Figured its Nov. better do something…….well I have so many, taking a break. I use containers, the one I put in almost full sun got fried big time.. Harvesting sweet potatoes is a bit labor intensive, particularly in heavy clay soil. The website also has canning & freezing instructions, related events and fun and listings for every other state and many countries! That’s one of the reasons I so love the plants. Early or “new” potatoes, typically harvested when the plants begin to bloom, are small, smooth and round. tad, Beauregard is what I planted; had 50 slips in all, but think about only 25-30 might make it; say I get 4 pounds from each slip and say 27 make it that will be about 108 lbs. They’re a great choice for front yard growing! It just has not been worth the effort or the expense. Brush off loose dirt and leave them in the sun for a few hours, then move to a table or shed that is warm and has good air circulation. Those are certainly pretty that you have there and especially the bigger ones, and you can use the small ones to stew, freeze, make pies or put a small amount in raw salads; would not use too many that way for might cause diarrhea, at least they do to me. If you’re in Virginia or a similar climate, then simply wait to harvest just before the first frost forecast. I bet those fries and chips were delicious. In your experience how far down will sweets meander to make tubers? Sweet potatoes prefer “lean” soil, meaning soil that’s not rich with nutrients or organic matter. I agree with Christina: I wouldn’t call it a mistake. Plant those slips. Yum! Thanks for sharing your knowledge. The Centennials didn’t take, but I probably didn’t take care of them properly before planting. In theory, a HOT summer might speed things up a bit (though I’m not sure of that). Just don’t put your sweet potatoes in the refrigerator, and you should be fine. But we cooked some this morning and it was very sweet. I roasted one last night and served it with lots of butter and a dash of salt and pepper, my favorite easy sweet potato dish. I don’t know this for a fact, but I do think the last month or so of growth is when the tubers put on their most size. I’m going to plant earlier this next year so I can harvest in September and allowing them to cure a few day. Mine are at the end of their second year, and obviously won’t be seeing a third year of use in the garden. Hi Amber – I haven’t tried lining my baskets yet, simply because I haven’t planted out my sweets yet. Handle them like eggs, and you should be golden. If you liked this post, you will love the new Sweet Potato Grow Guide. Few crops produce a larger harvest from a smaller investment than sweet potatoes. These did indeed sprout right away and I planted them, but then the “ordinary” sweet sprouted, so I planted a couple of slips from that one. Started my Sweets for one that was left over from Easter dinner at the end of May. Thanks so much for your comment, Hannah! Of course, some folks prefer smaller sweet potato tubers because they want to be able to cook smaller portions. I’ve had some push above the ground in the past, and they always seem to come out just fine despite their exposure. The Porto Ricos didn’t fair much better, but I was able to get a couple small potatoes from which I’m going to get slips for next year. Here we have many HOA’s that won’t let you have anything non desert ie gravel and catus luckily mine is not that strict all also have plenty of back yard space. Lots of compost might be your problem. But, my best guess is that you should harvest before the monsoon season. Either way, I'd love to hear from you. I did dig them up on my return from Austin this week, before the snow hit. At the Southern Nevada Research Center, Beauregard produced the largest crop out of the 5 trial varieties and had very little damage due to insects and pests. I’m new this year with sweet potatoes, I purchase slips at the feed store. Enjoy that harvest! I’m not sure what the final tally will be from my cousin’s plants, but let’s assume another ten pounds. Sounds fantastic, Dan! Potting soil (especially stuff with added fertilizer, like the Miracle-Gro product) often doesn’t have all the organic-matter goodness that your plants need. We'll send breaking news and news alerts to you as they happen! Harvested acreage also has increased, from132 acres in 2012 to 223 acres in 2017. There are many many variables with sweets (as with every vegetable). These secondary tubers are usually smaller and fairly close to the surface. I am going to harvest my 2 experimental pots tomorrow. Christina, I LOVE this blog, both for your wisdom & encouragement & for all the contributors’ experiences, I live in central Iowa & planted 3-4 plants in one of our 8X5 raised beds. Let me tell you: 67.8 pounds is a lot of sweet potatoes. While some sweet potato varieties are ready in as little as 90 days, all should be harvestable by 100-120 days. The really nice thing about sweet potatoes — as I’m sure you noticed with your plants this year — is that they are really good looking plants. I didn’t weigh those roots, but let’s estimate they weighed two pounds total. But your hunch is right — none are poisonous. I love your blog! You can eat sweet potato leaves yourself and it takes several meals to reduce yields of the tubers. This year I planted 36 slips and will be harvesting them in 3-4 weeks. If they are too dry for regular roasting, you should still be able to use them in soups or stews, or mixed with other, moister, root vegetables. Thanks again. Would you like to receive our daily news? I dug around by hand the other day. Thanks, Jill! I grew sweets for the first time this ear and being in southern Va., I wanted to know when to dig them.The vines are blooming and growing so pretty still the first week of Oct.I grew