Sweet Potato Education needed

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by vtfarma, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. vtfarma

    vtfarma Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    988
    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Location:
    VT
    Okay so I am a greenhorn when it comes to growing sweet potatoes. I got 25 plants from Burpees, the directions said to hill them but not to cover the flowers. These things are vines. What am I doing. I hilled them a few times as they grew taller but now they are running along the tops of the hills. THe next thing I expect is the potatoes to start growing on top of the soil. I have been gardening for years and have no clue right now on these things. What am I supposed to do with these? When do I dig? How much do I hill? Will they actually flower?

    Thanks in advance.

    Laurie
     
  2. margo

    margo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    858
    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    I have only grown sweet taters one time, and am growing some this summer after finally locating some starts at a hardware/farm supply. So I am no expert in any way. Rookie all the way.
    I think you are doing okay here from the sound iof it. The vines will spread alot much like cukes or melon vines do. The potato will grow in the hill where you planted it. Since you hilled up around the start, they will be fine. I would wait about eight weeks or more (from planting date, that is.) and go back to the hill where you planted some, loosen the dirt, and feel for the potatoes, if they look about like how you imagine mature taters go ahead and dig. If they are fulll size, they will probably have already pushed the soil out of the original mound some because of the displacement. If you wish to let em go longer, cover them back up.
    I found very llittle info by Googling "sweet potatoes" when I got my sweet potato starts, so am winging it myself. Advice to you is keep them watered and healthy give em time, and check em if your're curious. Don't think you can hurt em. Try looking for a garden forum or website using a different keyword. Say, like home gardening, or root crops etc. Post again please, I am interested in your results and want to help you and learn from you also. Good luck....Margo
     

  3. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,523
    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    I've been growing sweet potatoes for several years, & what you are doing is about the same as I do it. Here, we don't plant them until July. If they start getting themselves out of the dirt just pile some more on them to keep them from sunburning. The vines will run all over the garden, I've found some that were 10 ft long & they will have flowers. You can start digging them whenever you find some that are big enough. They need to be dug before frost kills the vines. They also need to be cured for a couple of weeks in a dry place at about 70 degrees before they are eaten to improve the taste.
     
  4. vtfarma

    vtfarma Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    988
    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Location:
    VT
    Thanks I will let everyone know how I am doing. I for the life of me thought that you started with seed potatoes so I am a bit naive on these things. The vines are very healthy and vigorous so I am assuming that they are growning fine in spite of me! :haha:
     
  5. I have read the threads on SP's and am getting tons of vines but havn't seen the flowers, what do they look like? Mine have been in the ground since May. I am in NC zone 7.
     
  6. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,649
    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hill Country, Texas
    Don't worry - you don't need to get flowers to get sweet potatos.
     
  7. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    To get the most potatoes, make sure your plants don't grow new roots along the vine. The best way to do this is to trellis the vine.
     
  8. Susan-DonB

    Susan-DonB Member

    Messages:
    21
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Stokes County, NC
    Thanks for the tip and I love your quote! I use to live in Broken Arrow, loved it!

    Blessings, Susan
     
  9. Susan-DonB

    Susan-DonB Member

    Messages:
    21
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Stokes County, NC
    I went back out and checked today and I have tat's I am so psyched! Can't wait to make a pie.
    Thanks,
    S.