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Sweet potato
Plant Care Instructions By Steve Brigham

Related to morning glories, the various cultivated forms of Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas) are all heat-loving perennials which are usually grown as annuals. One group is grown for ornament, including some with blackish or chartreuse foliage that are often used as color accents in decorative container plantings. But the other three types of Sweet Potato are grown as vegetables -- one type (Sweet Potato Spinach) is grown for its leaves, and the other two types are grown for their edible tubers. Of these, one type has tubers with firm, white flesh; but the most popular type in the USA (particularly in the South) has soft, sugary, orange-fleshed tubers that are often (but erroneously) called \"yams\". It is this type of Sweet Potato that is is a staple of the traditional Thanksgiving menu in the USA. Sweet Potatoes need a long, warm growing season to produce a good crop, with warm, well-drained, sandy soil being ideal. Plant in late spring, when soil temperatures have warmed to 70 degrees F., and harvest before frost. In cool-summer climates, cover rows with plastic tents or other row-cover material to increase heat and promote vigorous growth. To avoid the build-up of disease organisms in the soil, don\'t grow Sweet Potatoes in the same location 2 years in a row.

Is Indoor Plant?

No

These month by month plant care tasks are for plants in the following zones :
Sunset Zones : 8, 9, 1012, 13, 14, 1518, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
USDA Zones :
Web Link - For more information
Scroll down or click on any month for plant care instructions
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
  • January
    • February
      • March
        • April
          • Water

              Water regularly during growing season.

        • May
          • Buy

              Buy disease-free rooted cuttings from a reputable nursery or mail-order source to get the varieties you want. "Centennial" is a standard variety of "yam" Sweet Potato for home gardens, but there are also many others.

          • Plant

              Plant in full sun, in well-drained, sandy or loamy soil, when soil temperatures have warmed to 70 degrees F. In cool-summer climates, provide a tent of row-cover material or plastic to increase heat around the plants. In corporate a low-nitrogen fertilizer (such as 5-10-10) into the soil when you plant.

          • Water

              Water regularly during growing season.

        • June
          • Buy

              Buy disease-free rooted cuttings from a reputable nursery or mail-order source to get the varieties you want. "Centennial" is a standard variety of "yam" Sweet Potato for home gardens, but there are also many others.

          • Plant

              Plant in full sun, in well-drained, sandy or loamy soil, when soil temperatures have warmed to 70 degrees F. In cool-summer climates, provide a tent of row-cover material or plastic to increase heat around the plants. In corporate a low-nitrogen fertilizer (such as 5-10-10) into the soil when you plant.

          • Water

              Water regularly during growing season.

        • July
          • Water

              Water regularly during growing season.

        • August
          • Fertilize

              Fertilize with 5-10-10.

          • Water

              Water regularly during growing season.

        • September
          • Water

              Water regularly during growing season.

        • October
          • Water

              Water regularly during growing season.

          • Harvest

              Harvest before frost, digging carefully to avoid cutting or bruising tubers. Flavor improves in storage, as starch is converted to sugar. Let tubers dry in the sun until soil can be brushed off, then cure by storing tubers 10 to 14 days in a warm (85 degrees F.) humid place. Then store in a cool, dry environment (not below 55 degrees F.)

        • November
          • Harvest

              Harvest before frost, digging carefully to avoid cutting or bruising tubers. Flavor improves in storage, as starch is converted to sugar. Let tubers dry in the sun until soil can be brushed off, then cure by storing tubers 10 to 14 days in a warm (85 degrees F.) humid place. Then store in a cool, dry environment (not below 55 degrees F.)

        • December
          • Winter
            • Spring
              • Summer
                • Fall
                  • Buy

                    When's the best time to buy this plant? When can you buy these from seed (if you can)? When is it usually available? What are things to look for when you're buying it? Or anything other tidbit of information you can share!

                    •  Jan
                    •  Feb
                    •  Mar
                    •  Apr
                    •  May
                    •  Jun
                    •  Jul
                    •  Aug
                    •  Sep
                    •  Oct
                    •  Nov
                    •  Dec
                    • May

                      Buy disease-free rooted cuttings from a reputable nursery or mail-order source to get the varieties you want. \"Centennial\" is a standard variety of \"yam\" Sweet Potato for home gardens, but there are also many others.

                    • June

                      Buy disease-free rooted cuttings from a reputable nursery or mail-order source to get the varieties you want. \"Centennial\" is a standard variety of \"yam\" Sweet Potato for home gardens, but there are also many others.

                  • Plant

                    When's a good time to plant this plant or bulb? Any special planting instructions?

                    •  Jan
                    •  Feb
                    •  Mar
                    •  Apr
                    •  May
                    •  Jun
                    •  Jul
                    •  Aug
                    •  Sep
                    •  Oct
                    •  Nov
                    •  Dec
                    • May

                      Plant in full sun, in well-drained, sandy or loamy soil, when soil temperatures have warmed to 70 degrees F. In cool-summer climates, provide a tent of row-cover material or plastic to increase heat around the plants. In corporate a low-nitrogen fertilizer (such as 5-10-10) into the soil when you plant.

                    • June

                      Plant in full sun, in well-drained, sandy or loamy soil, when soil temperatures have warmed to 70 degrees F. In cool-summer climates, provide a tent of row-cover material or plastic to increase heat around the plants. In corporate a low-nitrogen fertilizer (such as 5-10-10) into the soil when you plant.