these from store bought slips.Thank you for your info on when to dig.Your info was most helpful and I will be checking it out often. This year, I’m going to see what a just-harvested sweet potato tastes like. Step 5 Cut seed potatoes into 1 1/2-inch cubes. But, yeah, you’ve got some digging in your future. You want the roots to dry as quickly as possible, and the dirt won’t hurt them (or you). The roots look like long vines but no sweet potatoes. I have saved the two largest for next year, and will grow them in a sunnier location. Harvest after a cold front moves through, or at least do it in the cool of the evening. I do suggest waiting about 4-6 weeks before eating them — that gives the sugars time to develop. This year, I had slips from a potato of the previous year’s crop that I planted in early April. Just remember to keep them well-watered for their first week or so in the garden, just like any transplant. Apparently, I have made a mistake by planting two types of sweet potatoes in the same patch. And, yes, once I’ve cooked and tasted that first sweet potato, I’ll report back. I live in the southern coastal region of Victoria, Australia and I did grow sweet potatoes this year. Many varieties, such as the popular Beauregard, grow very easily. I’d suggest cooking with that one rather soon, before the rest. I got no squash, very few tomatoes, wilt got them, and 3 eggplant. We will see how it goes. Keep u posted. I do eat the leaves and I hate to waste them and could give some away or I could maybe take some down to Florida (if I can find some room in the car!). I’ll take this kind of year anytime you want to give it to me.”. Simply stored the sweets in boxes, in a dark, unused closet at a temperature of approximately 65°F. July?) Nice! The leaves begin to yellow, indicating that growth is slowing down. My second problem: We leave for Naples, Florida, around Thanksgiving. I stuck one in the ground but didn't know when it should be harvested. This is my first big vegetable garden, and i planted sweet potatoes. Low near 25F. Clues that sweet potatoes are ready to harvest. “The main thing now is to keep them in a good condition to sell,” Slade said. get the garden sand and take your advise. We are leaving Wednesday for a visit to my son’s place in Austin so that should keep my hands off of them! The “tuber” is the swollen root that you would buy at the food store for eating. And, those bruises can turn to bad spots if you’re planning on storing these tubers for a while. So, the longer you let your sweet potatoes grow, the larger your harvest will be. I have since covered it with the straw mulch I’m using, but was wondering if it being exposed will hurt that potato at all? I think it’s great that they are eager to learn about gardening. I used a sweet potato that came from the local supermarket to get slips, but it would not sprout. Are they to eat as well or to use for growing new sweet potatoes? No i did not plant any this year, did not get to thinking on it until too late but certainly plan on doing it next ‘if the good Lords willing and the Devil dosen’t care’.. The Georgia Jets worked the best, though I was still disappointed with the small harvest. Temperatures range from mid-60s to mid-70s, and they seem to do just fine. If your soil is heavy (like the Virginia clay in my own garden), you can add a mix of compost and sand to loosen it. I live in AZ they get plenty of sunshine and water I haven’t harvested them yet will let you know results when I do. That’s my in-the-garden philosophy too: when in doubt, try it out. One of the easiest edibles to start off with is the humble potato. I put slips from my sweet plants before I harvest them in vases of water and winter over till spring. Virginians’ appetite for sweet potatoes is increasing, and local growers are harvesting an ample supply to meet consumers’ holiday needs. This was a really amazing experience for me. Thank you, Dawn, Your biggest harvest should be directly under where the main plant is rooted, but you may also have smaller tubers scattered wherever the vines have rooted. Just harvested. Sweet potatoes are stubborn plants, and their roots will find any crack or hole in the container. potatoes grow better in the mixture ? Thank you for sharing! I know that sweets will grow happily in unlined baskets too, so don’t sweat it if you decide to skip that step. When you first harvest them sweet potatoes are not really sweet and the texture is not ideal. Or, you could just experiment; try growing a couple sweet potatoes in different containers (including those burlap sacks), and then compare your harvests at season’s end. Just as they got going, I got a number of volunteer plants from last year’s leftovers that started up, too. Worked great, and very easy.]. Also, if you can resist, don’t wash the dirt off them. Smaller containers also work though I have never used anything less than a 5 gallon container. I planted my slips in May and harvested them in November. I love it! So, perhaps harvest them a few weeks before the monsoon season begins? Christina, I have a wonderful recipe that I use often: Most varieties of sweet potatoes will hide most of their edible tubers near the base of the plant, but some sprawl further. I’m hoping that the sun beaming on the brick wall of the house will hold the heat and help keep the plants warm enough to last another month. They really enjoyed helping with with the peaches and blueberries. I was looking for right time to harvest info. The manure pile slips. Hope I do well Your web help me so I know how to do this over again and save money. If your answer is yes man oh man do I have a LOT of digging to do. I gave a couple to a friend — who just harvested nearly ten pounds of gorgeous roots — and a few to my cousin. As for hydroponics, I doubt sweet