Growing sweet potato on terrace in pots: Sweet potato (Ipomea batatas) belongs to a member of the Convolvulaceae, or morning glory family. Sweet potatoes are a rich source of fiber as well as containing several vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, selenium, and they are a good source of vitamin B and vitamin C. Sweet potatoes are highly nutritious and come in two different varieties they are dry flesh types and moist flesh types. The moist fleshed types convert more starch to sugars when cooked, thus becoming softer and sweeter than dry kin and are more often referred to as yams, although true yams can be cultivated in tropical climes. Either variety has roots variously hued from white to orange to red color, depending on the cultivar.
You can also apply this information for growing sweet potatoes indoors, growing ratnapuri gadda, growing moram gadda, growing sweet potatoes on raised beds, growing sweet potatoes in bags, growing sweet potatoes vertically, growing sweet potatoes from tubers, growing sweet potatoes from scraps, growing sweet potatoes in polyhouse, growing sweet potatoes in controlled environment, growing sweet potatoes under shade net, growing sweet potatoes in water, and growing sweet potatoes in the backyard.
What are we waiting for? Let’s jump into growing sweet potato in terrace.
In this article we also discussed below topics;
- Should I trim my sweet potato vines
- Number of sweet potatoes do you get from one plant
- Time to take to grow a sweet potato
- How much room do sweet potatoes need to grow
- Reasons for leaves of sweet potato plant turning yellow
- Causes for holes in sweet potato leaves
- Growing sweet potatoes in containers
- Reasons for sweet potato vines dying
A step by step guide for growing sweet potato in terrace in pots, in bags from tubers.
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In the garden, on a trellis, or in a container, or a pot, sweet potatoes are a beautiful plant. The delicious tubers in the fall just come as a bonus to the lovely foliage and also flowers. Sweet potatoes make for a nutritious value and filling side dish to most meals. Sweet potatoes grow well in a sunny vegetable garden, but you can also grow them in other parts of the home landscape. Also, try them as a temporary groundcover or a trailing houseplant. In a patio planter, a sweet potato vine will form a beautiful foliage plant that you can harvest plant roots from in the fall. Growing sweet potatoes can require a lot of space, with the use of containers and compact varieties any gardener can grow their own. Sweet potatoes mature in 90 to 170 days and they are extremely frost-sensitive. Here are the important steps to grow sweet potatoes in pots;
Soil for growing sweet potato in terrace
Growing sweet potatoes works best in loamy and well-drained soil. Ideally, the pH value should be between 5.8 and 6.2, although they will tolerate a more acidic pH (down to 5.0). And before planting, thoroughly dampen the bed. If soil is heavy clay, try growing sweet potatoes in raised beds filled with soil designed for that growing environment.
Prepare the soil for growing sweet potato in terrace
Now it is time to choose the soil and make the right mixture, so sweet potatoes can be planted and grown in a good way. When it comes to sweet potatoes grown in pots, they prefer soil, which has a sandy composition and that provides good enough draining.
One thing to note here is that sweet potatoes prefer a bit moist soil but not too watery. Therefore, that is the reason why setting up a good draining system is very important. Combined with the holes in the pot you had previously made, this type of soil mixture must provide very good conditions. In such conditions, sweet potatoes would have good options for draining. That will help them develop much stronger and healthier roots. Therefore, they will be able to grow faster and will produce a very healthy output, which is ultimately the goal here. Also, you must create an area on a side of the pot where the soil is a bit higher than on the other sides.
Select a variety of sweet potato for terrace growing
Select a variety of sweet potato that is ideal for growing in pots. Many gardeners reference ‘Portio Rico’ also called ‘Bush’ or ‘Vineless’ as an ideal variety for smaller gardens or containers. Sweet potatoes are known for their sprawling habit, but cultivar has short and compact vines. ‘Vardaman’ named after a famous sweet potato town in Mississippi is ideal for its bush habit and reined in vines.
