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October 10, 2011

Sweet potato harvest

Back in July I planted some sweet potato slips from a grocery store potatoes, and now, in October, it is time to harvest the crop. I was astounded by the size of the potatoes:

Just a few of them weighted at four pounds, but total of six pounds from two little twigs grown from a potato:

You can see on these pictures that potatoes are cracked and split, this is because we had so much rain lately. These potatoes are still very edible, but for the storage you need potatoes that are intact. This is why it is advised to grow sweet potatoes in hills, that is in soil piled up well above the ground to provide good drainage. I do not have the space in my garden to dedicate to storage sweet potatoes, but if this is your goal, you need to grow them either in raised beds or in hills.

Usually, it is expected to harvest two to five pounds of sweet potatoes from every slip, depending on the fertility of the soil and growing conditions. But hey, would you complain if you grew even one pound of potatoes per slip from a store bought potato? This is free food at it's best.


  1. Enjoy your free harvest! A little envious - have tried several times to grow sweet potatoes here in upstate NY - never worked out for us.

  2. I'm sorry to hear that, but don't give up! Sweet potatoes are not only the Florida thing. Indians grew them, I have a few friends in Idaho that are growing them.

    Maybe you should start them in March under the row covers, you know - make some hoops and cover with clear plastic, to extend the season. Sweet potatoes need five to six months of warm weather, above 80F. Row covers will provide most of that.

    Try that next season, just a few slips, and see how it goes. Also, sweet potatoes, just like other root crops like "hilling". Grow them in hills. Pile up your soil in hills and plant the slips.



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