You get the best of both worlds from them. But trust me, my lazy way works. Sweet Potato’s Insect Pests. Don’t forget the leaves are also edible. Now I have seen videos where you grow the slips and plant those. Where garden space is … They’re the ultimate, sustainable crop for a lazy Jacksonville gardener like me. Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are a warm weather vegetable; they do not grow like regular potatoes.Growing sweet potatoes require a long frost-free growing season. Super healthy! Ideal spacing is 10-18” between each slip as you plant. Sweet potatoes will grow in poor soil, but deformed roots may develop in heavy clay or long and stringy in sandy dirt. Sweet potatoes are typically started from transplants called "slips." I like to sit by the garden bed and dig them up by hand. Water and fertilize on a regular basis, and mound soil around the stems as the plants grow. It helps heal some of the harvest injuries and prepares them for long-term storage. Sweet potato is a fast - you might even say rampant - grower, staying fairly low to the ground. Sweet potatoes don’t need to be trellised, they can … Have you seen my hub: 'How to grow sweet potatoes in a container', published in April last year? Some people harvest using a spading fork. In tropical regions they grow year round in permanent patches making a beautiful ground cover. Growing sweet potatoes in pots from sprouts in water then into a pot and then additional pots. The potato is one of America's most popular vegetables. To start growing potatoes in Florida, you plant the potato tuber. Just be careful not to bruise them. Sweet potatoes are planted in the spring and early summer, after the growing season for white potatoes, so they can fit nicely into the traditional production systems. She writes: “I started growing sweet potatoes a few years ago. Sweet potatoes may be associated with the southern U.S., but they will grow in just about any garden. To create the perfect environment, create long, wide, 10-inch-high ridges spaced 3½ feet apart. If you’re new to Florida, or new to gardening, you may not realize that you can actually grow quite a lot of food in Florida in Winter. The mighty potato is a staple root crop in most of the world. 9513 N. Nebraska Ave. Tampa, FL 33612 (813) 932-9775, Monday thru Friday 8:00am- 5:30pm Saturday 8am - 3:30pm Closed on Sundays. $5.00 In the North, cover the raised rows with black plastic to keep th… Harvesting is easiest when the dirt is dry. The potatoes themselves have been somewhat unpredictable, but I have produced some. We ate our taters all winter and into the spring retelling the story of our competition. Some sweet potatoes looked like string beans. Sweet potatoes don’t require a ton of water. I'm eager to do more! Many folks find it helpful to mulch the 3’ space between rows/beds to help the leaves in their efforts to keep weeds from encroaching on the grow mounds. You can’t go wrong. We both won the competition because this plant thrives no matter how you plant it or care for it. Pingback: Mama's Backyard Garden | It’s time to plant Sweet Potatoes. Happy Thanksgiving To All! I’ve grown sweet potatoes in my riased bed and had a fantastic harvest. Plant potatoes throughout the state in January; you can still plant them in February in North and Central Florida. Growing Sweet Potatoes is pretty easy. It's happiest in sunny areas. You have chosen to donate $5.00 monthly. I left some in the dirt one year until the first frost turned all the leaves black. when they came up and got a few inches long i cut some of the runners and stuck them around also. Then I roast them on a 350 degree preheated cast-iron skillet in my oven for about 30 to 45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes or so. good looking Sweet taters David,i'm hoping for a few myself but i planted very late.I bought some sweet taters from Tim sometime over the summer, cut the ends off them, and stuck them in the ground all around. Here’s what I’ve learned so far. Years ago a friend gifted me with a handful of slips. Slips are baby plants that sprout from a mature sweet potato. So, now I’m back to harvesting as I want to eat them throughout the fall, then digging up the entire plot after the first frost. My all-time favorite is roasted! In South Florida, plant them from October to January. I don’t know what my hens would do without the abundance of sweet potato leaves and Okinawa spinach – the only greens that thrive in our garden during the relentless summer heat. You can grow them starting in mid-Spring and the vines will flourish during the heat of Summer while growing wonderful treats underground to harvest in the Fall and early Winter. Those elbows, if left in the soil, will set new plants, which will set new tubers. The great thing about gardening is that it is a life-long learning process. In north Florida, we plant sweet potatoes late March through early June. Both the roots and leaves are loaded with nutritional value and oh so very delicious. Lots of water can even encourage fungus, which any Florida gardener know is an enormous problem for any garden plants. Recommended varieties for Florida are Red Pontiac, Sebago, Atlantic, Red La Soda and Superior. Solanum