Potatoes Industry . You’ll want to sink the “slip” down far into the mound, but not so far that the bud (the vine stem) is covered by dirt. You can buy certified seed from a number of reputable garden supply stores. Have you seen my hub: 'How to grow sweet potatoes in a container', published in April last year? Autumn Leaves in Florida may not be the idyllic multicolored leaf-fireworks show that it is in our northern neighboring states. Growing Sweet Potatoes – by Mark Govan, host of “Florida Gardening” heard on 970WFLA. Young sweet potatoes are using every ounce of energy to put up leaves that will generate more energy through photosynthesis. It’s important that when you pick them up from the store you plant them as soon as possible. In fact, they do their best work in soil that isn’t heavy with water. Bonus Tips for growing sweet potatoes Growing sweet potatoes works best in loamy, well-drained soil that is not too rich. I am so glad you found the article helpful. I grow and sell Georgia Jets which is an early variety need about 90-120 days from transplanted slips until the full size tubers can be harvested. Last year’s leftover sweet potatoes are sprouting by spring and ready to become this year’s crop. It helps heal some of the harvest injuries and prepares them for long-term storage. While other states lead in sweet potato production, Florida is ranked fifth in growing sweet potatoes; it’s a decent ranking as many states grow these popular tubers. Shell’s Feed & Garden Supply sponsors the chickens and chicken coops there. I love cooking what I grow and creating recipes to incorporate whole grains, beans and seeds. The mighty potato is a staple root crop in most of the world. In my Jacksonville home, I lower my carbon footprint with solar power, rainwater harvesting, composting, waste reduction, etc. Interested in learning about green events throughout the year, check out our calendars! When growing potatoes, it is important to take into consideration the time it … And after all that hard work, you don’t want to do that. It even has some protein! Plant potatoes throughout the state in January; you can still plant them in February in North and Central Florida. My first harvested sweet potato looked like and as big as a fetus! I left some in the dirt one year until the first frost turned all the leaves black. Make sure you give them plenty of room for expansion because the vines spread quickly, taking over anything in their way. Sweet potatoes will grow in poor soil, but deformed roots may develop in heavy clay or long and stringy in sandy dirt. She writes: “I started growing sweet potatoes a few years ago. Here’s our Top 5 Pro-Tips for growing Sweet Potatoes here in Florida. Learn how to grow sweet potatoes with these tips from our experts. The part we eat is the tuberous root of a vining plant that is closely related to morning glories (Ipomoea tricolor) and youll easily see the similarity in leaves to the sweet potato vines we now grow as ornamentals. You can eat them fresh out of the ground, but they get sweeter when fully cured. Then I move them to my garage. Last year’s leftover sweet potatoes are sprouting by spring and ready to become this year’s crop. The perfect crop for lazy gardeners like me! Place a slip in the vase, add some water, and place in a sunny spot. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. One of my favorite plants, the sweet potato, is easy to grow and a great choice for summer gardens. If your summer is short, pick an early variety like Beauregard or Georgia Jet to ensure you’ll have enough … Written by db on June 21st, 2012. Daytime temperatures in the upper eighties and low nineties severely limit choices we have to grow in the garden. But we still get leaves that fall to the ground during this time of year. Sweet potatoes can be planted in the summertime here in Florida and regular potatoes can be planted in early spring and fall. I planted mine all crowded together in a flat area. Try to avoid disturbing the vines as much as you can. Ideally, the pH is between 5.8 and 6.2, although, they will tolerate a more acidic pH to 5.0 Plant slips 10-12 inches apart and allows room for the … Because potatoes like well-drained, loose soil with a pH of 5 to 6, they do well in most Florida soils; however, they don't like to be flooded. Just be careful not to bruise them. Or from tubers and vines from a friend who grows them. They’re delicious and high in nutritional value. Once you’ve harvested your sweet potatoes they will need to dry in a well-ventilated and shaded area to grow a thick skin.
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