Growing Sweet Potato, also Kumara

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                       

Not recommended for growing in USA - Zone 5a regions

  • Plant shoots or cuttings (Slips). Best planted at soil temperatures between 17°C and 35°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 40 - 60 cm apart
  • Harvest in 15-17 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Best in Separate bed
  • New shoots on Kumara
  • Well grown Kumara

Sweet Potatoes require a long warm growing season. Plant in free draining loose soil . Fertilise before planting but no more when the plants are growing as it will encourage vine growth. They will go for miles and you will get no tubers. If they do start spreading, lift the vines off the ground to prevent them rooting.

Mound up the soil about 20cm (8 in) before planting Let the plants die down, (leaves die or turn yellow) before harvesting the tubers. Dry them in the sun for a few days . then store in a cool dry place for up to five months.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Sweet Potato

Use mashed, boiled, roasted, baked or fried. Or use in soups, pies, casseroles, curries and salads.

Your comments and tips

30 May 22, Bryon Ellison (Australia - tropical climate)
Where can I get kumara Wairaraka. Red with white flesh and very light central red streeks
31 May 22, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You would have a very slim chance of finding some in Australia.
01 Jun 22, Bryon Ellison (Australia - tropical climate)
Does any one know what is a similar species in Australia?
30 Apr 22, Robyn ballantine (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
When we have a big supply, how do you cure? And keep them. ? I have found they just rot when we dig them up
02 May 22, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Don't water them for the last 2 weeks or so before digging them up - toughen them up a bit.. Put them out in the sun or shaded area for a week or two to get a tough skin. Then in a cool dry place. They should keep for few months.
21 Apr 22, Julie Edwards (USA - Zone 5a climate)
When do I plant the slips sweet potatoes? In my zone. We have been having late frost as late as March the past couple of years
22 Apr 22, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
There is no planting guide for your climate zone in the USA. Your climate doesn't suit by the sound of it.
05 Apr 22, (Australia - temperate climate)
i was looking for websites to help with my school project and this helped so much. thanks alot.
14 Mar 22, Malcolm (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I have grown a large bed of kumara in a school garden. The entire bed is covered in healthy top growth. But I can't feel any tubers when I lift up a section of top growth. I'm interested in the comments on pulling up runners, although I may be too late now, in mid-March. Do I just hack away at the long vines, cutting them back to where they enter the soil. Or am I wasting my time, since we are about a month from harvest?
09 Apr 22, Will (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
No, you are not wasting your time growing them. Even if there are no tubers, the top leaves can be harvested. They are commonly harvested & eaten in the Philippines. Steam them. They commonly used them with raw tomatoes, in their summer.
Showing 1 - 10 of 276 comments

I have grown a large bed of kumara in a school garden. The entire bed is covered in healthy top growth. But I can't feel any tubers when I lift up a section of top growth. I'm interested in the comments on pulling up runners, although I may be too late now, in mid-March. Do I just hack away at the long vines, cutting them back to where they enter the soil. Or am I wasting my time, since we are about a month from harvest?

- Malcolm

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put Gardenate in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join our 60,000+ gardeners who already use Gardenate and subscribe to the free Gardenate planting reminders email newsletter.


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.