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Keyword Search Results for:
Sweet Potatoes

4 Found

Question: 766-2412
Can you give me some advise on growing sweet potatoes? I have the slips. Bill, Tulsa, OK

Mort's Answer:
You will need hot temps of 65 to 85 and over to have success. Zone 7 is a good place for a full growing season. Soils will need good phosphorus and potash content. Clay and muck are bad soils. Sandy warm soils are best. If you have too much nitrogen, you will have more brine than root. Ipomoea batatas pieces have to be maintain at 60 degrees until planted in mid June in zone 7. If the soil temperature goes down to 50, you will lose the plants. Slips should be two feet apart and rows four to five. Some folks build tents or wire fences to hold them like grape vines. Cure indoors in the fall at 80 to 85.

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Question: 803-3312
Our sweet potatoes have not done well this year. We have a lot of vegetation but not many taters. We have been using bone meal and wood ash. What could be the problem? Diane, Auburn, Nebraska

Mort's Answer:
You are in the uppermost region for growing Sweet Potato. Fortunately there are new varieties that can grow in zone 5b. Because of the early spring warm weather, many people planted too early this year. When soil temperatures go below 60, many warm weather vegetables are adversely affected. It can affect pollination and retard overall growth. You probably have also used excessive phosphorus. I would cut back to no fertilizer next year and use 2-8-10 the following year. I would wait until early May to start outdoors as well. You need constant heat. If vines get black, cut them off immediately.

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Question: 1391-4416
I am thinking of planting a sweet potato vine indoors. Any suggestions? Jim, Salem, CT

Mort's Answer:
The indoor variety of Ipomoea butatas is very colorful and makes a great annual ground cover or addition to a hanging pot in zone 6. It is better to acquire a cutting of this purplish plant than to try taking an eye from the garden variety, vegetable sweet potato. You can purchase a rooted plant and give it strong sunlight for the winter and place it in the garden come spring time. Next fall take another cutting and start it in water for your next winters plant.

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Question: 1038-4413
What do you think of using Sweet Potato plants for water erosion control? David, San Francisco, CA

Mort's Answer:
Hedera helix is evergreen and winter hardy in most of the US. There are many varieties of English ivy vines with other color and sized leaves. Some folks consider them to be invasive but that is the best criteria for interlocking leaves. As a ground cover they are adaptable to more climates and soil types. Sweet potato is limited to zone 7 south because of a lack of hardiness and is deciduous. They do not tolerate clayey soils. There many other vines that would be better suited. There is a new blue zoysia that is used in China for beach erosion.

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