Selecting, Planting, and Caring for Sweet Potatoes

Your Ultimate Guide to Growing Sweet Potatoes

Discover how to choose the best sweet potato varieties, plant them correctly, and care for them to ensure a bountiful harvest.

Introduction to the WE2U Guide

Comprehensive Sweet Potato Growing Guide

Welcome to the WE2U Guide for growing sweet potatoes! This guide will help you choose the right sweet potato varieties, plant them properly, and ensure they thrive using eco-friendly and sustainable practices. Additionally, we’ll highlight the benefits of including sweet potatoes in your diet.

Nutritional Benefits

Health Benefits of Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins A, C, and B6. They provide essential minerals such as potassium and manganese.


  • Vision Health: High in beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A and supports eye health.
  • Immune Support: Vitamin C and antioxidants in sweet potatoes help boost the immune system.
  • Digestive Health: The fiber content aids in digestion and promotes a healthy gut.
  • Blood Sugar Regulation: Sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index, helping to regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Sweet potatoes contain anti-inflammatory compounds that help reduce inflammation.

Selecting Sweet Potato Varieties

Choosing the right sweet potato variety is crucial for a successful harvest. Follow these steps to make the best selection for your needs.


Determine Purpose

Decide if you want sweet potatoes for fresh eating, baking, or long-term storage. Different varieties excel in different uses.


Climate Suitability

Sweet potatoes thrive in warm climates. Select varieties that match your growing season. For shorter seasons, consider Beauregard or Centennial. For longer seasons, look for Covington or Jewel.


Growth Habit

Choose varieties based on your preferences for size, shape, and color. Some varieties produce larger tubers, while others are more compact.

Planting Sweet Potatoes

Proper planting techniques are essential for healthy growth and a bountiful harvest. Follow these steps to plant your sweet potatoes correctly.


Site Selection

Choose a sunny location that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. Sweet potatoes prefer well-drained, sandy soil.


Soil Preparation

Test the soil pH and aim for a range of 5.5-6.5. Remove rocks and debris, and enrich the soil with compost and organic matter.


Planting Time

Plant sweet potatoes after the last frost date when the soil temperature is at least 70°F (21°C). This ensures optimal growth conditions.

Step 1


Space slips (rooted cuttings) 12-18 inches apart in rows 36-48 inches apart. This allows enough room for the plants to grow and spread.

Step 2

Planting Depth

Plant slips deep enough to cover the roots and about half of the stem. This helps the plants establish a strong root system.

Step 3


Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged, especially during the first few weeks after planting. Reduce watering as the plants mature to avoid rotting.

Step 4


Apply a 2-3 inch layer of organic mulch (e.g., straw, leaves) around plants to retain moisture and suppress weeds. Mulching helps maintain soil health.

Harvesting Sweet Potatoes


Harvest sweet potatoes when the leaves start to yellow and before the first frost, typically 90-120 days after planting.


Use a garden fork or shovel to carefully lift the sweet potatoes from the soil. Be gentle to avoid bruising or breaking the skin.


Handle sweet potatoes carefully after harvesting to prevent damage. Place them in a single layer in a shaded area to dry for a few hours.

Step 1

Curing Sweet Potatoes

Cure sweet potatoes in a warm (80-85°F), humid environment for 1-2 weeks to enhance sweetness and extend storage life.

Step 2


Store cured sweet potatoes in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place at 55-60°F. Properly stored, they can last for several months.

Step 3


For longer storage, consider freezing, canning, or drying sweet potatoes. These methods help maintain their nutritional value and flavor.

Step 4

Additional Tips

Always handle sweet potatoes with care during the curing and storage process to avoid damage and ensure the best quality.

Join the WE2U Program

Become a part of the WE2U program for expert advice, tips, and support in growing healthy and productive sweet potato plants. Our community is here to help you every step of the way. Sign up today and start your journey to successful gardening!

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