How to plant. However, August-November will be the best time to harvest mature tubers for most of this region. As soon as you see that your sweet potatoes are big enough to cook with, you can start harvesting them (this is usually 3 to 4 months – i.e. Keep the sweet potatoes well watered throughout the summer. Bright green and dark-leaf varieties of ornamental sweet potatoes combine beautifully in a warm-season color bowl. Sweet potatoes appreciate a lot of water, and it is a good idea to feed them with a high potassium feed every two weeks or so. August is too early and October is too late (usually too cold and rainy). Both edible and ornamental varieties are well-suited to summer heat; in fact, they tend to get off to a poor start if planted too early while temps are cool and the weather is wetter. Avoid planting any variety of potato too early. They are generally planted around late April and should be ready for harvesting about 10-12 weeks later. The one advantage of harvesting some of our sweet potatoes early is that it allows me to spread them out in the yellow wagon to cure. Cure. When harvesting, it is best to cut and remove the vines before digging. Like you, this year’s harvest has yielded some of the biggest sweet potatoes ever. Late-season potatoes are a good choice for northern regions where the weather stays mild all summer. 4. Sweet potatoes need about an inch of water per week, in the form of rain or irrigation. Use oxen plough to avoid bruising or injury to the root tubers. SECOND EARLY POTATOES Second Early potatoes are really a cross between first early and maincrop potatoes. You can follow the process above and then plant the tuber in the ground or you can grow sweet potatoes from a seedling. Early-producing potato varieties are preferred by home gardeners who love their sweet flavors; the earliest of all – often called the first early potato varieties - are the sweetest of them all, small and with skins so tender they slip right off. 5. SOUTHWEST Harvest sweet potatoes as early as June and July in some parts of the Southwest. NOTES & TIPS Wash sweet potato tubers immediately after harvest. The tubers will grow close to the surface, so dig gently when harvesting. It is not in such a state that can be very harvest. If they’re the size of an egg or larger, you can start harvesting. Harvest before frost because cool soil temperatures can reduce the quality and storage capacity of the sweet potatoes. Unlike white potatoes, which have the annual plant sequence of vegetative growth, flowering and dying back, sweet potato plants would go on growing forever if the weather remained warm enough. I posted this as a learning experience for anyone that's curious about the proper time to harvest potatoes. Well-rooted sweet potatoes require a soil growing temperature of 60° to 85°F and an air growing temperature of 65° to 95°F. Using your fingers or a spading fork, loosen the soil around the base of the sweet potato vine. However, these plants and tubers are frost-sensitive. Eagerness will only result in a sad mess of rotted potato carcasses. By the second week in September, night time temperatures are starting to cool down which stops the sweet potatoes from getting any larger. Harvesting sweet potatoes requires digging them out of the ground. Are Sweet Potatoes Fragile? Late-season varieties require 135 to 160 cool days to reach harvest. Cut or chop the vines a few days before digging to make digging easier. An open, sunny site is best. Cure your potatoes by laying them out in a cool, dark, and dry location for 1-2 weeks. A Mad Rush Harvesting Sweet Potatoes December 16, 2019 October 18, 2015 by Kendra Yesterday, while attending the wedding of a dear friend, another homesteading family that we are friends with sat down in front of us and struck up a casual conversation. Then the area is kept at about 90% humidity. Afflictions of sweet potatoes (these are not caused by disease organisms) Round chunky roots, low yield, purple color: Planted too early, too cold. Occasionally, potatoes turn "sweet" during storage. Low yield: Flooded or crusted soil 6-7 weeks after planting? Because the sweet potatoes can form a good distance from the plant, work from the outer edges of the berm in toward the center. Harvest sweet potatoes before the first frost. Late harvesting results in the tuber becoming fibrous and coloured and can be attacked by pests or prone to rotting. There are some varieties of sweet potatoes listed below:. After harvesting, brush the dirt off your potatoes, but don’t wash them or get them wet. Potatoes are from the nightshade family, sweet potatoes are from the morning glory family. As the weather cools, the sweet potatoes will become increasingly sweet. Potato, Sweet: Harvest sweet potatoes when 30 percent are larger than 3½ inches in diameter. Nothing is quite as tasty – or gives better bragging rights - as newly harvested home-grown potatoes. How to store potatoes. If you’re not sure about if they’re ready, gently dig around a plant and look for potatoes. You will see that the original stem of your cutting or slip will have thickened, and when you carefully lift the plant with a fork you should find two or three sweet potatoes at the base. Well, it is a process that takes anywhere from 4-14 days. Early: These are the quickest maturing type of potato, harvestable in as little as 75 days in some cases. Too much water at the end of the season is the leading cause of split, cracked sweet potatoes. Home-grown potatoes do well in all types of soil, but the richer the better, so dig in plenty of well-rotted organic matter, such as garden compost. 