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

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)
29 Jun 21, (USA - Zone 8a climate)
It does say April to June.
29 Jun 20, John Martin Barger (USA - Zone 7b climate)
I have a sweet potato that has sprouted pretty heavily on my kitchen counter. I live in Memphis, TN. Is there any chance of having success if I were to plant it now? Or is it too late in season?
23 Jun 21, Anonymous (USA - Zone 7b climate)
Where I live (Australia) they grow it from just a piece of the growing vine - a slip. Either put them in water until they produce roots or straight into the ground and keep watered. Take a piece about 18cm (6 - 8 inches).
30 Jun 20, Betty (USA - Zone 7b climate)
I'm just next door in Arkansas and will be planting some slips from one in my kitchen today (June 30). We have just enough time before frost to make decent sweet potatoes. You know we can eat the leaves like spinach as well? My (American) kids grew up in SE Asia and thought sweet potato leaves were a variety spinach.
12 Apr 18, Dale Westergard (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
I live in Utah, USA. We grow most vegetables here, and potatoes do well. Where could we obtain some starts (slips), etc. to start growing kumara? I've been to NZ several times, enjoying everything about Aotearoa, especially, Kumara. Would appreciate any helps/suggestions. thank you. Dale Westergard.
24 Mar 17, Bob (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Trying to find some Evangeline sweet potato slips. I've only been able to find commercial quantities. Any help appreciated
27 Dec 20, Rick (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Bob, I had the same problem so I ordered a couple of sweet potato's from Walmart. I tried to grow them on my counter to no avail. I went on YouTube and found out that stores buy potato's that have been sprayed to prevent sprouts. Best if you buy your potatoes from a farmers market. Wash them, then cut them in half. Plant the half's in a good compost and keep moist. You should see slips growing out of your potatoes in a few weeks. I found it time consuming but it works! Best of luck to you.
24 Mar 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
'Evangeline' was developed at a horticultural research institute in Louisiana and has Intellectual Property Rights. This means that it could only be available to commercial growers who probably pay a royalty for the slips for their crops. You could try the Sweet Potato Research Station at: PO Box 120, Chase LA 71324. These restrictions seem onerous for home gardeners but help pay for the development costs for new varieties. Try them, they may be willing to send you a few slips.
16 May 15, Carole Hanley (USA - Zone 10b climate)
I would like to grow these wonderful sweet potato here in Nevada. We ate them in New Zealand and they are beyond good.
Showing 1 - 10 of 15 comments

I found Kumara at Whole Foods in Encino, but they had them labeled "Japanese Sweet Potato." If I hadn't just seen them on a trip to NZ, I never would have known! Hope it helps.

- Malina Beatrice

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