If you’re looking for a healthy and delicious addition to your garden, sweet potatoes are a great choice. Not only are they packed with vitamins and minerals, but they’re also easy to grow and require minimal care. In this guide, we’ll show you how to plant and grow sweet potatoes in your garden or backyard.
Selecting the Right Soil
The first step in planting sweet potatoes is selecting the right soil. Sweet potatoes prefer loose, well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. If your soil is heavy and clay-like, you’ll need to amend it with compost or other organic matter to improve drainage.
Preparing the Soil
Once you’ve selected the right soil, it’s time to prepare it for planting. Start by removing any weeds or rocks from the area where you’ll be planting. Then, use a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of at least 12 inches. If your soil is compacted, you may need to loosen it to a depth of 18 inches.
Planting Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are typically planted in the spring, after the soil has warmed up to at least 60°F. You can either plant sweet potato slips or use cuttings from a sweet potato that has already sprouted. If you’re using slips, plant them 12 inches apart and bury them up to the first leaf. If you’re using cuttings, plant them at a depth of 4 inches and 12 inches apart.
Caring for Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes require minimal care once they’re planted. Water them regularly, especially during dry spells, and weed around the plants as needed. You can also fertilize them with a balanced organic fertilizer about a month after planting.
Harvesting Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are ready to harvest when the leaves start to turn yellow and the vines begin to die back. Dig them up carefully with a garden fork, taking care not to damage the roots. Cure the sweet potatoes by storing them in a warm, humid place for about a week before eating.
In conclusion, sweet potatoes are a nutritious and delicious addition to any garden or backyard. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily plant and grow your own sweet potatoes and enjoy their many benefits.