potatoes would be a good crop for that. Keep up the good work. You’ll find more about my experience here: I now have 2 beautiful big plants. My guess would be that they might dry out too quickly, but I’m not certain about that. slips from a single root, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a 50-to-1 rate of return on sweet potatoes. A lot of those were eaten before getting to the baskets. If the tubers are big, then his crop is ready. What do you do with yours? This means you will normally have an earlier harvest also. Thanks again. Waiting just a tiny bit longer for the heat to really settle in… But! Planning on growing them again next year? Jeanne, I loved the sweet potatoes greens! At Hoot Owl Hollow Farm in Amelia County, Kenney Barnard said he produced a “very good crop” and was “lucky” to avoid damaging weather this summer. Last year’s tubers were stored in a cardboard box on the floor of my pantry and were still edible when this year’s crop started to come in. Now I know. This years harvest from 9 slips totaled 78 lbs., with two monsters weighing over 4 lbs. I generally store them a couple layers deep in plastic storage bins in a spare closet. i usually get about 3-5 lbs per slip of beauregard and frazier white. I grew mine in hay, I made like a big raised bed filled with hay. My best harvests have come from plants that get full exposure to the sun, and my smallest harvests have come from plants that get only a partial dose of sun. You may have a nice harvest there! Sometimes, you can’t do much about this if Mother Nature is the culprit. You’ve been my go to on all things sweet potato. Next time try working in about 1/4 to 1/3 sand into your soil+compost. Above all, do your best to harvest your sweets before the first frost. Congrats!! I am going to dig them up this weekend. I’m leaving them in my greenhouse for a bit and then will bring them in to the house for the curing. I’m excited to experiment with these sweets in the kitchen. For those super-sized roots, I’d suggest cutting them down before cooking with them. To answer your questions, I actually find it’s easier to skip the heat+humidity style of curing, and instead just move the sweets directly into storage. I ate it all (because, hey, sweet potato! Then filled with a mixture of wood shavings clean topsoil and dried manure and planted the slips. I had six plants 4 of which I trained to completely take over a thirty foot stretch of my gardens six foot chicken fire fence, with one of the vines getting close to 35 feet long. Just watch the weather report, and head out to dig up your sweets when you start seeing weather … Didn’t quite know what to expect, since it was my first time, but I will definitely do again next year. Can you please expound on this a bit, is the high temp and humidity supposed to develop “sweeter” taste? Hi Jackie — Sounds like you have a very happy sweet potato plant! When considering what variety of potatoes to plant, think about when you would ideally like to have a potato harvest. Do you think they might smell? They slowly lose moisture during storage, but they definitely made it through the winter without rotting. I’m in NJ and this was the first season I grew sweet potatoes. We got three slips from a guest speaker at a 4H meeting, he said they were a special developed purple sweet potato from, I think he said North or South Carolina. I put 5-6 slips per vase and they work better in clear glass vases. I will report back. Thank you.. My garden is completely in full sun. You may be right that the dense clay soil affected your harvest; sweets do seem to grow best in loose or sandy soil. I stacked tires 2 high. Or, you can order slips from just about any gardening catalog. So easy, I use low sodium chicken broth and they shrink up like spinach. Regardless of the taste quality of just-picked sweets, you probably have enough roots on hand that you’ll need to store some of them. I wouldn’t worry too much about the lack of flowers; some varieties of sweet potatoes don’t produce flowers. I don’t have a lot of hope this year I think I got them in the ground after our heat was too much here and most haven’t done much of anything, only 3 have really vined. Just went out to see how they were growing underground and found a big root heading beneath my huge cherry tomato plant, which I don’t want to disturb. Something I did wrong. As for saving, just toss a few roots in an out-of-the-way place (I use a closet) and ignore them until early spring. To store them, sight unseen, for 4 1/2 months?? Often, this is 3 to 4 months from when you planted the slips (most varieties take at least 100 days to reach maturity). In fact, this may be a good sign. Maybe I will try again next year. I put in 8 inch deep raised beds, filled them with Miracle-Grow garden soil and planted the first of June. But it is actually sweeter than the regular sweet potato. Being busy with other things, I left them there for a year and a half. Good luck with them. By mid to late September, I can feel with my fingers the size of the tubers. Here in tucson awful doesn’t begin to describe our ground so containers are the way. So a cool damp place? Now, stop. Thanks again. Sorry, there are no recent results for popular videos. The Virginia Irish Potato and the Virginia Sweet Potato Board are both located in Onley. Success! Typically, most varieties will take about three to four months to mature – about 90 to 120 days, but there are some newer varieties that take less time and bred specifically for northern climates (such as Georgia Jet, Vardaman, Centennial). Just don’t leave them longer than that — once frost kills the plant, the tubers will rot very quickly. Even though we have a garden I like to container garden for decoration on the deck. Can’t wait to see what it produces. Hoping