For folks in the South, growing sweet potatoes is tradition. The plants thrive in hot, humid weather and they grow well in different soil conditions.
Sweet potatoes are grown from sprouts that emerge from a sweet potato
that you would buy in a grocery store. These sprouts are called slips.
To get slips, you can purchase them from a seed catalog or garden
center. You can also grow your own slips by purchasing an organic sweet
potato from the grocery store. This should usually be done in
mid-January to allow enough time to develop the slips before planting
time. Leave the sweet potato in a warm spot in your pantry. Once it
begins to sprout, submerge the unsprouted end in a jar of water. When
you are ready to plant the slips in your garden, pull them off the
potato by hand. Remember which end of the sprout was attached to the
potato as this is the end of the sprout that will be inserted into the
Each sweet potato will produce 6-8 slips, sometimes more. Each slip will produce 4-10 pounds of sweet potatoes, depending on the growing conditions.
When growing sweet potatoes, plant them in the garden when the soil warms to at least 70 degrees F in the spring. They require at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight everyday, but more is better. The tops of the plants spread out as vines and they need plenty of space to grow. They typically take 90-110 days to mature and are harvested before the first hard frost in the fall.
harvesting, sweet potatoes need to be cured for 7-10 to sweeten them up
and toughen the skin so they store longer. Sweet potatoes can be
stored for several months in a cool, dark location if they've been cured
Sweet potatoes can be used in a variety of dishes and recipes. They can be baked, fried, steamed, boiled or roasted.
Click on the following links for more information about growing sweet potatoes.