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 63°F and 95°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 16 - 24 inches 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

13 Aug 22, Phillip (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I lived in Maitland in the Hunter Valley until 1985. We used to get a white fleshed sweet potato that when cooked was soft, almost opaque, and very sweet. My mother would post to me when I moved to Brisbane as I couldn’t get them here! My questions is. What were they and where can I get them? Phillip Caruthers.
16 Aug 22, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
They grow a white purply one in Bundy - check on the internet.
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.
Showing 1 - 10 of 279 comments

I want to try and grow nz Kumara / sweet potato I live in Ararat Victoria. And where can I buy slips please. Thanks

- Tina Lloyd

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