for 10 to 15 pounds at least, But honestly will be happy with anything over 5 pounds. This will be my first year container gardening. So, treat them gently. I hope you met your goal! Suggestions on using them would be greatly appreciated. If you didn’t use those tubers, you totally can next time. hi I’m in the Uk and have just harvested my first crop of Beauregard grown in a container. I’ve had VERY mixed results with harvests from different baskets, and suspect that some baskets may be treated with chemicals that affect growth. Great pictures , great instructions and excellent explanation of the process . I’ve stored my sweets in plastic bins in a spare closet. Not too much though — I try to minimize the amount of “damage” I inflict. After your first crop of potatoes is harvested you can plant another crop of early maturing potatoes and have 2 harvests of potatoes in one season. Sweets seem to be fairly non-picky about their storage conditions. Any idea as to what I’m doing wrong? You can also harvest sweet potatoes earlier than this, when they are slightly immature. Oh well I will try again next year. I see you simply stored your potatoes in a box (approx 65F) and seemed to work ok?? Good luck! Way I figure, with nearly 70 pounds of sweet potatoes in my kitchen, I’ve got enough on hand to do a little experimenting. Any suggestions? Yours should be just fine while you’re away. I use a wok to stir fry them in olive oil I do not have land. Harvest Time Matters. You have permission to edit this article. Unfortunately, the act of harvesting those storage roots (the tubers we eat) will definitely affect the health and appearance of those vines. I dug up my sweets that were in my raised garden bed ( 2 or 3slips), they were in valuable fall planting space, they were also the only ones that really vined. No need to wrap them in paper or otherwise fuss with them. I am going to let then ago a couple more weeks. Found another way to eat sweet potato leaves. I think you’d have better luck adding coarse sand to your soil, Sidney. I planted in an old wheelbarrow and one planter in our front yard which is totally covered with the vines. Oops! I live in the Tampa area of Florida and was am wondering if this area would be too hot for them above ground. Thanks, Melissa! Cristina or Richard; maybe both:- Isn’t he digging them up too early since I thought we needed to wait until just before first frost or at least until mid October. [click here to learn how to start your own slips.] You may also need to dig if you grew in containers. Just be sure to store them in conditions where the ambient temperature is above 55°F.Enjoy that harvest! All three plantings came to life. Yep, people love their sweet potatoes. Sorry, there are no recent results for popular commented articles. This is one of the best “sweet potato” sites I’ve found! I totally skipped the curing, and jumped straight to storing. I didnt grow my own slips (too impatient for that! Cultivating 2 acres of sweet potatoes on his farm, Flanagan said he produced a high-quality crop this year despite seeing slightly diminished yields due to drought conditions in July. Choose an intermediate date if you are located somewhere in the middle. Earlier this year I found your website through Pinterest and have been anxiously awaiting the time when I could start my sweet potato garden. And, congrats on that harvest! Those roots should taste just like the larger ones you’d imagined. Sweet potatoes are a lot of fun to grow, and despite what you might think, you don’t need a ton of space to grow them. Yes, I do trim the roots a bit. Expect to dig up an area about the size of a hulu hoop around your plants. It’s been nearly 2 years since you started this topic and it’s still going strong! Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone. I’d suggest doing a small “test” harvest on one plant to see how they look, and then go from there. And, stay tuned for a post about how to cure your sweets. I’ll just trim them back enough so that they are easier to store. The pumpkins in my garden are another discussion — one plant has produced so far 4 25+lb monsters and a few smaller ones, 100 days from seed to harvest. They just grow larger and more numerous. Otherwise, just wait about 120 days for both. Last year I planted 18 slips and had a great harvest. Thank you, My cucumbers created hundreds and I even grew cantalopes. Earlier Potato Harvests Potatoes planted in the fall start to get off to a better start and grow faster than spring-planted potatoes. Can you tell me how to save for next year. Good luck with your sweets, Marilyn! I pulled all our from the tires. It’s only mid September , first frost could be as early as October or as late as November. [Update: The theory is correct. I don’t think the tubers would form underwater. They weren’t rotten or anything, some were really big. “Sweet potatoes are getting more market share everywhere, and consumers are demanding them more,” Flanagan said. Early potatoes . I’m curious when you started them? Email me at. I’m not sure what happened, Barb. Grab a digging fork and start turning the soil beneath your plant. Thanks again. To answer your question, a month should definitely do it. The harvest was small, as were the potatoes, I suppose due to limited sun. They want about the same level of humidity that we do, so a spare closet or empty cabinet may work great. The containers dry out more easily than a garden space so its important to check the containers almost daily, especially if there hasn’t been any rain. I used lots of Dementia Related Psychosis: Four Caregiver Facts You Need to Know, Man convicted of 2008 rape charged with murder of Prince George woman, Friends, employees gather for Sweet Emporia Bakery ribbon cutting, Board accepts bid for Confederate monument