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Growing Sweet Potato, also Kumara

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

(Best months for growing Sweet Potato in Australia - tropical regions)

P = Plant crowns

  • 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
    New shoots on Kumara
  • Well grown 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

10 Jul 18, Cathy (Australia - temperate climate)
When my tomato bed finished i refilled the bed with conpost and the sweet potatos started growing. I got quite a few potatoes and pulled them out in September to replant tomatoes. I couldnt get tomatoes to grow that summer so i gave up and let the je sweet potatoes come back naturally. Should i try for tomatoes again in that same bed? If so do i need to help the soil in any way? Thanks!!
13 Jul 18, Mike L (Australia - temperate climate)
I have been told sweet potatoes are a big consumer of nutrients from the soil - other words not much nutrient left in the soil after the crop Tomatoes would also take a lot from the soil. Did you add compost or totally refilled the bed with compost again. If the compost is not totally broken down then it will take N from the soil - therefore very little N for the intended crop. Look to the guide here for planting - although it has no planting time for sweet potatoes in temperate climates. After each crop you need to do one of two things - add completed compost, manures etc and make sure this is all broken down into the soil. Or you hit it up with some all round fertiliser. Also give your soil a rest for a few months and add compost and turn it in.
21 Mar 18, Kathy charles (Australia - temperate climate)
I planted 3 tubers of yellow and 1 purple sweet potato in October 2017 now March have picked first purple one but cannot find even a little yellow tuber. Healthy looking plants but WHY no s/potato. Thank you in advance
23 Mar 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Cut off some runners/vine and plant them - better than tubers. About 18
10 Mar 18, Greg (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I'm in Ipswich , SE QLD. I planted five purple sweet potato slips back at the beginning of August (2017). They have been in the ground seven months. They have grown well but have not flowered or died back at all, unlike the normal orange ones i grew the previous year. I've had a little bit of a dig around but have not found any tubers at all. Has anyone grown these before in my climate and should i be expecting to find tubers by now? Perhaps they went in at the wrong time of year? If i could upload a photo here, i would. Thanks for your help!
11 Mar 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I planted the orange ones one summer and they produced heaps. The next year nearly nothing. I talked to a farmer a few months ago and they plant slips. That is they go onto an existing growing crop about 6-8 weeks old and they take slips/runners/vine
13 Mar 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
They cut this off from my post. You need a slip about 18
25 Feb 18, Chloe (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I have two furiously shooting kumara that have been growing in the pantry (!) Whilst I was overseas. I'm located in a very sunny spot in Auckland, is there any point in attempting to grow them now? (End Feb)
27 Feb 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Give it a go.
08 Mar 18, Mary (Australia - temperate climate)
Pop it in the ground, that way you will have slips for next Spring. However, if you get cold winters over there, pop it in a pot, so you can move it to the garage or shed during the cold days and nights.
Showing 1 - 10 of 137 comments

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