SWEET POTATO (Tubers: JUN-NOV; Slips: All Year) ***SOLD OUT***
BOTANICAL NAME: Ipomoea batatas
COMMON NAMES: Sweet Potato
ORIGIN: Central or South America
The sweet potato is a vigorous growing plant with trailing vines up to 4m long producing large tubers below the ground.
Young leaves and stem tips may be used cooked as a spinach substitute.
Tubers are delicious baked, made into soup, used as chips and added to curries and stews. As a general rule, sweet potato cultivars with white or pale yellow flesh are less sweet and moist than those with red, pink or orange flesh.
Sweet potato plants can be a useful groundcover in frost-free permaculture orchards. Keep in mind that they are particularly attractive to bandicoots, turkeys, rabbits and wallabies.
Tubers should be planted at the beginning of warm weather. It is best if tubers have begun to sprout before planting. Note that planting too early into a cold, wet soil may cause them to rot. A sufficient growing season of 110 - 170 days is required to produce good sized tubers and the plant will struggle in the cooler areas of Australia. Sweet potato plants are sensitive to frost.
Plant tubers 7cm deep with spacing of plants 20cm apart.
Slips (cutting from the vine which have rooted may also be planted with great success.
Sweet potatoes do well in both sandy and loamy soils with a pH of 5.2-6.7. The area should be frost-free for at least five months with warm days and nights.
Tubers are ready to harvest when the vines die back in late autumn. Using a garden fork, dig carefully to avoid breakage of the skin. Tubers will store for many months in a cool, dark, dry place.
LIKES: Dill, Chives, Borage, Summer Savory, Oregano, Bean, Nasturtium, Alyssum, Spinach
DISLIKES: Squash, Zucchini, Tomato, Sunflower