Growing Sweet Potato, also Kumara

Ipomoea batatas : Convolvulaceae / the morning glory family

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

Your comments and tips

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.
15 Mar 22, Mike Logan (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
In sub tropical Australia where I live, they grow them in rows. The rows are hilled up about 1/2m high and the slips are planted in the top of the hill. A slip is the last 200-300mm of the vine when they are about 10 weeks old. Plant the slip with the top part out of the ground, Keep soil moist until they start to grow. Your problem is you probably have over fertilised with nitrogen. Go by the time to harvest guide here if you don't have a crop by say 4mths then you probably won't. The potatoes will be around where you planted the tube or runner not along the vines.
12 Mar 22, DeAnn Johnson (USA - Zone 5a climate)
Thank you so much for the GREAT Tip!!!
15 Mar 22, (USA - Zone 4a climate)
Read the posting here in the New Zealand section - I just put a reply there about growing Sweet Pots.
27 Aug 21, Kirk McCoy (USA - Zone 10a climate)
If your sweet potatoes wont sprout it is because commercial growers spray them with a anti sprouting chemical. It can be removed buy giving your sweet potatoes a ascorbic acid bath for 15 minutes then rinsing. I use 2 tsp in a half gallon of water. you could also use crushed vitamin C pills.
19 Jun 22, Maria (USA - Zone 10a climate)
Thanks for the tip! I am trying for the first time and will do this :)
25 Jun 21, Tina Lloyd (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I want to try and grow nz Kumara / sweet potato I live in Ararat Victoria. And where can I buy slips please. Thanks
01 Jul 21, Anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Plant a couple of sweet potatoes and use the slips from them. Use the new vine part. Strip most of the leaves off a 250-300mm piece. Did trench and lay flat with the growing tip out of the ground. Water a lot the first 2 weeks. That is the way commercial growers plant sweet potato in Qld
18 Jun 21, Khandi (USA - Zone 8a climate)
Can I plant my sweet potato slips in the ground now? I’m in Zones 7B & 8A. (SE Alabama)
Showing 11 - 20 of 279 comments

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.

- Anonymous

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