Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

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

10 Feb 10, Sandra Rowland (United Kingdom - cool/temperate climate)
Is it possible to grow sweet potatoes in the uk?
01 Jan 13, Jane (United Kingdom - warm/temperate climate)
I didn't think so, but I read on the blog of a Canadian gardener how she had a massive crop last summer, so I'll have a try this year. She cut the sweet potato in half and suspended it with the end in water until it grew shoots, then twisted the shoots off and planted them once all danger of frost was past. She also warmed the soil with black plastic.
24 Jul 09, Mel (United Kingdom - cool/temperate climate)
I'm looking for Maori potatoes in the UK can anyone suggest a source please ? Thanks
09 Apr 09, Anneliese (United Kingdom - cool/temperate climate)
how do you know if the sweet potatos are ready - mine have been in the ground for 6 months now

Post a question, comment or tip about Sweet Potato

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

Buy the app for iPhone/iPod, iPad or Android and support Gardenate

Planting reminders

Join 30,000+ gardeners who rely on Gardenate. Subscribe to our free 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.