100 days - after you plant the slips). First earlies left in the ground will continue to grow. This happens because potatoes convert a certain amount of starch to sugar, which is used up in the "breathing" process. It usually takes until mid-September to mid-October for the fleshy roots to enlarge to a harvestable stage. T&T seeds offer Covington , an improved early variety that will mature in short season areas with proper care. Midseason potatoes require 101 to 135 cool days to reach harvest. Harvesting new potatoes before the main harvest is often referred to as “robbing”. When the leaves turn slightly yellow they are usually ready to … What sweet potatoes crave: While sweet potatoes can crave less-than-satisfactory soil, they will grow a lot better if you utilize fertilizer. I’ve just finished harvesting sweet potatoes in my own garden. Growing Potatoes: Early, Midseason and Late Varieties. Planting the slips closer than 1′ together will reduce your yield and produce much smaller sweet potatoes. When your potatoes get close to flowering is the come get me, I’m ready for the table signal. Early potatoes are the best choice for southern regions where summers are very warm or hot. In the Southern Interior, harvest sweet potatoes in late September and early October. It will take sweet potatoes between 90 and 170 days After four to six months, depending on the temperatures, your sweet potatoes will be ready. Beauregard: This popular commercial variety produces a potato with pale reddish skin and dark orange flesh that takes 100 days until it reaches maturity. Dig before freezing weather occurs. There are many sweet potato varieties, but to my knowledge for short growing seasons, you can only get one. Sweet potato varieties are ready to harvest 95 to 120 days after planting in the garden. During August, sweet potatoes are getting larger underground. Gently shake the dirt off of the tubers. It is where the sweet potatoes are placed in a hot environment that the temperature hangs somewhere between 80-85°F. Harvesting Sweet potatoes continue to develop throughout the season and do not deteriorate in quality if they get too large. Because the growing days are past, I’d like to raise digging early, but you cannot harvest because it continues to rain more than 10 days this fall on October stagnant autumn rain front. The harvesting method is the same as for early potatoes. You can rob your new potatoes anytime after they have reached usable size, 50-60 days after planting for early varieties. Using the plastic eliminates the need to weed. When harvesting sweet potatoes: Loosen the soil. Once the weather cools down they won’t grow anyway. The potatoes from earlies will be about the size of an egg with skins so tender that they’ll melt in your mouth. If harvesting too roughly, the sweet potato skin will bruise. Leave them until the ground freezes or even gets fairly cold and the tubers are much more likely to rot. Lift the potatoes gently out of the dirt, being careful not to jostle them too much; sweet potatoes bruise easily. Bush Porto Rico: The compact vines yield a potato with copper skin and orange flesh after 110 days. Harvesting Sweet Potatoes. Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are edible roots that come in a variety of types. Learn from my mistake. They bridge the gap in harvesting times, maturing faster than maincrop but slower than first earlies. How to Harvest Sweet Potatoes. . Mid-season: Potatoes of this type are harvested after 95-110 days. Also, don’t leave them out in the sun too long or you’ll get dreaded green potatoes (which can make you sick if eaten). Most gardeners with a reasonably long growing season can add some of these nutritious roots to the garden without too much trouble. Harvesting too early results in low yields. September is the month to harvest sweet potatoes. Planted too early? Make sure that a large amount of mud is not attached to sweet potatoes. Photo Wren Vile In my 10/30/20 post Growing High Yielding Sweet Potatoes, I wrote When to harvest sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) mature 90 to 100 days after you plant them and will continue to grow until frost kills the vines. Varieties of sweet potatoes. Crew harvesting sweet potatoes. A good way to store potatoes is in bins with slatted sides and bottoms; however, don't pile them higher than 6- to 8-inches tall.
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