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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
  • 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

09 Mar 19, Andrea (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi there,I live in chilly chch but want to attempt to grow kumera. I had one sprouting so I cut it in half and put it in water and now it's sprouting . But it's the wrong time of yr,March to plant them . How can I keep my sprout until October ? Thanks
10 Mar 19, Mike Logan (New Zealand - temperate climate)
It may survive if you plant it now - might not grow much or produce a crop. Might be better to try again say Oct and plant out Nov Dec. You are temperate climate.
07 Mar 19, Bruce (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I live on the Sunshine Coast Qld and I am trying to source runners or tubers of the NZ Kumara, if anyone has some available I’m willing to purchase, the Aussie sweet potato is so so different.
08 Mar 19, Erin (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi, I have Beauregard sweet potato if that is a nz variety?
07 Mar 19, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
Try the internet - seed and bulb places - like diggers club. You would probably have to buy a SP and then plant it to produce runners/shoots /slips.
08 Feb 19, Jan Clifford (Australia - arid climate)
I have grown a sweet potato in a glass and want to know if I can plant it or not. I an in the Central West NSW in the arid zone. TIA Jan Clifford
12 Feb 19, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Plant it and see how it goes.
12 Jan 19, Grom1t (Australia - tropical climate)
I suspend (toothpicks help) a sweet potato partially in a glass of water. After 2 weeks of so I pick off the 8inch sprouts and put them in water. I plant them once they have plenty root. First time I planted before the dry and had an excellent crop of big potatoes after at least 6 .months. it's hard to know when to harvest. .my plants never go yellow. Anyone any advice? I thought I'd try growing in pots as I had a nice if small harvest of purple fleshed ones from a pot this morning - again after 9 months I think. Magnetic Island
13 Jan 19, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
It does say harvest 15-17 weeks. Pick early if you want smaller size and pick later if you like the bigger ones.
30 Oct 18, Mike (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Here is how they grow them commercially in sub tropical southern Queensland Australia. They hill the soil up with a 2' base and about 1' high - paddock looks like corrugated iron - wave pattern. They then take cuttings (called slips about 50-60cm long) of vine from a pre-existing growing plant. These are planted (in the top part of the mound) horizontally into the soil with just the tip sticking out of the soil. Keep well watered the first week or two until the plant starts growing. Good rich soil to start with and then do not fert again especially with N. You want root development not vine production. If looking for cuttings/slips/tubers ask friends/neighbours/produce companies/internet sites etc or start a tuber as stated here.
Showing 1 - 10 of 205 comments

Here is how they grow them commercially in sub tropical southern Queensland Australia. They hill the soil up with a 2' base and about 1' high - paddock looks like corrugated iron - wave pattern. They then take cuttings (called slips about 50-60cm long) of vine from a pre-existing growing plant. These are planted (in the top part of the mound) horizontally into the soil with just the tip sticking out of the soil. Keep well watered the first week or two until the plant starts growing. Good rich soil to start with and then do not fert again especially with N. You want root development not vine production. If looking for cuttings/slips/tubers ask friends/neighbours/produce companies/internet sites etc or start a tuber as stated here.

- Mike

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