removal, Debris removal a cornerstone for City water supply, Jaycees Emporia Christmas Parade scheduled Dec. 4, Greensville Board approves supplemental payments for Co. workers, Holiday Wreath Workshop returns to local extension office Dec. 12, Emporia-Greensville testing event a “big improvement”. Thanks for all of the great info. Now I need all the sweet potato recipes that I can get. Your description helped me to decide how to look after them. Am a little worried about “curing”. I started off planting the tubers it self in a gunny bag and have planted 2 slips each in a gunny bag in February 2016. This was the first time i attempted to grow any sweet potatoes. I’d love to hear about your sweet potato experiences from this summer. Thanks for some great information. If he were to ask me, I’d suggest he dig up just one plant and see how things look. Thanks so much, Becky! I just came across your posting looking for the best ways to store sweet potatoes in a home without a cellar or basement. I’m so excited… first try at sweet potatoes, and just harvested them today. And, it’s not just the density of the harvest. How long to cure before moving to storage? Now I do not know which ones are which and whether they will mature at the same time. I’m in Phx and planted a slip in April. Most of the garden has only spot irrigation, so most of the sweet potatoes only got water if I turned the hose on for them. I use a bit of olive oil & sea salt and saute in a pan until thoroughly cooked. I planted the slips in a “grow container”, purchased online. Our sand is definitely sandy but kind of afraid of letting the run loose in ground. Florida has a great climate for them (they’re tropical plants, after all). Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.. A clear sky. They never flowered but did get some foliage so I’m worried that they’ll be no tubers, but this is my first yr so I haven’t a clue! Vitamin A is important for cell growth and development, for fighting off diseases and for good vision. Stored in a single layer, or w paper between layers? My real question is on curing them…I don’t have the space or means to provide a (very) warm temp 80-85F as recommended for approx 2-wks. The vines look good most being around 7 feet long, so I am hoping for a good harvest. ), but the taste was flat. Wow! Since you’re starting with very sandy soil, I’d suggest working in several inches of compost and adding organic mulch (grass clippings, shredded leaves, straw, etc) to help retain soil moisture. Hi, I planted Japanese Sweet Potato, called Mursaki (I think that’s the name,) like any potato very easy to grow. Since you planted late June, you probably want to leave them in the ground until just before your first frost. Olive oil, All sizes and shapes. It was disappointing I got three fingerling sized and one small… Ugh, I’ll be leaving containers as long as possible, not sure if 50 is the cut off but we shouldn’t get there till early or mid nov. I’m hoping since I don’t plan to give up yet that I planted to late. The plants won’t yellow, however. Hi, I have a question for you or anyone to answer… This is premature but I’m always planning ahead! Early potato varieties require 60 to 100 cool days to reach harvest. Virginia red clay does make for some interesting gardening challenges, doesn’t it? I used to eat collard and kale That’s perfect for most sweets. PUBLISHED ON November 5, 2020. I also found a local store that sells bushel baskets and purchased 5 of them, although I need about a dozen more. It’s my first time, so I have no idea. I plan to plant them any day now, but I am still debating on where ie. Learned so much more. No matter where you live, harvest your sweets with care. It’s not a total loss though. all my gardens grew beautiful fruits and vegs all except the sweet potatoes. This is my third year growing sweet potatoes. A proper curing will help sweeten the roots, but they seem to do ok without as well. I didn’t read about the curing period until just now. The compost provides lots of nitrogen which helps the vines grow. I can site the containers in sunny spots anywhere in the yard. VARIETIES. Again i did nothing more. That means you’ll need to cure them. Just-harvested sweet potatoes taste nothing like you’d hope. Virginia sweet potato harvest is plentiful Harvested acreage also has increased, from 132 acres in 2012 to 223 acres in 2017. Oh boy, I’m way late on replying to this question. Wow that’s alot of sweet potatoes! Perlite and vermiculite are both often used to increase water retention (this is why they are so commonly seen in potting mixes), but sweet potatoes don’t want to grow in soil that retains water. There was an error processing your request. If you grew your sweets in containers, simply dump the dirt out and root around for your harvest. We have a nice plant now. I can’t wait to see my harvest, but I hate to lose the vine because it is so beautiful. I’m afraid I don’t have a definite answer for you about burlap sacks, just because I’m never gardened in your climate. The area gets full sun. Oh gosh, I’m not sure. To harvest potatoes, you’ll need a shovel or a spading fork. Put my homegrown slips in the ground near Daytona Beach, Florida about 30+ days ago. Back in June I noticed a small vine growing out of a sweet potatoe in my veggie bin. But don’t want to end up needing more soil to fill a container that won’t be more productive.. My sweets came out very small. In the meantime, if you want to read about how to cure your sweets right now, check out this article in Mother Earth News: Grow Sweet Potatoes — Even in the North. this next season. This should expose some of your sweets’ developing tubers, and give you an idea of their size. We have the same trouble here in Virginia — I just skip the whole curing thing and go