Sweet Potato Grow Guide

Are You Ready to Grow Your Own Sweet Potatoes?

Outlaw Garden Grow-Your-Own Guide to Sweet PotatoesWhy settle for store-bought when homegrown is so easy and tasty?

In this e-book, you will learn to:

  • Find healthy “parent” sweets at the grocery store for starting your own slips.
  • Plant and tend your crop.
  • Sneak sweets in among the flowers with pots and containers.
  • Harvest a winter’s worth of healthy, homegrown roots.
  • And much more!

For the cost of a couple store-bought sweet potatoes, you will learn to grow dozens of delicious sweets in your own garden.

Get your copy today — just $4.99!

More than a vegetable!

Are you looking for a bit of beauty for your vegetable garden?

Or maybe you’re on the hunt for an edible that’ll fit easily among the ornamentals in your front yard?

Whatever your needs — edible, ornamental, a bit of both — sweet potatoes can be the plant for you. In addition to their tasty tubers, these plants offer summer-long beauty as a groundcover, in a container, or rambling down a retaining wall or embankment.

Get your copy today — just $4.99!

Sweet Potatoes: An Outlaw Garden Grow-Your-Own Guide

What else is in the book?

The whole guide runs 45 pages, and includes information about starting your own sweets from store-bought tubers, tending your home-started slips, nurturing your plants through the growing season, protecting them from hungry pests, harvesting them with care, and storing them through the winter. I’ve included a few suggestions for varieties and growers who offer sweets (including some organic growers), and a big FAQ section with answers to many of the more common questions that have been asked on the blog over the years.

It’s a PDF (this is not a physical book — it’s all digital for easy, quick access). Easy-peasy for anyone to read — it’ll work on computers, iPads and other mobile devices, and printed out. All the photos are full-color, and there are lots of links for more information online.

Get your copy today — just $4.99!

28 Comments

  1. This year I started growing sweet potato as ground cover in the front of my house. Noone notice them they look beautiful, I conbined purple leave and green, next year we are planning to plant tomatos and peppers around the house we see if anyone notice them. Luckly for us we don’t leave in a fancy neighborhood no homeowner’s association, the city does not bother if your grass is cut, I have couple of chickens in my backyard and a big vegetable garden. Happy gardening.!!!!

    Reply
    • I have a question for Luisa:
      As a ground cover, aren’t they annuals, that you have to replant at the end of the season?

      Reply
  2. Good Morning,
    I have a home garden with three varieties of sweet potatoes. Question i planted one that has leaves looking similar to clover leaf. How long that type will take to mature. I know for sure that one of the type is the yellow and that takes six months to mature. Thanks for your response.
    Jane

    Reply
    • Oh gosh, Jane. I’m not at all sure what variety of sweet potato you have — there are many, many varieties out there. I can tell you that most of them mature around 90-120 days. Maybe check on tuber development at about the 120-day mark. Good luck!

      Reply
  3. I have planted my sweet potatoes in late May early June. The vines are still Beautiful and seem to be still growing. Do I need to wait till the first frost to dig them or does it matter that the vines are still fine? I know that you have said that the take 90 to 120 days to mature, so I was just wondering about the vines.
    Thank You for your time. Angie

    Reply
    • Hi Angie — You can probably harvest your sweets now or wait a bit longer. The vines will stay looking lovely right up until the first frost zaps them (at which point you should harvest right away if you haven’t already).

      Reply
      • Thank you for the information I will start to harvest them once it stops raining. I can’t wait to see how many I get.
        Angie

        Reply
  4. Hello,
    thanks for the great info shared here. I was just wondering about your other methods of curing. I don’t have anywhere here in Indiana at this time that even comes close to 85 or 90 degrees for 10 days….can you share your other methods? Also, this was my first year growing and even though I have tons, I have some badly damaged sweets (split, broken). How soon do these have to be used?

    Reply
    • You’ll find more details in the ebook, but the quick answer is that you don’t really even need to cure your sweets. Just let them sit for several weeks at room temperature before you eat them. Definitely eat those damaged ones first, perhaps even right away. They are edible when freshly harvested, just not as sweet. Perfect for savory soups or stews!

      Reply
  5. Thank you so much for your reply!

    Reply
  6. I’ve read sweet potato slips may be started by putting a sweet potato into a jar of water. My question is does it matter which end is submerged. The potatoes I’m working with have one rounded and one pointed end. Am I over thinking this or does which way round matter? I live in south Africa, Kwazulu natal which is tropical

    Reply
    • You’ll find more details in the actual e-book, Bernette, but the quick answer is that I don’t think it matters. The method you describe isn’t exactly how I do it, but I know others start their sweets that way. Give it a try, and good luck!

      Reply
  7. I just got done digging my sweet potatoes and I was just wondering how deep they usually grow or do they stay close to the top of the ground. I also was wondering how many do you usually get from a plant. For my first time growing them I think I did rather well.

    Reply
    • This varies a bit with varieties, but I find that most of my tubers are no deeper than a foot or so (and often in the top six inches). Actual yield also varies with varieties as well as growing conditions. I’ve harvested as little as less than a pound from late-planted and/or shade-grown plants, and as much as 5-6 pounds from large and happy plants that grew in full sun. In my experience 3-4 pounds per plant seems to be about average, often divided between a few nice-sized tubers and additional smaller tubers.

