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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 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

19 Sep 18, Eddy (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Can they grow on canterbury christchurch
16 Aug 18, Adrienne (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Can you please tell me what is the best type of fertiliser to prepare the soil for kumara?
11 Sep 18, Mike (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Any general fertiliser - but probably something with a fair bit of P in it. N P K - something like 10 -14N, 6-10 P, 10-15 K.
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.
09 May 18, Godfrey Ramatlhape (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
If my vine sweet potatoes are growing fast how must i prevent them to do so and how often must I watering them per a week or monthly?
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
Showing 1 - 10 of 182 comments

A bit of fert in the soil now and when the plants are about 12-15

- Mike

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