straight to storage. This will keep the worms working and loosening the soil below. Good luck with the harvest! It’s no wonder the sweets escaped. So – yes, I “robbed” a few. and struggled. We just harvested them yesterday and I didn’t know that you have to wait a while before you cook/eat it. Knowing when to harvest potatoes is based on whether they’re an early potato or maincrop, time in the ground, and what happens to their foliage and flowers. Hi Alice — The answer to your question is “it depends.” Sweet potatoes take anywhere from 90-120+ days to produce harvest-worthy tubers, but that assumes a nice warm summer. There’s no sign that they are ready. My grandkids are planning to help with the digging. This is a short video on my experience. Better than spinach! West Virginia' for fruit, vegetables, pumpkins and other crops. I’m going to risk it and let them keep growing. I have written plenty already in previous years about harvesting, so I won’t go into it here. Hollow. Two pounds of sweet potato investment for 67.8 pounds of sweet potato harvest. The vines grew like mad. Now I sit and wait and stare at my little crop. Somehow they don’t like good rich soil. sweets. Those original two pounds of sweet potatoes produced more slips than I needed. The tubers look tough and indestructible, but they bruise easily. Thanks for the information. The white potatoes I plant will take about 135 days to mature. Virginia's potato cultivation is concentrated on the Eastern Shore. Stay tuned. Grow your own slips from that tuber. Congrats! You’ll find a lot of information about growing them here, including in the comments: I am learning it is best to keep them in about 60 degrees, but we don’t keep our home that cool (who does?). I harvested them about a week ago and filled a 5 gallon bucket to overflowing. And, by now, that breakfast has long since come and gone. They do not appreciate freezing temperatures, and the cold can cause chilling-injury on the tubers. Thanks Cristina I did buy sand and was going to do exactly what you Enjoy your harvest! You can start harvesting as early as 90 days, but should probably finish harvesting by the time your plants are 150 days old — the tubers can grow to be too large, which makes them harder to store. In fact, my favorite way to grow sweet potatoes is right in an old chicken feed bag on my deck. Well I went to check on the sweets and found they were huge so started digging-must be several bushels!What a job but a pleasant surprise.Now just got to get rid of all that vine.Can’t wait for spring to do this again.Thanks for your web site and help! Hundreds of pounds of sweet potatoes! Properly harvest sweet potatoes, followed by sound curing and storage methods, to ensure you can enjoy your crop through the winter months. Also, that recipe looks great! I will leave the rest buried until I return. Would something a bit taller like a small trash can or laundry basket add grow space or just be wasted space at the bottom? I neglected them as I did much of the garden since I got pregnant mid-season, but these beauties didn’t disappoint. The sweet potato tubers actually begin poking out of the ground in late August. My sweetyyys turns rubbery what did I do wrong So glad you’re finding the post helpful, Susan, and congrats on those happy plants! each! I would suggest storing them upstairs where it’s warmer — sweet potatoes do best in the same range of temperatures that we humans prefer. I’ve read that sweet potatoes need a bit of curing before their full flavor develops, and that a few months of rest is best, if you can hold out that long. “But the quality of the sweet potatoes I have is great, the yield was great, and the taste is awesome—just as good as they’ve ever been. Looks like I’ll be buying more bushel baskets next spring. I had a store bought sweet potatoe that sprouted roots and some green leaves I cut it in half and stuck it in 2 pots and started watering. I don’t use bushel baskets anymore, however. waiting to see how it turns out, it’s summer here now. But, if you can hold off for a couple months, I suspect the wait will be worth it.]. That’s 87.8 pounds of sweet potatoes from the slips grown off about two pounds of roots. Sweet potatoes are usually ready to harvest in 90-120 days, depending on the variety. My biggest tubers and best-producing plants were all in full or nearly full sun. Hope you all do well with yours. Two full boxes worth, with overflow in mixing bowls and all over the kitchen counter. I’m going to guess it was about 30lbs. I cut it up in pieces and stuck them in a pile of manure from the goat shed. How many slips do you put in your basket? Well, I wanted to see what was underneath the huge mounds under my sweet potato plants, and I dug around with my fingers under one, very gently. Fantastic! Sunny. The rest (very small) I made into sweet potato chips and fries…couldn’t wait to cure them! Some vegetables look a little sad or worn out by the end of the summer, but not sweet potatoes. I put them in the ground where there is 6-10 inches of heavy decomposing mulch over mostly sand (near Tampa, FL). Thanks for sharing. I put in a few more in May and then BINGO!! Have you harvested yet? Start the season with a one-pound tuber. I haven’t harvested them yet, it’s still quite warm here in california, but I will soon. Congrats on your first go at growing sweet potatoes! Wow! Most varieties of sweet potatoes are ready to harvest between 90 and 120 days of planting. When to harvest sweet potatoes will depend on the cultivar that you purchased. Have been promising to bring the sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving Dinner. It sounds like you may have another month of growing season before that’s even a possibility, so hopefully your remaining sweets will bulk up some more. I got