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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 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
    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

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.
25 Mar 18, Julie Casidy (New Zealand - temperate climate)
When should I dig up Kumara? I didn't get them into the ground until late in spring. Should I do so before the first frost? I live in Wellington and never grown them. Yours thankfully Julie
30 Mar 18, Prakash Chandra (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
You can dig out Kumasi when you see the end of vines and the leaves are turning yellow or just take a hand fork and dig around one plant carefully and see but do not dig the plant outright
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
04 Mar 18, Sue Ussher (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
I live in Fairlie South Canterbury and want to know if I could grow Kumara here and what month should I be planting them
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)
Showing 1 - 10 of 174 comments

I would like to try to grow kumara potatoes in our green house as you say they need a long growing season. Can you advise me where I can buy tubers/seeds? Many thanks Graham

- graham

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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.
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