How Many Sweet Potatoes Per Plant

A sweet potato plant’s roots grow underground, while the plant’s vines grow above ground. But what about the tubers, the sweet potato’s edible portion? So, do sweet potatoes grow on a vine or in the ground? Sweet potatoes grow as tubers in the ground, where the plant accumulates sugar carbohydrates.

These tubers are the harvested and consumed parts of the plant. In addition, tubers will sprout and produce slips planted to produce more sweet potato plants. Sweet potatoes can, of course, be propagated from vine cuttings if desired. However, sweet potato slips grown from tubers are a more common planting technique.

In our guide, you can look at how sweet potato tubers and vines grow in more detail and how you need to consider strong them. Many of the above can be based on the sweet potato yield per plant.

Sweet Potatoes Per Plant

The questions come of how many potatoes per plant you can expect to harvest, and from this, you’ll see how many sweet potato plants per person for eating and storage. (Learn How Long Does It Take For Potatoes To Grow)

By the end, you can see how all your gardening efforts are great fun and worthwhile when you have a good harvest of sweet potatoes to store.

How Many Potatoes Do You Get From One Plant?

Sweet potatoes are a huge, naturally sweet-tasting root of the morning glory family and have no relation to regular potatoes. As a result, they’re an easy crop to cultivate as long as you have plenty of sun and warm soil.

You can find sweet potatoes are drought resistant, heat, as well as pests and illnesses.

While sweet potatoes are typically a Southern crop, many short-season cultivars are grown in the North, mainly in raised beds and covered with black plastic mulch.

The sweet potato is nutritious, high in beta-carotene, and low in calories. In addition, the orange-fleshed vegetables can be stored longer than winter squash and harvested from a few plants.

Sweet Potatoes vs. Yams

Even at supermarket stores, sweet potatoes are occasionally called yams. However, they are not a true yam, as these are dried tubers from Africa and are occasionally found in specialty stores. In the United States, we grow sweet potatoes with deep orange meat and a copper peel.

When you want to know how long it takes sweet potatoes to grow, you better understand the basics first.

Soil

Sweet potatoes grow best in soil that is loose, well-drained, and high in organic matter. Mix the soil with well-aged compost and place a good amount in each planting hole when planting in the garden. (Learn How To Tell When Potatoes Are Ready To Harvest)

Planting

Your slips should be spaced at least 12 to 18 inches apart. Soil up to the first pair of leaves and bury the stems.

Fill grow bags with growing mix and a shovel of compost, as well as half a cup of organic fertilizer if needed, if you’re growing sweet potatoes in them. Slips are rooted sprouts from older mature tubers used to grow sweet potatoes. Sweet potato slips can be gained in a garden center like potted plants.

Sweet potato plants are not cold-tolerant and should only be planted once the soil temperature has reached at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, temperatures should be above 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

Keep the soil warm before planting sweet potatoes by covering the planting area with black plastic for a few days or weeks before planting. Then, for the first 3 to 4 weeks following planting, protect your newly planted slips from cool spring evenings. Then, to prevent stress on the new plants, cover them with a garden cloth.

Fertilizing

It’s OK to use organic manure while planting sweet potato slips. However, don’t fertilize your sweet potatoes until after they’ve been planted.

Sweet potatoes don’t need a lot of nutrients; too much nitrogen favors leaf growth rather than tuber growth.

Best time to harvest Sweet Potatoes

How Many Sweet Potatoes Will You Get From One Slip?

When gardeners want a bumper harvest, how many sweet potatoes do you get from one plant is a common question when gardeners want a bumper harvest.

Many sweet potatoes can be produced from a whole sweet potato plant. Sweet potatoes generate one bushel (50 pounds) for each plant, according to experts.

On average, a medium sweet potato weighs 4 ounces. This equates to approximately four medium sweet potatoes per plant. Some varieties of these root vegetables can grow eight or more tubers.

Of all, it all relies on the type of plant, the climate, the soil, and how well you care for your plants.