                  • Sow Seeds

                    When can you plant these seeds? When's the best time? Can you start them indoors and move them out? Do they have any special requirements?

                    •  Jan
                    •  Feb
                    •  Mar
                    •  Apr
                    •  May
                    •  Jun
                    •  Jul
                    •  Aug
                    •  Sep
                    •  Oct
                    •  Nov
                    •  Dec
                    • Fertilize

                      When should you fertilize this plant? Which kind of fertilizer do you recommend? Should you use different fertilizers at different times of year?

                      •  Jan
                      •  Feb
                      •  Mar
                      •  Apr
                      •  May
                      •  Jun
                      •  Jul
                      •  Aug
                      •  Sep
                      •  Oct
                      •  Nov
                      •  Dec
                      • August

                        Fertilize with 5-10-10.

                    • Water

                      Is there a time to reduce or increase watering? Any special requirements? Things to avoid during certain times of the year?

                      •  Jan
                      •  Feb
                      •  Mar
                      •  Apr
                      •  May
                      •  Jun
                      •  Jul
                      •  Aug
                      •  Sep
                      •  Oct
                      •  Nov
                      •  Dec
                      • April

                        Water regularly during growing season.

                      • May

                        Water regularly during growing season.

                      • June

                        Water regularly during growing season.

                      • July

                        Water regularly during growing season.

                      • August

                        Water regularly during growing season.

                      • September

                        Water regularly during growing season.

                      • October

                        Water regularly during growing season.

                    • Prune

                      When's a good time to prune this plant? How about deadheading, pinching back, trimming or any other grooming? Any special requirements?

                      •  Jan
                      •  Feb
                      •  Mar
                      •  Apr
                      •  May
                      •  Jun
                      •  Jul
                      •  Aug
                      •  Sep
                      •  Oct
                      •  Nov
                      •  Dec
                      • Mulch

                        Does this plant need to be mulched? Are there specific types of Mulch which are better for this plant? How much?

                        •  Jan
                        •  Feb
                        •  Mar
                        •  Apr
                        •  May
                        •  Jun
                        •  Jul
                        •  Aug
                        •  Sep
                        •  Oct
                        •  Nov
                        •  Dec
                        • Protect

                          When and how should you protect this plant from birds, deer, rabbits? Does this plant need be covered, or wrapped or painted or moved?

                          •  Jan
                          •  Feb
                          •  Mar
                          •  Apr
                          •  May
                          •  Jun
                          •  Jul
                          •  Aug
                          •  Sep
                          •  Oct
                          •  Nov
                          •  Dec
                          • Pest/Disease Inspection

                            What are the common problems this plant will face and when should you look for them to appear?

                            •  Jan
                            •  Feb
                            •  Mar
                            •  Apr
                            •  May
                            •  Jun
                            •  Jul
                            •  Aug
                            •  Sep
                            •  Oct
                            •  Nov
                            •  Dec
                            • Treat for Pest/Disease

                              How do you treat the common problems for this plant? What products or concoctions or natural means do you use? Any special requirements?

                              •  Jan
                              •  Feb
                              •  Mar
                              •  Apr
                              •  May
                              •  Jun
                              •  Jul
                              •  Aug
                              •  Sep
                              •  Oct
                              •  Nov
                              •  Dec
                              • Transplant

                                When's the best time to dig up and transplant this from one spot to another? (This is different than planting). Any special requirements?

                                •  Jan
                                •  Feb
                                •  Mar
                                •  Apr
                                •  May
                                •  Jun
                                •  Jul
                                •  Aug
                                •  Sep
                                •  Oct
                                •  Nov
                                •  Dec
                                • Propagate

                                  When's a good time to divide, take cuttings, layer or propagate this plant. Any special requirements?

                                  •  Jan
                                  •  Feb
                                  •  Mar
                                  •  Apr
                                  •  May
                                  •  Jun
                                  •  Jul
                                  •  Aug
                                  •  Sep
                                  •  Oct
                                  •  Nov
                                  •  Dec
                                  • Harvest

                                    When's a good time to harvest this plant? What's the best way to harvest? Are there special requirements or features?

                                    •  Jan
                                    •  Feb
                                    •  Mar
                                    •  Apr
                                    •  May
                                    •  Jun
                                    •  Jul
                                    •  Aug
                                    •  Sep
                                    •  Oct
                                    •  Nov
                                    •  Dec
                                    • October

                                      Harvest before frost, digging carefully to avoid cutting or bruising tubers. Flavor improves in storage, as starch is converted to sugar. Let tubers dry in the sun until soil can be brushed off, then cure by storing tubers 10 to 14 days in a warm (85 degrees F.) humid place. Then store in a cool, dry environment (not below 55 degrees F.)

                                    • November

                                      Harvest before frost, digging carefully to avoid cutting or bruising tubers. Flavor improves in storage, as starch is converted to sugar. Let tubers dry in the sun until soil can be brushed off, then cure by storing tubers 10 to 14 days in a warm (85 degrees F.) humid place. Then store in a cool, dry environment (not below 55 degrees F.)

                                  • Special requirements

                                    Any other requirement for this plant? Is there anything that doesn't fit into the other care categories?

                                    •  Jan
                                    •  Feb
                                    •  Mar
                                    •  Apr
                                    •  May
                                    •  Jun
                                    •  Jul
                                    •  Aug
                                    •  Sep
                                    •  Oct
                                    •  Nov
                                    •  Dec

                                    Click This Button To Use These Plant Care Reminders

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