tuberosum, the scientific name for potato, also called the Irish potato, is a cool-season crop.It is grown commercially in Florida for both fresh market and chipping in the winter and spring months when the days are warm and the nights are cool. Written by db on June 21st, 2012. Sweet potatoes prefer a warm environment, so try to choose an area that gets a lot of sunlight (especially if you live in the north) and is well drained. I'm mostly vegetarian. Grow a lush beautiful vine from a bottleneck vase (or a glass soda bottle!) I select the smallest ones and scrub the skins really well. 3 Comments. While other states lead in sweet potato production, Florida is ranked fifth in growing sweet potatoes; it’s a decent ranking as many states grow these popular tubers. Maybe I’ll try both ways as we have room. If you like, you can gently wipe off the excess dirt. You can also find more information I’ve put together from my research on our website, Easy Eating: Top Container Garden Recipes. Can’t wait to harvest. A long hot growing season is ideal for growing these tuber-like roots. Posts with the growing sweet potatoes in florida tag gardening, plants. They’ll develop thick skins that help them store for months! You’ll find some recipes posted here. Copyright © 2017 Sustainable North Florida a Wuji Technology Inc. program. Here’s our Top 5 Pro-Tips for growing Sweet Potatoes here in Florida. How easy is that? And I even attracted some root pests that ate holes in my taters. This skin is essential for storing your sweet potatoes for any length of time. Florida’s Sweet Potatoes Industry . Donation Total: I put them in a large mixing bowl with other garden goodies (onions, leeks, garlic, fennel bulbs, baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, etc). For the crafty. Growing Sweet potatoes Planting & Growing from Slips. I don’t even fertilize them, but then I plant everything in my homegrown, rich, organic compost. With every bite, I’m glad I spent the little effort required to grow them! It certainly was an exciting journey in growing the sweet potatoes. I find it fulfilling. Admittedly I’m a sweet tater novice who hates sweating in the heat, so it’s full of short cuts. Each vine can grow to be over ten feet long. they're all growing vines. If it is windy, you’re better off waiting until the next afternoon. I am so glad you found the article helpful. They only need about 1” of water once a week if it hasn’t rained. They will grow best when they are set in the ground in the late afternoon on a sunny day that is NOT windy. If you’re working with tubers left over from last year’s harvest just cut them into cubes, making sure every section has an eye or sprout. Marissa. I don’t recommend storage in the refrigerator either, because any temperature below 55 degrees Fahrenheit changes the starches and sugars in the potato and degrades a lot of the nutritive value of this very tasty tuber. Young sweet potatoes are using every ounce of energy to put up leaves that will generate more energy through photosynthesis. Silly me. We hope you are safe and happy celebrating home, and hearth, and food, and togetherness - even if it’s over video through the... Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about composting - because it’s trending right now! I love cooking what I grow and creating recipes to incorporate whole grains, beans and seeds. The sweet potato is a warm-season crop that requires a long growing season, ample sunlight and light-to-medium, well-drained soils to perform well. One of my favorite plants, the sweet potato, is easy to grow and a great choice for summer gardens. Sustainable North Florida is part of a Benefits Corporation therefore, your donation is greatly appreciated but is NOT tax deductible. Prepping the garden this year, I found more little sweet potatoes from last year and replanted them in a new patch. Written by Trish Michaels ● June 25, 2013 ● 4 Comments. Certification insures that the seed tubers are free of disease. Learn how your comment data is processed. The process takes up to 10 days. The potato is one of America's most popular vegetables, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension and is a popular crop for home gardeners due to its relative ease of growing and high yields. When you buy from us, we give you a guide that is provided to us straight from the grower. Often I give both tubers and volunteers to friends so they can start their own tater patch. The perfect crop for lazy gardeners like me! Growing Sweet Potatoes – by Mark Govan, host of “Florida Gardening” heard on 970WFLA. Let your taters dry in the sun on top of the bed for several hours (or days). Work in plenty of compost, avoiding nitrogen-rich fertilizers that produce lush vines and stunted tubes. They can be planted a month sooner in central and southern Florida. Visit their website here. Monthly. Sweet potato grown from slips generally need at least 4 months of frost-free growing. Try to avoid disturbing the vines as much as you can. Daytime temperatures in the upper eighties and low nineties severely limit choices we have to grow in the garden. My first harvested sweet potato looked like and as big as a fetus! on April 7, 2015 in Things to Eat 