Growing Sweet Potato, also Kumara

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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

Your comments and tips

06 Jan 20, anon (Australia - tropical climate)
They say about 15-17 weeks to grow. You should have some tubers developing after about 10-12 weeks. Mine are about 10 weeks old and I dug out one about 5 (?)
24 Oct 19, anon (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I talked to a commercial grower yesterday. Fertilise the ground before you plant. What fertiliser you use depends on how fertile your soil is. You would need a soil test to really find that out. But fertiliser with a reasonable amount of N, good P and high K. Mix this through the soil profile. If you cut off slips, make them about .4m long, strip off most of the leaves but leave the growing head part. Dig a furrow 50-75mm deep and place the slip in the furrow (place the slip level in the soil). Cover the slip over with soil but leave the growing bit sticking out of the soil. You could put the slips in a jar of water for a week or so to start the roots growing. Once you have planted the slip make sure it is watered for the next week, lIke each day. The soil around the slip has to be wet for the roots to shoot and grow. After a week or so you should notice the plant growing. The slip will produce sweet potatoes from where you stripped the leaves off giving a higher yield of crop. If the vines grow really long then I believe too high N, but I was told they need plenty of N. I was mainly asking about the placement of the slip but will ask more about the fertiliser next time.
26 Jul 19, Laurie Whelan (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
What fertilizer should you use prior to planting?
29 Jul 19, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Go on the internet and find out what N P and K do for plants. Then think about what you are growing with sweet potatoes.
04 Oct 19, Rachel Barley (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
They're ON the internet, anonymous.
30 Jun 19, Ev (Australia - tropical climate)
I find that the purple ones grow the best in my garden. Problem is I have miles of plant and not so many tubers. Going to use some of the advice I have read on this page and feed with seaweed.
03 Jul 19, (Australia - arid climate)
Don't fertilise with nitrogen.
27 Jun 19, Ana (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Try this page: https://www.koanga.org.nz/grow-great-kumara/. They have the most thorough advice on growing kumara that I've seen.
12 Apr 19, June Wark (Australia - temperate climate)
I’ve got orange sweet potato slips growing but your table @page top states not suitable for growing temp. zones - could you tell me why please. Very willing to learn as l’m new to growing veggies. Thank you.
26 Apr 19, Graham smith (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi June. I plant a sweet potatoe around August or September and let it grow wild. Then I take cuttings from that about 3weeks before Christmas and plant them out ,making sure I water them in really well for the first week or so. Then I harvest them just after the first frost with pretty good success.
Showing 11 - 20 of 235 comments

Many ways to grow things. You could have just a patch of swt potatoes and pick whenever you like. I'm growing them in my volunteer gardens. Take a slip of vine (about 40cm long), strip all the leaves off except the last 10cm of the growing tip, plant it along the ground with the tip out of the soil. Swt potatoes will grow from where the leaves were broken off. Or if you like put the slips in a bucket of water to have the slip producing roots before you plant it.

- ML

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