How to Care for Sweet Potato

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Overview

Sweet potatoes are a southern tropical vegetable that loves hot summer months. Sweet potatoes grow best when night time temperatures remain around 72 degrees. They are very high in vitamin A and are also a good source of Vitamin C, iron, fiber and calcium. Sweet potatoes are low in calories and contain beta carotene, which is said to have cancer fighting properties. Grown from sprouts instead of seed, they are easy-growing vegetables.

Step 1

Place sweet potato sprouts into about 2 inches of soil. Sweet potatoes should be planted about 1 foot apart and in rows that are approximately 3 feet apart from one another. Water plants well right after they have been planted. Water well for the first few days after planting to help get the vegetable started.

Step 2

Control the weeds around your plants by hoeing the ground 4-5 weeks after planting. Mulch can help to control the weeds around the plants. Spread a few inches of mulch around the plant after you have planted. This will also help store water around the plant. Sweet potatoes generally do not need much work after they have been planted.

Step 3

Spray a chemical insecticide if your plants begin to get attacked by pests. Sweet potatoes are susceptible to some insects, including one of the most detrimental--flea beetles.

Step 4

Harvest your sweet potatoes often during the growing season. Check your potato hills often and look for signs of mature potatoes. Dig along the side of the plant to see how big the vegetable is getting. After you have dug up the potatoes, allow them to dry on the ground for a few hours before you move them. Store your potatoes in a warm place for several weeks. Try avoid handling them, as this can bruise and damage the potato.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil
  • Sprouts
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Hoe
  • Spade

References

  • University of Illinois Extension
  • Sweet Potato
  • National Gardening Association
Keywords: Sweet Potato, Caring for sweet potato, HArvesting sweet potato

About this Author

Melody Dawn has been writing since 2004. Her work has appeared in the "Gainesville Times," "Player's Press" and USA Today. Her writing focuses on gardening, home improvement, travel, sports, business, parenting and education. Dawn holds a Master of Business and is working on a Master of Journalism.

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