all my questions answered in one place. I’m going to Simple math shows the average acre produces 33 pounds of potatoes. Bakes sweet potato fries are another tasty way to use too-large-to-roast-whole roots. That’s impressive. The foliage was so dense that I was concerned about stepping on rattlesnakes in there, so I would poke around with the hoe before stepping. Wow, Trudy! Any advice would be much appreciated…. Your slips sound wonderfully healthy! So, my question, will there be SP where the vines have sent out root or just around the original slip. As for curing… I’m honestly rather lazy about it. Here is another sweet potato souffle recipe that I have made before. Jesus where will I put them? Sidney, you could do an experiement with perlite & vermiculite. The vines quickly covered a 20′ x 40′ area and served as a nice ground cover. Yours may have been smaller because of the variety you grew, the soil they grew in, or their growing conditions (sunlight, heat, water, etc). Today I saw a rather large root sticking up out of the ground. We could have waited a few weeks to let the potatoes get a bit bigger, but sometimes we just harvest when you get the itch! Great information! This is my first try with sweet potatoes that too in a gunny bag in India. Don’t drop them. Today we had the fun experience of harvesting sweet potatoes. Getting started growing sweet potatoes Growing sweet potatoes is very easy, but it requires some patience … Sweets are definitely worth a try. They need room for the roots to branch out. 67.8 pounds. Usually sweet potatoes are harvested in the week that the first frost typically occurs in your region. Winds light and variable. Good luck with them next year! If none of these ideas are advisable, I probably will just have to use what I can and then let the rest compost in my garden. Sweet potatoes want light, well-draining soil. You see why I like this rate of return? Need a little help breaking the rules, or wanna brag a bit about how many tomatoes you harvested from your front yard? I honestly haven’t tested this theory yet. Sweet potatoes in the FRONT yard next year! They didn’t start to grow until late in the season (June? Perhaps roasted with other chopped root vegetables, or diced and tossed into a stew or soup? Midseason potatoes require 101 to 135 cool days to reach harvest. To be honest, I no longer try to cure my sweet potatoes. Wow!!!! I grew slips from potatoes left behind by a farmer after harvest, so zero dollars invested! Emporia-Greensville Recreation Association, 2020 Virginia sweet potato harvest is plentiful. Nuthin. On OCT 7th.2016 Very happy again.with my harvest This year I for the first time harvest all the Vines.Tgere is a Market for them. With all that prep work you’ve done this fall, you should have some very happy plants next year! It’s going to be a tasty winter! I use large, black plastic containers gleaned from landscape companies; I think they are 45 gallon containers used for large landscape trees. But unlike yours mine was not a success story. It’s best to stop watering your sweet potatoes 3-4 weeks before harvest. Is that wise? Here’s how the numbers work. In fact, I’ve read that sweet potatoes produce more calories per acre than any other crop. When they get this big, I know they’re ready to harvest. Fantastic, Carolyn! Looked on line, made a bed in the corner of my yard. Ours should be here any day and we are trying to find room for them. I can’t tell you why your sweets were smaller (though, hand-sized is certainly not too small). According to the 2017 U.S. Census of Agriculture, 261 Virginia farms produced sweet potatoes for fresh market consumption, more than double the 120 farms that grew them in 2012. Once frost hits, it’s best to dig them up within a day or two. I clearly have two types. Enjoyed your website. We’ve got some leafy plants in there for the winter, but I’m looking forward to planting more sweets there next spring, including the Porto Ricos. Sorry, there are no recent results for popular images. This is my first year planting Sweet Potatoes. According to the 2017 U.S. Census of Agriculture, 261 Virginia farms produced sweet potatoes for fresh market consumption, more than double the 120 farms that grew them in 2012. You may find you have better luck in the spring or fall. I also have a bin growing slips from a store-bought sweet potato this summer. They should transplant just fine. If you’re further north, you’ll want to do the same thing; harvest your sweet potatoes as late as possible. Carefully lift the plant and remove the potatoes you need. I will try some of the leaves sauté though. Can’t wait for answers & especially for our 1st harvest!!! Your sweets should be waiting for you on your return. I have another question, I was told by an older woman, that the leaves were eadable, cook them like fresh spinach, has any one tried this, truth is I’m a little scared, don’t want to pioson my family. I made no watering attempts. How to Harvest Potatoes. The variety matters too — some sweet potato varieties mature a full month earlier than others. I suspect curing probably helps toughen the skin and seal cuts, as you mention, but my sweets haven’t really suffered for skipping it. There are a few tricks to make the job easier. My goodness, those are some beautiful sweet potatoes! If you have a tuber pushing up above the ground, there’s a good chance it’s being forced upwards by other tubers below it. I started to work at building soil in my garden area 4 years ago, NW of Phoenix, AZ. As an alternative, I’m using halved whiskey barrels (easily large enough for three slips), homemade wooden planters, and big store-bought ceramic planters. Sauté them just like spinach, and enjoy! They taste a lot like spinach only better. You can wait until the first frost to harvest