How to Plant Sweet Potatoes Step by Step [Images + Complete Guide]

In the following article we will show you how to plant sweet potatoes in your own urban or home garden.

Growing sweet potatoes is not difficult if the proper steps are followed.

Being a close relative of the potato, we must take into account that the fertilization of the land is important to have healthy and strong plants.

Important Points to Keep in Mind for Planting Sweet Potatoes:

sweet potato is a productwidely cultivated throughout the world, either as food or as a raw material in the pastry and confectionery industry.

It is also widely used to obtain alcoholic beverages, given its richness in starchy and sugary substances.

It is a low-demand crop with good yields, which adapts to medium-quality or poorly prepared soils.

In this article we tell you what it isthe most efficient way to grow sweet potatoes.

What do we need to grow sweet potatoes?

When should it be sown?

The best time to sow sweet potatoes are two, during the period between April and June, and another between August and September.

Its cultivation is carried out through shoots that we must prepare previously.

Where do we plant sweet potatoes?

Sweet potato is a tropical plant and does not support low temperatures. It requires good light and a temperature above 21º C.

It supports heat very well and the minimum temperature for its growth is 12º C.

How often should it be watered?

Requires onerelative humidity between 80 and 85%.

It requires moist soils, especially when the shoots are planted, to favor their rooting.

However, excessive moisture can cause production and quality losses, so a well-drained substrate is recommended.

In general terms, one or two waterings a month are enough, ensuring that the layers of the earth remain moist, although if the climate is very dry and the heat is intense, the number of waterings can be increased.

How do we prepare the land?

It adapts to different types of substrates, although it prefers coarse-textured, loose, crumbly, granular and well-drained soils.

The optimum pH is 6.0,although it tolerates moderately acid soils, with pH between 4.5 to 7.5

We must avoid fertilizing during the growing season, as it will favor the growth of the vine, but it will cause smaller tubers.

Try to moderate the amounts of nitrogen in the soil.

What are the most favorable associations for sweet potato cultivation?

They develop betterwhen grown alone, since they compete, above all, for nutrients if they are planted with cassava, beans or corn.

Additionally, some varieties of sweet potatoes can promote disease in papaya crops.

How to plant sweet potato step by step

Cut a sweet potato in half

To grow sweet potato you only need to make a sweet potato. Wash it well and cut it in half.

Put the cuts in water

Then fill a container with water. Place the two portions of sweet potato with the cut side down.

The water level should be kept between 2.5 and 5 cm.

Place the container in a window so they get air and a good amount of sunlight.

You will notice that after about 2-4 weeks, small plants will begin to sprout from each piece and roots will develop.

harvest the cuttings

When the sprouts have developed a good number of white roots, you should remove them from the sweet potato, taking care not to damage the white roots.

If you prefer, you can place the newly harvested shoots or cuttings in a bowl with a little fresh water (about 3 cm). Submerge the stem and leave it for a couple of days for the roots to develop and strengthen.

After this, they will be ready to be transplanted.

Clear the ground

It removes weeds and remains of previous crops and all kinds of residues to ensure that your sweet potatoes receive the correct amount of nutrients.

All plants must be pulled out by the roots to prevent them from growing back.

Prepare the land

Moisten the soil before planting sweet potatoes to improve the quality of the substrate. Make sure that the place where you place your sweet potatoes is well lit and the room temperature is high.

Till the soil about 30 cmso that it is as loose and light as possible.

Add a layer of compost to help make the soil nutritious for your sweet potatoes.

Put the cuttings in the ground

Bury each cutting in holes deep enough for the roots to enter, taking care not to leave the stem buried where the leaves begin. Approximately 1.5 cm above the base.

If you plant more than one cutting, leavea separation of between 30 and 50 cm between one and the other.

add mulch

To protect sweet potatoes from the cold, add mulch to the soil.

water the ground

Make sure to wet the soil with plenty of water, but avoiding puddles.

Check the soil daily and water to keep the soil moist. Do not overdo the risks. Remember that soil with too much water will rot the plants.

Be patient

Sweet potatoes will take time to develop, about four months before you can harvest them.

To learn more, you can see: Sweet potato cuttings.

How to harvest sweet potato

Amongfour and six months after planting,Normally during the months of October and November, you will be able to harvest your sweet potatoes.

When the sweet potato is ripe, the leaves take on a yellowish color.

Two weeks before, it is necessary to cut the branches.

Harvesting is done manually, leaving the roots to dry on the ground. To enhance their flavor and slightly harden their skin, you can place them in an area with a temperature of 30-35°C and 80-90% humidity for 5-10 days.

A small heater and humidifier in a small room may be enough.

Sweet potato pests and diseases

Some of the most common pests and diseases that affect sweet potatoes are:

Wireworm or Doradillas (Agriotes Lineatus)

Application of nettle slurry is recommended as prevention.

To combat them, potassium or biodegradable soap can be applied to the underside of the plants. It should be applied very early in the morning or in the afternoon, when the sun no longer hits the leaves.

Mosacio de la Batata

To prevent it, it is best to install a drip irrigation system and apply horsetail as prevention.

In addition, the supply of nitrogen must be limited and resistant varieties must be used.

It also works to eliminate weeds and crop residues, and favor the ventilation of the crop.

Fusrium Oxysporum

To prevent the disease, it is recommended to use land with good drainage, plant healthy and vigorous cuttings, protect the roots and regulate the shade.

It can also be prevented by applying Bordeaux mixture once or twice a month, but in the absence of intense sun exposure to avoid burn problems.

To learn more, read: Sweet potato varieties.

Other tubers to know or to learn how to plant:

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