Sweet potato slips can be purchased from online garden sources and local garden centers. By purchasing sweet potatoes from the grocery store and sprouting can be unsuccessful as many are treated to reduce sprouts. Also, it is very important to have a specific variety for this type of project and that isn’t always known with those purchased from the grocery.
Container for growing sweet potatoes
It is very important to select the right container as all are not created equal. For growing sweet potatoes, containers created specifically for potatoes work wonderfully and quite inexpensive compared to plastic or ceramic.
Prepare the pot for growing sweet potato
The first step you should do before you plant sweet potatoes in a pot is to prepare the pot itself. The way to do it is to drill several holes so the soil can drain well. The holes must be at the bottom of the pot and there should be at least 5 of them. Apart from those holes, you could make several holes on the pot sides if you want. And it will help with the draining process. That is important when it comes to successful root growth and maintaining good soil composition over time.
Choose a location for growing sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are very picky on their location and they want to be warm at all times; during the day and night (above 60 degrees F). Picking a location for sweet potatoes that has full sun throughout the day is ideal after all threat of frost is gone.
Growing sweet potatoes in a container
Sweet potatoes prefer warm days and nights and are planted from slips or transplants. Slips or transplants for growing sweet potatoes in a container can be purchased from the local nursery or grown yourself. To make the perfect environment, create long, wide, 10-inch-high ridges spaced 3½ feet apart.
Choose bush varieties, which produce shorter vines when growing a potted sweet potato plant. Likely varieties for sweet potato container plants are Puerto Rico and Vardaman. Avoid grocery store purchased sweet potatoes, as there is no way of knowing what plant variety they are, what climate they are most suited to or if they harbor disease. The sweet potato vines tend to ramble far and wide, this is why home gardeners don’t raise them. If vines are wandering out of bounds, try turning them back into the garden. It is best not to trim vines; they help feed the sweet potatoes.
To grow your slips for sweet potato container plants, select an unblemished, smooth root of about 1 ½ inch in diameter from the last year’s harvest. Each root produces many slips. Put the selected root in clean sand and cover with an additional two inches. Water thoroughly and regularly while keeping the temperature range between 75-80°F. (24-27 C.) when rooting. Slips are ready in 6 weeks or when 6 to 10 leaves have sprouted, whereupon you will then gently separate the slips from the seed root. You are now ready to plant container-grown sweet potatoes.
Potted sweet potato plants prefer well-draining, sandy soil to which you should add compost. And plant your yam slips 12 inches apart. Keep the potted sweet potato start indoors for 12 weeks before moving it outside, at least 4 weeks after the last frost. Water the potted sweet potato plant once a week or as needed depending on rainfall. Do not overwater.
Root rot and fusarium wilt can cause sweet potato vines to develop yellow or brown leaves that wither and drop. Water the sweet potato plants using a drip system, rather than overhead sprinklers, and water early in the morning so the leaves dry quickly.
Planting sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes can grow from slips, which are sprouts that are grown from stored sweet potatoes. You can buy slips from garden centers, nurseries, or from local farmers. You can also make your slips to plant in the spring. One sweet potato should yield 12 plants.
Store sweet potato slips in a well-lit room with a temperature range between 75 and 80°F. Keep them there until 90 days before the last spring frost date. They will need to be embedded in the soil for 90 days and kept continuously warm and moist.
Use a 1-½ gallon pot for every two slips and remember to poke drainage holes in the bottom of the pot and fill it with 3 inches of mulch, followed by the garden or potting soil. Plant the slips in the pot at a 45 degrees angle so that the sprouts will grow above the soil. And when the slips are 6 to 12 inches tall, you can plant them outdoors, as long as all danger of frost has passed.
After you have grown your slips or bought them, till the area of the garden you will be using to a depth of about 8 to 10 inches. Create raised mounds 6 to 8 inches tall and 12 inches wide. Use fertile, well-drained soil.
