Even a small number of sweet potato plants may result in a bountiful crop of this nutrient-rich, naturally sweet-tasting root vegetable. Although they thrive best in warm climates, which is why most of them are planted in the South, some types may be produced well in northern latitudes. You are welcome to read this article if you would like to learn more about planting, caring for, and harvesting sweet potatoes and what kind you should plant.
Only one kind of sweet potato thrives in tropical climates and is a member of the morning glory family. If you look at the leaves and blossoms of a sweet potato vine and compare them to those of morning glory, you'll find that they are from the same family. They are not related to potatoes in any way, although they have the same name. Potatoes belong to the nightshade family, so they don't have anything in common with this plant. The edible section of a sweet potato is a tuberous root rather than a genuine tuber, which is another distinction between sweet potatoes and potatoes that are considered "normal" (technically modified plant stems).
The flesh of this root vegetable has a dark orange color, while its skin is a coppery color. When prepared for consumption, sweet potatoes are most often mashed or roasted on their whole. You may also use them as the filling for a pie.
This tropical crop requires at least four months of warm weather and soil to grow, but once established, it can withstand heat and drought and suffers from a limited number of diseases and pests. Even though sweet potatoes were more often grown in the South in the past, there are now several types of sweet potatoes with a shorter growing season. When cultivated in sandy soil or raised beds mulched with black plastic to keep the soil warm, they can grow in the Northern hemisphere (even in some regions of Canada!).
Sweet potatoes are not grown from seed, which is important to remember. Instead, they are developed from slips, which are essentially sprouts that are generated from sweet potatoes that are already in existence. Slips may often be purchased from local garden shops, nurseries, nearby farmers (at events like farmer's markets), or businesses specializing in mail order sales. There is also the option of starting your own (see below for instructions).
To determine if your growing season is long enough to support the growth of sweet potatoes, you need first to determine whether or not you will be placing an order for slips. Most cultivars will reach maturity between 90 and 120 days after planting. Find out when the last frost will occur and how long your growing season is. Also, ensure that you schedule your purchase appropriately, considering when you will be planting!
Make sure the location you choose for your garden has sufficient sunlight and is well drained. Although they are not too finicky, sweet potatoes fare better when grown in soil with higher sand content. They need a significant amount of air space in the soil so that their roots may grow deeper. Consider growing on raised beds rather than planting directly in the ground if the soil in your yard is heavy, rocky, or compacted.
Compost, perlite, or coconut coir may be added to the growing area to create healthy, loamy soil that extends between 8 and 10 inches. It is best to refrain from adding animal manure, even pelleted chicken manure, since doing so may cause the roots to become spindly or discolored. Also, steer clear of high nitrogen fertilizers since they encourage luxuriant leaf growth at the price of edible root development.
You may start your slips rather than purchasing them, but doing so requires more effort. This is the method:
Some types of sweet potato with orange flesh grow the quickest, but you may also want to look at varieties with white meat, yellow flesh, or even purple flesh. When cooked, orange-fleshed types become moist, white and, yellow sweet potatoes have a creamy texture, and purple sweet potatoes become dry and starchy.
weet potato pie
It is important to note that sweet potatoes contain a few other vitamins, minerals, and nutrients besides beta-carotene, such as calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. Despite their low-calorie content, sweet potatoes are incredibly healthy and keep for a longer time than winter squash.
Preparing sweet potatoes is much simpler than making pie (or sweet potato pie!).
Since ordinary potatoes and sweet potato plants aren't connected, it's best to avoid making recipes that call for either. Sweet potatoes do not have the same binding properties as regular potatoes, and their robust flavor may easily overpower a formula designed to highlight the more subtle potato flavor. Yams and sweet potatoes are not connected in any way. However, they are a delicious alternative to pumpkin, mainly used in baked goods.