Sweet potato tubers will be ready to harvest after 3 or 4 months of growth. Sweet potato tubers develop underground, but you can know when it’s time to harvest them by looking above ground. Just look for leaves and vines, which will give you a decent indicator. (Read What Can You Plant With Potatoes)

It’s almost time to harvest grown sweet potatoes when the leaves and vines dry out and turn yellow. Sweet potato tubers usually take 85 to 120 days to mature after planting.

There are rare exceptions, such as unusually cold weather or a frost in the early fall. According to experts, if the sweet potato vines are frost-damaged, the tubers should be harvested as soon as possible.

Harvesting Sweet Potatoes

Dig up a sample of sweet potatoes grown after the leaves and vines dry out and turn yellow to test if the tubers are ready to harvest. The tubers are found in the soil’s upper 6 inches (15 centimeters).

To make your task easier when the sweet potatoes are ready to harvest, cutaway and eliminate the plant’s vines. Use a garden fork instead of a shovel when digging for sweet potatoes. This eliminates the need to cut and slice the sweet potatoes.

Harvesting and handling sweet potato tubers should be done with caution because they are easily damaged. To begin, boil the bruised or sliced tubers.

Can You Eat Sweet Potatoes After Harvesting?

Sweet potatoes are ready to eat as soon as they are harvested. However, they will get sweeter if you allow them to cure (mature) for a while.

Experts recommend keeping sweet potato tubers in a warm environment between 80- and 90-degrees Fahrenheit (27 and 32 degrees Celsius) for ten days to cure them. As a result, some starches will convert to sugars, making the flesh sweeter.

Sweet Potato Vines and Leaves

Sweet potatoes have vines, which grow above the soil’s surface, and according to experts, sweet potato is a type of tropical vine native to the Americas.

Sweet potato vines slither throughout the ground, growing in every way. The vines soon cover a large area. Weeds have a hard time growing near sweet potatoes because the leaves provide so much shade!

You can propagate extra plants by taking cuttings from a sweet potato vine. When a vine cutting is submerged in water, it forms roots and grows.

The rooted slice can then be transplanted into the soil to start a new sweet potato plant. You may also cultivate the vine as a houseplant by submerging it in water. Using slips that sprout from your tubers, is another way to grow your own sweet potato plants.

Do Sweet Potato Vines Climb?

Sweet potato vines can climb, but not organically. Like tomatoes or bush beans, sweet potato plants prefer to crawl. But you can support and secure sweet potatoes to allow climbing. This is useful in a small, container, and square foot gardens where the room is limited.

Plant sweet potato vines at the base of a trellis and let them climb.

So sweet potatoes are typically grown as annuals from sweet potato slips. Sweet potato slips have two or more leaves and grow from a sprouted tuber. (Learn When To Dig Up Potatoes)

Planting Sweet Potatoes

When to Plant Sweet Potatoes

Growing sweet potatoes will be from cuttings rather than seeds. They’re grown from cuttings called slips, sprouts taken from already-grown raw sweet potatoes.

  1. Plant slips 3 to 4 weeks after the last spring frost when nighttime temperatures have reached at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius). The trick is to plant them early enough to grow correctly, but not too early for a late spring frost to kill them.
  2. Make sure you have a long enough growing season before you plant. Most cultivars of sweet potato tuber will mature in three to four months, or 90 to 120 days. Check your frost dates and growing season length.
  3. However, the root vegetable does need full sun in your vegetable garden.
  4. When you’re ready to plant, you can get slips from garden centers, nurseries, online catalogs, and local farmers.
  5. You can also start your own, although this would require more effort. Look for new, smooth, organic sweet potatoes with store sweet potatoes or those at the farmers’ market in the fall.
  6. Store the sweet potatoes until mid-April, or about 90 days before the final spring frost, in the cold (55°F) dark area.
  7. Place the sweet potatoes in containers over 3 inches of light, organic, well-draining soil. Make sure there’s enough room between each sweet.
  8. Cover lightly with a few inches of extra dirt. Water is needed to keep the soil wet but not saturated.
  9. Maintain a temperature of 75°F to 80°F in the soil and the space in direct sunshine (using a heating map if necessary).
  10. The slips will be 6 to 12 inches long, with leaves and roots in 4 to 6 weeks.
  11. Remove the sweet potato slips with the roots attached.
  12. If it’s too early to plant, keep the slips moist in potting mix or sand until planting time.

