How To Grow Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a delicious and nutritious addition to any garden. They are packed with vitamins and minerals and are versatile in the kitchen. If you’re interested in growing your own sweet potatoes, here’s how to do it.

Choose the Right Variety

There are many different varieties of sweet potatoes, and it’s important to choose the right one for your climate and growing conditions. Some of the most popular varieties include Beauregard, Covington, and Jewel. Consider factors like your climate, soil type, and how much space you have available when choosing a variety.

Prepare Your Soil

Sweet potatoes thrive in loose, well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Before planting, amend your soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve its texture and fertility. You should also ensure that your soil has a pH between 5.0 and 6.5, which is the ideal range for sweet potatoes.

Plant Your Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are typically grown from slips, which are small plants that grow from sprouts on a sweet potato. You can purchase slips from a garden center or online, or you can start your own by placing a sweet potato in a jar of water until sprouts appear. Once your slips are ready, plant them in rows that are 3-4 feet apart, with each slip spaced about 12 inches apart.

Water Regularly

Sweet potatoes need consistent moisture to grow properly. Water deeply once a week, and more often during hot, dry weather. Be careful not to over-water, as this can lead to rot and other problems.

Fertilize Appropriately

Sweet potatoes are heavy feeders, and they require regular fertilization to produce a good crop. Use a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 blend, and apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Avoid using too much nitrogen, as this can cause the plants to produce lush foliage at the expense of the roots.

Control Weeds

Weeds can compete with your sweet potatoes for nutrients and water, so it’s important to keep them under control. Use a hoe or cultivator to remove weeds regularly, or consider mulching your plants to suppress weed growth.

Harvest Your Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are typically ready to harvest 100-120 days after planting, depending on the variety. Look for signs like yellowing leaves and dried vines to indicate that your sweet potatoes are ready. Use a digging fork or shovel to carefully lift the tubers from the ground, being careful not to damage them.

Store Your Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes should be cured for 1-2 weeks after harvesting to improve their flavor and texture. To cure your sweet potatoes, store them in a warm, humid location for several days before moving them to a cool, dry place for long-term storage.


Q: How much sun do sweet potatoes need?

A: Sweet potatoes need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day to grow properly.

Q: Can I grow sweet potatoes in a container?

A: Yes, sweet potatoes can be grown in containers as long as the container is deep enough to accommodate the plant’s long roots.

Q: How do I know when to water my sweet potatoes?

A: Stick your finger into the soil about 1 inch deep. If the soil feels dry at this depth, it’s time to water.

Q: Can I eat the leaves of my sweet potato plant?

A: Yes, sweet potato leaves are edible and can be eaten raw or cooked.


Growing sweet potatoes is a rewarding and delicious experience. By following these tips, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of sweet and nutritious tubers. Remember to choose the right variety, prepare your soil, water and fertilize appropriately, control weeds, and harvest and store your sweet potatoes properly. Happy growing!