0. I find they store longer when I don’t wipe off any of the dirt. Oddly, I’m not crazy about baked sweet potatoes, so each year I experiment with new recipes. of potatoes per person each year. When the tuber is planted, it is called a "seed" potato. Interested in learning about green events throughout the year, check out our calendars! How To Grow Potatoes in Florida. While sweet potato slips are pretty tough little things, they do need to quickly get to growing like they were born to do. The late, great, J.C. Raulston once said, “If you’re not killing plants, you’re not stretching yourself as a gardener.” Learn by doing, gain knowledge from the failures, but more importantly, relish the successes, (because they’re delicious!) They act as a natural mulch, shade the ground, and choke out the competition, while harboring moisture the plants need to grow strong and healthy. Once the vines are established, they are naturally multipurpose! It even has some protein! What is your favorite green event during Earth Month (April)? To keep them as nourished as possible, you’ll need to keep the area free of any other competition that would steal the precious nutrients they need. Written by Trish Michaels June 25, 2013 4 Comments. I begin harvesting them in November, or earlier for some varieties or for “baby bakers.” Join our gardening community, and sign up for our email newsletter, for helpful free articles, resources, inspiration, and more! there is one more fun thing you can do with sweet potato slips beyond tasty garden treats. and that can be an invitation for pests and disease to enter the plant and wreak havoc. Over the weeks and months they produce luscious vines with beautiful purple flowers. as a houseplant. You may be familiar with sweet potatoes among Thanksgiving dinner tables, but these crops thrive in Florida’s hot summers. The Southeast’s long, hot summers are just what the sweet potato needs as it requires at the very least 150 frost-free days. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. I put them in green smoothies all through the hot summer months when most other greens aren’t growing. You can get started from sweet potato slips purchased at local feed stores. Or wait for the leaves to turn yellow from the first frost. Here’s our Top 5 Pro-Tips for growing Sweet Potatoes here in Florida. Now I realize they don’t need any water or care. Sweet potatoes love the heat as long as they get enough water. We have a lot of local resources that can help you, as well as some at the State and even the Federal level. I launched Sustainable North Florida in 2012 as a way to donate my digital marketing skills to help promote the many sustainable events and people greening our community - and to connect with other locals who share my passion for protecting natural resources, eating healthy and living green. Remember to keep them away from onions and garlic which can make sweet potatoes rot quickly! You can buy certified seed from a number of reputable garden supply stores. Thanks for reading, If you would like to know how to grow a big harvest of sweet potato watch this video for my five top tips on sweet potato growing! Learn how to grow sweet potatoes with these tips from our experts. Then I move them to my garage. But we still get leaves that fall to the ground during this time of year. Soon you’ll have a gorgeous decorative vine! They easily damage (even a strong wind can hurt them!) Last year’s leftover sweet potatoes are sprouting by spring and ready to become this year’s crop. When thinking about how to grow sweet potato plants, realize that these particular tubers grow on vines. When growing potatoes, it is important to take into consideration the time it … Planted sweet potatoes here in Central Florida for the first time last year. Don’t ask me how they know. Once they’re started, you’ll have everything you need to grow them year after year. The blog this week is to help encourage you to pick out some fine Winter crops to grow this year, to give you a little time to... ©2020 Shell's Feed & Garden Supply | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Web Dev by Design Formare Inc. “Shell’s – Family Owned & Operated Since 1961”, Those are the top 5 Pro-Tips I have for sweet potato growing. I planted some in late July once and still had a banner yield. I planted mine all crowded together in a flat area. Don’t forget you can eat the leaves too. I always recommend working Shell’s Organic 3-3-3 into the mound as you work because it helps create a natural, bioavailable nutrient source for hungry plants. Glad I got some. I turn under the vines so they’ll grow again on their own. The perfect crop for lazy gardeners like me! And, if growers can take advantage of Florida’s climate and plant sweet potatoes earlier than in other competing states, they might hit a market window advantage and get higher prices. Sustainable North Florida remains free and takes time and energy to provide quality consolidated information with value to our audience. Pro-Tip #1: Work the soil loose down deep, then build a “mound” about 12” high. I haven’t had much luck growing the slips. I tried growing them year-round here, but didn’t like digging up monster-sized, tough, old