Then plant the slips 12 to 18 inches apart in the bed, after the last spring frost date. And plant the slips deep enough to cover the roots and ½ inch of the stem. Water the slips with a starter solution (a liquid fertilizer) that is high in phosphorous, then water generously for a few days to make sure that the potato plants root well.
Water newly planted slips after planting and every week for the next couple of weeks as needed. Regular watering or rain will benefit plants during the summer but they could withstand hot and dry conditions.
Gardening tips for growing sweet potatoes
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- Plant sweet potato plants in warm soil about a month after the last spring frost.
- Space sweet potato plants about12 to 18 inches apart in damp, loamy soil with a pH of 5.8 to 6.2.
- Before planting, improve native soil by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter.
- Protect young sweet potato plants from weeds by inspecting your garden bed often and gently removing any weeds by hand.
- To maximize your sweet potato growing efforts, keep plants fed with continuous-release plant food. Harvest sweet potatoes when the ends of the vines start to yellow color.
Signs of fertilizer problems in sweet potatoes
Sweet potato plants that produce lush foliage but plant yield few roots have been over-fertilized with nitrogen. Too little nitrogen fertilizer will affect in a lackluster harvest as well. Plants that have been fed with fertilizer with insufficient potassium will produce long, skinny, malformed sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes grown in soil deficient of boron will increase a blister disorder that causes stunted plant growth and raised bumps to form on the root surface. Blister could be prevented by adding Borax to the soil. Yellowing leaves on sweet potato plants can be caused by a nutrient deficiency in the soil. The most common nutritional cause of yellowing plant leaves is a lack of nitrogen. Then treat with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
Protecting against pests in sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are unaffected by most vegetable crop pests. Flea beetles and cutworms are the two main insect pests and are usually controlled by keeping weeds in check. The two main fungal diseases of the plant roots are Scurf and black rot, these diseases controlled by checking rootstock for obvious signs of decay or spotting. Over-watering plant contributes to the development of both diseases.
Generally, less than 1/10 inch long, and the adult beetles infest sweet potato vines in spring, chewing tiny holes in their new leaves. While the leaf damage is seldom serious, damage from the beetles’ root-feeding larvae might follow.
Sweet potato weevils about ¼-inch-long insects with dark blue heads and wings and red-orange bodies puncture stems and tubers to lay their eggs. Developing larvae tunnel and feed on the fleshy roots, while adults normally attack vines and leaves. Destroy infected potato plants and their roots, or place in sealed containers and dispose of them with household trash.
Fungal diseases contain black rot, which results in circular, dark depressions on tubers. Discard infected sweet potatoes, and cure the undamaged roots of the same crop carefully. Don’t confuse this disease with less-serious scurf, which creates small, round-shaped, dark spots on tuber surfaces but doesn’t affect eating quality.
Stem rot is a fungus that enters sweet potato plants injured by insects, careless cultivation, or wind. Even if this disease doesn’t kill the potato plants, the harvest will be poor. And minimize the chances of disease by planting only healthy slips; then avoid black and stem rot by planting resistant cultivars. Reduce the incidence of dry rot, which mummifies stored sweet potatoes, by keeping the fleshy roots at 55 to 60 degrees.
Harvest the sweet potatoes
Harvest tubers when they reach 5 to 6 inches in length and 2 inches in diameter as these are the best quality. Complete the harvest before a killing frost and tubers on dead vines tend to rot.
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Carefully harvest the sweet potatoes after 100 days. To harvest sweet potatoes, wear your gardening gloves, and hold the stem of the slip as you scrape away the soil from the potato. Then, use the hand to retrieve the grown potato from the dirt. Dust the soil off and put it in a bowl. Do the same for the other potatoes. Some potatoes have grown more than others. Sunlight and water are difficult to spread evenly between all of the slips.
That’s all folks about growing sweet potato in terrace.