sweet potatoes, in fact, some folks claim that they are better if you do, but you must be ready to get them out of the ground immediately. They’re relatively low-maintenance, can help cultivate the soil, and will also suppress any weeds that try to compete with them. How to Harvest. I did all the right things and they do not look right on the inside. I started planting sweet potatoes two years ago and ever since I find the I’ve always just stored the roots, and waited until November or so before roasting up my first sweets. If you are curious, you can always *gently* brush the soil away from the base of the plant. By the time I finish digging it all, I should have hundreds of lbs. Planted by first sweet potatoes this year, June, Northern Indiana, and saw the leaves starting to change color just a bit. All sweet potatoes are safe to eat, even the fancy ornamental varieties. God did the rest. Usually, sweet potatoes are ready to harvest when the leaves and ends of the vines have started turning yellow, but you can leave them in the ground up until the fall frost. I’ve been meaning to, but just keep forgetting because we grow lots of other greens. Last year, I cured my sweets in a storage container with water in the bottom (not touching the roots) and a light bulb for heat. After harvesting nearly 70 pounds from a dozen containers in my front yard, I believe it. Forget the stock market. Thanks for your input. The entire garden is doing really well, I'm so pleased with it and like a little kid to realize that I actually grew these vegies ! Congrats also on that impressive pumpkin harvest. Greetings, Most plants gave me 4 or 5 good size potatoes but I had one plant that produced 10 keepers. Hello, I planted sweet potatoes for the first time this year. I've never planted sweet potatoes before. Would you like to receive our daily news? Once the soil cools to around 50 degrees F, the quality and storage life of the sweet potato is reduced. Just watch the weather report, and head out to dig up your sweets when you start seeing weather forecasts with nighttime temperatures in the low 40s or 30s. Fingers crossed for a good harvest! So, not the best eating, usually. That’s a 45-to-1 rate of return. I love your determination! Please advise or can it wait till Novemner 2016? Bushel baskets, it seems, are only good for one or two seasons in the garden. Haha. Have to go no going to Sweet potatoes, like regular potatoes, don’t ripen. As for those store-bought sweet potatoes… They should be perfectly edible. In any event, they should be harvested before frost. Sweet potatoes grow best in raised beds with organic soils in the desert. Enjoy! It is October now. Sweets taste best after about four weeks of storage, but you can certainly eat them sooner. Good luck! I have several people waiting in line to take the excess. Sweet potatoes are native to more southern climates and hence grow better in a relatively sandy soil. I live in West Virginia, which is in horticultural zone 6a. I planted 5 sweet potato plants this year… and then a few more volunteers also sprouted out of roots from last year’s harvest. The vine is absolutely gorgeous in my raised bed garden. That may explain the abundant growth and small harvest — the fertilizer may have spurred fast growth, but the lack of real organic matter may have reduced the harvest. But at the beginning of May realized i wouldn’t be getting them. I am a New Englander recently transplanted in Tennessee….dealing with the climate, the HOA rules and a difficult neighbor has been a challenge, but I will soldier on! So glad you’re finding useful stuff here! Sweet potatoes are fully mature at this point and you should harvest them before the first frost. When cutting slips, make sure you get some good root nodules. We should all be investing in sweet potatoes. I found some slips locally. Sounds great, Richard! Here, in Virginia, it’s best to harvest sweet potatoes just before the first frost. Ok I have a question that I’ve never seen mentioned anywhere… Your freshly harvested sweets in the picture above are “rooty” do you clip those roots or cure then clip?? Hi Erin — Congratulations on your harvest! Many of my sweets escaped their bushel baskets and buried some roots under their containers, for example. They are very pretty! I was given 3 sweet potato slips about a year and a half ago. One sweet potato plant can yield on average 2-1/2 pounds of potatoes, or 100 pounds or more from a 20-foot row. Thanks for the tip, Debbie! Toggle navigation. I decided to remove all the vines yesterday and voila! If Richard planted his crop late May or early June, he should be at just about 90 days by now, which would put him on the early side of the traditional harvest window. In short, sweets want 90-120 days of solid growing before harvest. You can eat it, or you can use it for growing new sweet potatoes. From these plants I harvested roughly 95 pounds with the largest the size of a small dog (16 pounds), you already answered one of my questions but I do have another. There are scads of different sweet potato varieties, and I’m honestly not even sure of the variety names for all the sweets I grow (some are started from store-bought tubers, like yours). One container has two store bought (box store in pot) I’ve gotten conflicting info on if they are the same but one has a visible tuber poking up not sure what the deal is with them /: I’ve gotten (from garden employees ) everything from they are the same to they might to posiioniuos, not sure I believe the latter. Receive our newspaper electronically with the e-Edition email. West Virginia Harvest Calendar - When fruit and vegetables are normally available and ready to pick in West Virginia!

when to harvest sweet potatoes in virginia

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