Growing Sweet Potato, also Kumara

View the Sweet Potato page

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.

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.

- Mike Logan

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put Gardenate in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join our 60,000+ gardeners who already use Gardenate and subscribe to the free Gardenate planting reminders email newsletter.


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.