Like regular potatoes, sweet potatoes are starchy tubers; do you know how many sweet potatoes per plant are likely to grow?
In less than 100 to 140 days, you can grow and harvest a good crop of sweet potatoes. You can choose from the red or white varieties.
Growing regular potatoes requires you to bury sprouting pieces, already sprouted potatoes from last year’s crop, or newly bought seeds.
Growing Sweet Potatoes
The best soil for sweet potatoes is loose, well-drained soil, rich in organic matter. When planting in the garden, mix your soil with well-aged compost and put a good amount in each planting hole.
Plant your slips at least 12 to 18 inches apart. Bury the stems with soil up to the first pair of leaves.
If you are growing your sweet potatoes in grow bags, fill them with growing mix and add a shovel of compost plus half a cup of organic fertilizer if need be.
Sweet potatoes are grown from slips – these are rooted sprouts from older mature tubers. Sweet potato slips can be bought as potted plants at a garden center or purchased by mail. Look for a reputable company when buying via mail to get quality seeds.
Sweet potato plants are not cold-resistant and should only be planted when the soil gets warmer to at least 60 degrees F. The nighttime temperatures should also be above 60 degrees F.
When planting sweet potatoes, keep the soil warm, spread black plastic over the planting area for a couple of days or weeks before planting.
You should protect your newly planted slips from cool spring nights for the first 3 to 4 weeks after planting. Cover the plants with garden fabric to reduce stress to the new plants.
It is okay to plant your sweet potato slips with organic manure. However, don’t fertilize your sweet potatoes during the planting time.
Sweet potatoes do not require many nutrients; excess nitrogen encourages too much leaf growth rather than big tubers.
So How Many Sweet Potatoes Per Plant?
When presented with the ideal growing conditions, you can harvest many potatoes in each plant.
Every plant can give about 5 to 10 sweet potatoes to reward your gardening efforts. Yields are based on how much care you give your plants in their growing season and the type of potatoes you choose to grow.
And how long for sweet potatoes to grow?
Sweet potatoes take about 90 to 170 days to mature. They are frost-sensitive and thrive under full sun. Plant them in full sun at least 3 to 4 weeks after the last frost once the soil warms up.
Does Climate Affect The Yield?
Climate is everything to a sweet potato plant. It is the biggest factor to consider when it comes to how much sweet potatoes you grow.
Even the short-season sweet potatoes require a frost-free growing season for about 100 days.
They do well in USDA Zones 8 to 11 because these areas meet the requirements best.
In colder areas, gardeners must use the season-extending technique to ensure the potatoes grow to maturity. Even so, it would be best if you harvested in good time because frost destroys your tubers.
The Best Growing Conditions For A Good Yield
Sweet potatoes can tolerate poor soil, but their yield will be affected by giving small tubers. Good growing conditions provide a good harvest for sweet potatoes per plant
- Full sun, around 8 to 10 hours each day
- At least 1 inch of water per week, but it depends if it’s too hot; add another inch.
- The Soil must be moderately fertile, slightly on the acidic side, and drains well.
Read more about How Far Apart to Plant Potatoes
Harvesting And Storing Your Sweet Potatoes
- Starting from 90 or 100 days, your sweet potatoes are ready for harvesting.
- When the leaves and vines begin to turn yellow or wither, this is to assign your sweet potatoes are ready for harvesting.
- Dig your sweet potato plants carefully using a garden fork starting about 15 to 18 inches away from the center of the vine and work inwards while lifting the tuber.
- Tubers will be about 6 inches deep into the soil, so dig deep enough but be careful not to bruise or cut the tubers because they are thin-skinned.
- Complete all harvesting before the first frost in the fall. Ready tubers are damaged by cold or freezing weather.
Storing And Preserving Your Produce
- Once harvested, you can enjoy your sweet potato tubers fresh.
- You can also cure them – dry and harden for about 10 to 15 days after harvesting before storing. Dry them under a warm spot about 80 degrees F away from direct sunlight. Curing helps to heal cuts and harden the skin, so they don’t rot. It also improves the sweetness of sweet potatoes.
- Once cured, store them at 55 to 60 degrees F in a dry, cool, well-ventilated place for about 4 to 6 months.
- Store your sweet potatoes unwashed, wrapping the tubers in newspapers as you store them. Keep the tubers from coming into contact with the surface to prevent them from rotting.
- Do not store your sweet potatoes in a fridge or at low temperatures below 10 degrees C.
- Sweet potatoes can also be dried, frozen, or canned to prolong their shelf life.
Sweet potatoes area loved delicacy across the world. They are easy to grow and cook in various sumptuous ways.
You like them mashed, fried, or milled as sweet potato flour to add to your flour when bread; the choice is yours. There is always a new way to cook these yummy potatoes that you need to try out.
You can never go wrong growing these tubers as long as you provide them with the best growing conditions. They do not ask for too far-fetched conditions rather than the normal ones we grow other plants under.
You will reap a good crop as they are known to give plenty of crops per split. Try it out, and you will have enough not just to eat but store for future meals.
Once cured, they store well for an extended period making them ideal for growing. Oh, and they won’t take up any space in your fridge, so rest assured they are a good crop to grow!