Soil and Fertilizer. A hill of sweet potatoes will yield about 2 pounds of marketable sweet potatoes and an average yield per acre of 400 bushels (50 pounds) is attainable. When harvesting sweet potatoes in pots or in the garden, some of these roots swell and form the storage root, which is the part of the plant we harvest and eat. Water is especially important as plants grow and roots spread. Although they can tolerate poor soil, sweet potatoes will do much better if grown in good conditions. Sweet potatoes should be harvested before the first frost in the fall. What Sweet Potatoes Like And Dislike. Before planting, thoroughly dampen the bed. Each sweet potato can produce up to 50 slip sprouts. Plant sweet potatoes in warm soil about a month after the last spring frost. You can harvest sweet potatoes as soon as they reach a usable size, which takes at least three months. Jun 8, 2012 #10 retiredwith4acres Garden Ornament. Long-season varieties tend to produce more because the tubers will continue to grow in size until frost. To start your slips, you need several healthy, clean sweet potatoes. It’s best not to trim vines; they help feed the potatoes. Sweet potatoes that are subjected to drought will produce fewer and smaller tubers. To avoid injuring tubers, find the primary crown of the plant you want to dig, and then use a digging fork to loosen an 18-inch wide circle around the plant. Yields are averaging about 275 to 300 bushels per acre, up from the state’s average of 250 to 275 bushels an acre. Sweet potato leaves will turn yellow when they’re ready for harvesting, but this will depend on the kind of sweet potato that you’ve planted. Use toothpicks to hold the potato in place (Image 1). Once that happens, there’s a chance they won’t fill out properly. In Florida and some other Southern states, sweet potato weevils are a big problem, often ruining the harvest. Use a garden fork to unearth tubers, starting at the edge of the patch and working your way in toward vines. Harvest a few tubers to see if they’re large enough before digging the entire patch. To maximize your potato growing efforts, keep plants fed with a continuous-release plant food. In warmer climates, gardeners sometimes harvest eight or more tubers per sweet potato plant. Under good, weed-free growing conditions, you can expect to get about 50 pounds of potatoes per every 2 pounds of potato seed planted. Mulching planting beds with black plastic warms soil – perfect for giving plants a touch of the tropics and reducing weeds. If you absolutely cannot harvest all sweet potatoes before frost, mulch the patch heavily with straw or other cover. They need a period to sit and “cure” to bring out their sweetness. To remedy that, before planting, cut each plant off just above the soil line in the container, then plant it (without roots) straight into your garden bed. Even then, you may need to harvest early because frost threatens, which means fewer and/or smaller tubers. You'll be hard pressed to find a plant that produces more nutrition per square metre than the humble sweet potato! In colder climates, gardeners must use season-extending techniques. Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules, Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® Edibles Plant Nutrition. A long-season variety might produce eight or more tubers in the right conditions. Harvest sweet potatoes when the ends of the vines start to yellow. Enjoy dabbling in the diversity of deliciousness you’ll find in our Foodie Fresh collection. Ideally, the pH should be between 5.8 and 6.2, although they will tolerate a more acidic pH (down to 5.0). Sweet potatoes are not very sweet when first dug, but they are fine for sweetened pies or casseroles. Growing good quality, big potatoes requires correct preparation and type of soil at … Continue weeding and adding more mulch for another month. When setting out sweet potatoes in very hot, sunny weather, cover the plants with upturned flower pots for 3 days after planting to shield them from baking sun. Place each section in a jar or glass of water with half of the potato below the water and half above. Before planting, improve your native soil by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter. In developing countries they are valued for their ability to produce long-storing tubers that are high in carbohydrate. I would break off the sprouts when they got about … One sweet potato should yield about 12 plants. To create sprouts, carefully wash your potatoes and cut them either in half or in large sections. Or, simply feed with a water-soluble plant food, like Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® Edibles Plant Nutrition every week.