Preparing a Planting Site

  1. Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil. A sweet potato plant isn’t fussy about poor soil, although sweet potatoes are grown in sandier soil and need lots of air space for their roots to extend down. Consider raised beds if your soil is clay, rocky, or compact.
  2. Ensure there’s enough room for the vines to grow (3 feet between rows so the vines).
  3. You should mix in 8 to 10 inches of organic materials. They can tolerate poor soil but keep it moist, fertile, and well-drained. Next, add compost, perlite, and coconut coir.
  4. Consider covering the growing area with black plastic or fabric mulch about three weeks before planting if you live in the northern United States or Canada. This helps as the soil warms easier this way.
  5. Raised mounds should be 6 to 8 inches tall and 12 inches wide.

How to Plant Sweet Potato Slips

  1. When the soil temperatures reach 60°F, plant the slips on a warm, gloomy day.
  2. Remove the lower leaves and only keep the top ones.
  3. Set the slips 12 to 18 inches apart, deep enough to cover the roots and stem up to the leaves (sweet potatoes will develop on the nodes).
  4. To ensure that the plants root well, water with a high-phosphorus liquid fertilizer and then water generously for 7 to 10 days.

Care

  • Apply 5-10-10 fertilizer to the sweet potato plants two to three weeks after transplanting. Use extra if your soil is sandy.
  • Starting two weeks after planting, weed the sweet potato beds regularly.
  • Deep digging with a hoe or any other tool disrupts the feeder roots should be avoided.
  • Water frequently, especially in the middle of the summer. During hot, dry weather, deep irrigation will help to boost yields.
  • You should not prune sweet potato vines; they should be strong.
  • Reduce watering late in the season to minimize the tuber’s skin cracking during storage.

Pests and Plant Diseases

  • Flea beetles and Whiteflies
  • Stem rot (Fusarium wilt)
  • Sweet potato scurf
  • White rust

Recommended Varieties

Variety with orange flesh or copper skin is the fastest-growing, but you can also choose white, yellow, or purple flesh. For example, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are juicy, whereas white and yellow sweet potatoes are creamy.

Born in Louisiana, Beauregard thrives in the North. It has dark crimson roots and reddish-orange flesh.

Centennial is a popular sweet potato variety. It’s carrot-colored and keeps well. It also produces well in the North.

Harvesting Sweet Potatoes

How to Harvest Sweet Potatoes

As soon as the potatoes are big enough to eat, dig them up.

Harvest sweet potato leaves and vine ends 100 days after planting when they turn yellow.

  1. Loosen the soil around one sweet potato at about 18 inches around, 4 to 6 inches deep, to avoid injuring the tubers: cutaway some sweet potato leaves and vines.
  2. Pull up the plant’s primary crown and dig up the tubers by hand.
  3. Handle the sweet potatoes carefully, as they bruise easily.
  4. Shake off excess dirt, and do not wash the roots.
  5. Complete harvesting by the first frost to get nice tubers and a good crop.

How To Cure Sweet Potatoes?

  • Curing sweet potatoes gives them a delicious flavor and heals cuts and bruises.
  • To cure, store roots in a warm place (about 80°F) at high humidity (about 90%) for 10 to 14 days. A table outside in a shady spot works well, and place sweet potatoes, so they don’t touch.
  • After curing, discard bruised sweet potatoes and wrap each in a newspaper.
  • They are carefully packed in a wooden box or basket.
  • Store in a humid root cellar or basement between 55° and 60°F—about 6 months from purchase.
  • Handle sweet potatoes carefully; they bruise easily.

How Many Sweet Potatoes Per Plant

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