potatoes. You’ll get the best results planting right away, but even if they sit around and become slimy and stinky, they will STILL do fine if you get them in the ground. One hundred degrees is just fine for these aggressive vines. Daytime temperatures in the upper eighties and low nineties severely limit choices we have to grow in the garden. I put my harvest in newspaper-lined boxes, then place the boxes on my back deck out of the sun for a week. Shell’s Feed & Garden Supply sponsors the chickens and chicken coops there. I purchased an oriental sweet potato from an Organic Farmers Market and just put it in the ground and watered it. Sweet potatoes can be planted in the spring through the end of June. In central Florida, they should be planted before mid February. Growing sweet potatoes is an adventure, and we hope that you will dive in and have fun with it! My writing is based on my studies in Biology and Health, and my experiences from gardening with my family as a child. The planting window is from about mid January to early March. They’re delicious and high in nutritional value. What’s more effortless, rewarding, nutritious, delicious and fully sustainable than growing sweet potatoes in Florida? In the fall, check on them. In a few weeks, green sprouts will pop up. The part we eat is the tuberous root of a vining plant that is closely related to morning glories (Ipomoea tricolor) and youll easily see the similarity in leaves to the sweet potato vines we now grow as ornamentals. Roasted sweet potatoes with sautéed greens. Ideally, the pH is between 5.8 and 6.2, although, they will tolerate a more acidic pH to 5.0 Plant slips 10-12 inches apart and allows room for the … Make sure you give them plenty of room for expansion because the vines spread quickly, taking over anything in their way. (A 10-foot row will produce 8 to 10 pounds of potatoes.) I find they’re quite flexible on harvest time. Research Brief: With Support, Social Enterprise Could Drive Job Growth in Africa, Real Change in the Real Economy: Decarbonizing Industry, The race to mainstream electric vehicles by 2030. You can grow potatoes straight into the garden if you would like or you can grow them vertically in a canister. If your summer is short, pick an early variety like Beauregard or Georgia Jet to ensure you’ll have enough … But keep the vines trim or they’ll take over! It is a nutritious, filling food that is high in Vitamin C, Potassium, Fiber, and Vitamin B-6. Many gardeners feel it does best in a partial sun situation where it gets a bit of afternoon shade. Other than that I have had good yields with peppers, so my gardening skills are a constant work in progress. I get the root growth in the jar with water, but I guess they just don’t like the heat in my kitchen windowsills much. You can eat them fresh out of the ground, but they get sweeter when fully cured. Work the soil loose down deep so the sweet potato tubers grow long and smooth. Both slips and cuttings go directly into the dirt ideally between March and June. This is usually about 6”. Lyda has some sweet potato problems – maybe you can help! She planted hers like her grandparents did – at the top of high dirt mounds. The colorful potatoes are grown throughout the state and are good sources of vitamins A and C. Unfortunately, the potatoes also have unwanted pests. In fact, they do their best work in soil that isn’t heavy with water. Or from tubers and vines from a friend who grows them. Thanks for reading! I’m an over-educated, passionate, gardening and pet enthusiast, and I have found the perfect job! Soil prep is best done in advance, so that when the slips are brought to the garden they are ready to pop right into the ground. The first thing you should know about growing sweet potatoes is that they love hot weather! They just do. By late spring they’ve sprouted. They grow well in sandy soil and don't require much fertilizing. The only time to fuss with the vines is to lift the vine “elbows” out of the soil. You can grow them starting in mid-Spring and the vines will flourish during the heat of Summer while growing wonderful treats underground to harvest in the Fall and early Winter. Delaying planting means it will just take them a little longer to get going. Plant potatoes in an area with full sun from September to January in South Florida and from January through March in Central and North Florida. Most of us here in Florida don’t have root cellars so we usually store them in a cool dark spot. Sweet potatoes can be planted in the summertime here in Florida and regular potatoes can be planted in early spring and fall. I’ve been gardening organically for 20+ years. It’s important that when you pick them up from the store you plant them as soon as possible. Autumn Leaves in Florida may not be the idyllic multicolored leaf-fireworks show that it is in our northern neighboring states. Special thank you to Abby’s Organic Community Farm. Coat them with olive oil and whatever fresh are growing (rosemary, cilantro, basil, oregano, thyme, etc – plus sea salt and pepper). But I like your way better. Summer crops for coastal South Florida, Zone 9B / 10A – Sweet Potatoes. Let them marinade for minutes or even hours. My biggest issue is that