Considered a more regionally suitable alternative to the ‘irish’ potato
White-fleshed sweet potatoes were traditionally considered a more regionally suitable alternative to the ‘irish’ potato in the southeast. But when you taste how creamy the O’Henry is in a dish of mashed sweet potatoes, we think it will come to be your first choice.Convolvulaceae Ipomoea batatas
Sweet Potatoes are commonly used in the same way as Pumpkins and Winter Squash, but they are much easier to prepare. They are commonly used for "Pumpkin" pie commercially and at home in the kitchen. Sweet potatoes are classified by their flesh as either moist or dry.
- Ease of Growing
- Grown as
- Days to Maturity
- 100-110 (Spring/Summer)
- Growing Habit
Sweet Potatoes are very tender and any frost will kill the tops. If an early fall frost threatens, it pays to protect them with straw mulch, cloches, or even plastic sheets. This is extra work, but you may be rewarded with several more weeks of growing weather. The large plants grow rapidly towards the end, so there can be a big benefit in leaving them in the ground for as long as possible. When a hard frost threatens, dig the tubers immediately. Don't wait too long as any damage to the tubers will affect their storability.
- Spring Transplant, Summer
- Growing Season
- Cultivar Type
- Growing Conditions
- Warm, Hot
Sweet Potatoes need warm days and nights and evenly moist soil. If they get these they should be happy.
- Outdoor Growing Temp
- 65°F - 95°F
- Min Outdoor Soil Temp
Sweet Potatoes absolutely must have warm soil. Don't plant them out until the soil is at least 65˚ F and nighttime temperature drops no lower than 60˚ F. If you have to gain extra time, warm up the soil with black plastic.
- Start Indoors
- Start Outdoors
- Sun: min. 6 hours daily (Warm, Hot)
These creeping tropical vines need as much sunlight as they can get.
Established plants are quite drought tolerant, but the soil should be kept evenly moist for best productivity (and especially while they are young). Don't over-water though, as too much water encourages foliage growth at the expense of root growth. If water is in short supply you can cut back on watering when the plants are well established and just water them when the soil gets dry.
Like most root crops they need phosphorus (add colloidal phosphate) and potassium (add greensand or wood ashes). They don't need a lot of nitrogen, as it encourages the growth of foliage rather than roots (and can result in inferior roots).
- Drought tolerant, High heat, Needs lots of space
- Small Gardens?
For some gardeners, growing Sweet Potatoes in containers is more practical. If you have clay soil that doesn't drain well, using mix and a pot with adequate drainage will be better than planting in your garden. Additionally, you can move containers into the sun, giving plants warmer growing conditions. If growing in a container, plant 3 slips in a container that is at least 18" in diameter.
- Attracts beneficial insects?
- Fruit Size
- Plant Height
- Plant Diameter
- Hardiness Zone
- Disease Resistance
- Taste Profile
Slightly sweet, good in savory dishes and mixed mashes. Tastes similar to Yams, Winter Squash, Pumpkins.