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Growing Sweet Potatoes

Episode: 6
Title: Growing Sweet Potatoes
Broadcast: 3rd October 2015
Presenter: Steve Wood

Growing sweet potatoes in the garden over summer is an absolute must. There’s a bit of art to it and it is nothing like growing traditional potatoes. This story will show you how it is done.

  • The botanical name for sweet potato is Ipomea and is actually closely related to the dreaded weed commonly known as morning glory. While it sounds a little ominous, it is actually good news as it means that they are tough, hardy and really easy to grow.
  • When we grow traditional potatoes, we actually plant small seed potatoes with each potato planted will yield up to several kilos but when we grow sweet potatoes, we simply plant a cutting. While normal potatoes thrive in cooler seasons, sweet potatoes love the heat of the summer.
  • Within two to three weeks, our cuttings would have developed a strong root system and ready to be planted out. The new root system that grows from the cuttings will go on to develop into sweet potatoes and be ready to harvest the following autumn as the foliage starts to die down.
  • The great news is you can harvest your sweet potatoes as you need them. Nothing keeps them fresher and packed full of nutrition more than leaving them right where they have grown.
  • Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins A and C and contains lots of essential minerals. They make attractive ground cover and act as living mulch protecting the soil from the hot summer sun. If you have never grown these nutritious gifts of nature, you really should give them a try this summer. 

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