      I’m glad to hear you’re happy with your harvest. Congrats!

      Reply
  8. I was wondering if you would know why the outer skins would be dark in color? the inside of the potato was orange and they don’t seem to be bad to eat just have to peal them. at one end of the plot they were just fine but went from good to bad as you went down the row. I added a lot of compost and leaves to the garden area and used hilling to plant the slips in. I started my slips at the start of Feb. and had around 100 by the time to plant so they were in water for several months which was changed periodically. I have a new space for next year. I just haven’t had them turn almost black outside before, these were the forth year of potatoes I started slips from.

    Reply
    • It sounds like you might have scurf. If so, those sweets are completely edible, but may not last in storage as long as the unblemished ones. Scurf is a soil-borne fungus, and can only survive without a host (sweet potatoes and morning glories) for two years. It’s more of a problem for commercial growers, because it can make the roots look less appealing. To get rid of it, I’d suggest starting fresh slips next year — either from newly-purchased sweets or slips, or from your own sweets that show absolutely no evidence of scurf — and then planting in a new location for the next two growing seasons.

      Here’s some more info: http://extension.psu.edu/plants/vegetable-fruit/news/2014/scurf-on-sweet-potato

      Reply
      • Thanks. The picture of the ones in the sight you sent me those were a lot better then mine, Thought it could be scurf but wasn’t sure. and glad other things can be planted there next year so I don’t waste the ground.

        Reply
  9. Can you grow sweet potatoes in Washington State?

    Reply
    • Sure! You’ll probably want to choose a variety that matures in 90-100 days rather than 110-120 days, but otherwise you should be fine. If you can, set your plants in an especially warm microclimate. Heat seems to help them produce larger harvests (at least, my best harvests always seem to be after the hottest summers).

      Reply
  10. I just bought your e-book! I’m excited. I’ve never grown sweet potatos before, but I love to eat them. The leaves look so beautiful! I also wanted to let you know that I found your sweet potato article through Pinterest. Can’t wait to read your book, even though it’s January. And I’m going to check out the link on seed catalogs, too.

    Reply
    • Wonderful! Sweet potatoes are one of my favorites in the garden every year. So productive and hardy, and then so tasty all winter long! 🙂

      Reply
  11. Hello! I found some tiny whole sweet potatoes, which are about the size of a thumb, lying around in my tool shed. While they do have some nice new roots growing in the humid shed (it’s been raining in LA), there aren’t any leaves growing at all. Should I just plant them in soil with the side containing more roots facing down?

    Reply
    • Your best bet would probably be to stick those little sweets in some water, and then to grow your plants from the slips that form. You’ll find detailed instructions in the grow guide for how to start your slips and get them going in the garden. Good luck — that’s a great find in your tool shed!

      Reply
  12. Last year I planted 28 beauregards and ended up with almost nothing. Something got in to the bed and ate the leaves right off the plants. We had mice for the first time and that was frustrating. And to make matters worse the weather was not hot. We had a wet and cool summer. Needless to say I was frustrated. The year before our sweet potatoes were not much either. The year I had great success was when I randomly loosened the soil and added dirt and marsh grass to the hills. I rotate the my crops so they are not in the same area and I basically do lasagna gardening. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • I think you’ve done a pretty good job of identifying your challenges here, Jane. Wet and cool is exactly the opposite of what sweet potatoes want, and that is probably the biggest reason for your poor harvest. There’s obviously nothing you can do about the weather, but you can help the sweets by planting them in a warmer / sunnier spot on your property, or even growing in large containers — the soil warms faster in containers.

      The leaf damage could have been deer (they love sweet potato leaves), rabbits or groundhog. Best best there would be to cover your sweets with bird netting, or plant them behind a pest-proof fence.

      Sweets like loose, well-draining soil, and give the largest harvests when fertility is actually a little low. I wonder if your lansagna gardening is actually retaining too much moisture for the sweets? It’s just a guess, but maybe try planting them somewhere less rich next year? If your soil is heavy, you might try mixing in some sand or compost. Just don’t go heavy with the fertilizer — that will give you a lot of leaves but not much in the way of roots.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  13. Thank you for the info! My dad always planted them but I never took time to ask questions.

    Reply
  14. I bought an organic Sweet Potato earlier this year, it sprouted so I cut off that part put it in water for awhile then planted it in the garden. I am new to gardening so didn’t know what to expect. It has lots of five pointed leaves on it. Your info has helped me tremendously, now I know when to harvest ‘it’ and what to do with it after. My question is this, While I was looking for info on Sweet pots I came across some YouTube videos that said that the leaves can be eaten, however the leaves they had didn’t look anything like mine. Do you know if my 5 pointed leaves are edible? I have discovered that the leaves of broccoli plants and Kohlrabi Plants can be eaten. I’ve been making pesto out of them and stir frying some. Thank you for your help and information.

    Reply
    • Yep! Definitely edible. Some sweet potatoes have cut-leaf leaves, and have either three or five points. Others are more spade shaped. All are edible.

      Reply

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