Two weeks early. We planted our sweet potatoes two weeks earlier than last year!
While planting time is important, it is not the most important consideration for getting a great sweet potato yield.
Here are my top 5 tips for planting perfect sweet potatoes your family can enjoy your sweet spuds all Winter long.
1. Selection of Plants
Every good ending starts with a beginning. The selection process of the parent plant is one of the most important processes when growing good quality, high-yielding produce. You want your plants to have good green color, and healthy, full leaves. I definitely found what I was looking for!
We went to four places around town before we found sweet potato plants available. And it was well worth the wait, because they had just come into the store earlier that day. These plants were good color and very few buggy spots.
I snatched four flats of nine up and we were on our way home to plant!
2. Selection of Soil
All Winter long, our large round hay bales were parked near our creek near the edge of our property. The moisture and rotten organic matter from the hay has increased the moisture content and environmental quality of the soil. You should see the earthworms in the soil!
After moving the remaining hay bales to a different location, I decided to plant sweet potatoes, squashes, and pumpkins in this area. It does flood occasionally and these crops do well in dry or wet conditions.
3. Weed Control
Working the Hoe all summer?? Ain’t nobody got time for that!
For me, black plastic is the perfect weed control. I do run the weed eater around the plastic because weeds and grass will grow up around the plastic. It will make your garden spot look so nice and neat with minimal effort.
4. Food & Water
All living things need food and water, especially sweet potato plants. The main symptoms of food and water deficiency is yellow leaves and dry soil. You can sprinkle a granular fertilizer at the base of each plant and then water to soak it in. That is the perfect combination to a perfect diet.
Last year, our perfect sweet potatoes were attached by fluffy, cute little VARMITS! Some local neighborhood bunny rabbits believed that my sweet potato stand was an all you can eat salad bar.
This year, I decided to use chicken wire and make large cages to get them started. So, I made them and then “stapled” them with bent wire into the black plastic. It’s actually worked pretty well so far.
Last year, I made some mistakes by not protecting them and I didn’t do a great job of weeding. I lost many many plants because of the pesky rabbits and I’m not taking any chances this year. It’s important to me to be able to grow our own food and there is absolutely no excuse for loss that could have been prevented.
I will keep you posted on the progress of my sweet potatoes. Visit the VLOG for the Sweet Potato planting video where I show you how we plant into the plastic. You’ll also see how muddy it was when we planted! (YIKES!).