I probably need a covered or shaded area to start seedlings/rootlets. Growing Sweet Potatoes. It's Easy Growing Ginger And Turmeric - Fresh, Organic, Year Round, Mama's Backyard Garden | It’s time to plant Sweet Potatoes. Want to grow more delicious vegetables? Often I don’t need to plant tuber’s because the area where I grew them last year is full of volunteers. They’re easy to grow, thrive in our hot summers, require little water and store for months. My horse loved them as treats. Yep, I’m a big sweet tater fan. My Mom and I each planted some, teasing each other about whose crop would produce the best yield. Sweet potatoes grow primarily underground, but their vines grow above the ground. Some need to be cut into bite-sized pieces. This plant is tropical by nature and prefers Zone 10 temperatures. Jacksonville is a great place to call home! Read on to find out more Florida friendly varieties and get a better understanding of growing potatoes in Florida. Dig up an area by hand to see if they’re ready to harvest. Bonus Tips for growing sweet potatoes Growing sweet potatoes works best in loamy, well-drained soil that is not too rich. Each year I set aside the ugliest, least desirable tubers to create next year’s crop. My vision is a more sustainable community that lovingly supports one another with knowledge and resources. Composting Is The New Trendy Socially-Responsible Practice, Top 5 Winter Crops You Will Want To Plant In Florida This Year. Growing potatoes in Central Florida is fun and easy. In previous years I watered them daily. Growing Sweet Potatoes in Florida in a Raised Bed. above the ground. Perhaps some of you experts will tell us the “right” way to master this crop. I don’t think sweet potatoes really care what they are growing in. Sweet potatoes grow best in hot weather, so I generally plant them in my garden about the middle of April. I dug them up immediately to find they were even sweeter and tastier than usual. Pingback: It's Easy Growing Ginger And Turmeric - Fresh, Organic, Year Round. Sweet potatoes thrive in our hot North Florida summers with minimal care or watering. By Mark Govan, Host “Florida Gardening” on 970WFLA. Like what you’re reading? Americans eat an average of 125 lb. They’re also a great choice for our Florida summers. Sweet potatoes are an amazing vegetable. In my Jacksonville home, I lower my carbon footprint with solar power, rainwater harvesting, composting, waste reduction, etc. Last year’s leftover sweet potatoes are sprouting by spring and ready to become this year’s crop. Make sure your garden plot has plenty of room for the vines. I cut them leaving an eye on each piece and stick them in the ground. Once you’ve harvested your sweet potatoes they will need to dry in a well-ventilated and shaded area to grow a thick skin. Florida summers present a challenge to food gardeners: what will grow in the heat, humidity and swarms of insects? But  be gentle because they spoil quickly when bruised. Place a slip in the vase, add some water, and place in a sunny spot. Poke a hole in the mound, pour a little water into the hole, place the slip, then firm up the soil around it. Gina Welds Hulse (author) from Rockledge, Florida on July 22, 2017: Thank you, Martha and Chitrangada Sharan. You’ll want to sink the “slip” down far into the mound, but not so far that the bud (the vine stem) is covered by dirt. Even in the 2011 heat and drought, they thrived in full sun! This will take nutrients and effort away from the main tubers you are growing back at the original planting hole, making those smaller. I grow and sell Georgia Jets which is an early variety need about 90-120 days from transplanted slips until the full size tubers can be harvested. They won’t hurt your plant but could affect the tasty harvest you’re hoping to grow! From our family to yours, we wish you the best of everything this holiday season, our Gratitude knows no end. The many blunders and successes of my own gardening projects over the years have been invaluable to me. Only certified seed potatoes should be planted in your home garden. Because potatoes like well-drained, loose soil with a pH of 5 to 6, they do well in most Florida soils; however, they don't like to be flooded. If you share in our vision, please take a brief moment to become a member and support our efforts with a recurring monthly donation of an amount between a cup of organic coffee and a farm to table dinner. Florida Friendly Sweet Potatoe Varieties: Centennial, Beauregard, Vardaman, Boniato. Growing Sweet Potatoes In Florida. So, it doesn’t matter how you do it – just plant some! They like loose, well-drained, sandy soil. They not only grow sweet, nutritious tubers under the ground, but also have beautiful foliage (and flowers!) My first experiment was a rather successful one. Especially getting the vines and leaves. In the warmer southern part of the state, potatoes are generally grown in the fall. Some people sauté the leaves, but I’m not a fan of that. Perhaps someone could tell me how to create a makeshift root cellar! Check out some more! Thanks for stopping by. Plant the sections in a six-inch deep trench in a spot that receives full sun. 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