Sweet potatoes are a super source of vitamin A. A half-cup of sweet potato contains more than twice the daily amount of vitamin A needed for normal vision. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins C, B-6, and manganese. They also assist in the functions of metabolism.
When to Plant Sweet Potatoes
Timing is one of the most important factors in developing a successful crop of sweet potatoes. The small plants (slips) should be set during the last of April or early May. If they aren’t available locally, you can order them online.
The preferred sweet potato vine varieties are Jewel, Beauregard, Centennial, and Georgia Jets. The varieties for small spaces are Bush Puerto Rico and Vardaman.
Sweet potatoes grow and produce best when planted in well-drained, fertile sandy-loam soils about one foot deep or raised beds about one foot high. The soil pH should be between 5.5 and 6.5.
- Sweet potatoes produce a smaller amount of smooth, high-quality roots in sandy soils with low fertility.
- They grow many rough, low-quality roots in clay soils with high fertility.
- Sweet potatoes produce cracked, misshaped, and rough-skinned roots in soils with poor drainage.
Sweet potato plants must be located in sunlight all day.
- Slips should be set one to two feet apart in a single or a double row.
- Slips should also be set down so three nodes are below the soil surface.
- Apply water to soak the soil.
Fertilizer & Mulch
You can apply mulch under the lateral vines or move vines each week to prevent the nodes from developing secondary roots.
After one month, you should apply additional fertilizer at one-half pound with a ratio of 1-2-2 for each 35 feet of row.
Gardeners should allow plenty of space for the vines or tie them to grow up on a trellis.