Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato

The sweet potato originates from the tropics and sub tropics of the Americas and is one of their oldest cultivated crops. The sweet potato is a large, starchy, sweet tasting tuberous root vegetable that actually has nothing to do with potatoes. They are close relatives of the bindweed or morning glory family.
 
This plant is an herbaceous perennial vine, bearing alternate heart-shaped or palmately lobed leaves and medium-sized flowers. The edible tuberous root is long and tapered, with a smooth skin whose colour ranges between red, purple, brown and white. Its flesh ranges from white through yellow, orange, and purple.

  • Plant & Growing Tips:

    The vegetable crop requires temperate climates with long warm summers to produce good crops. 

    They do best in lighter, sandy soils than in heavy clay soils.

    It grows best at an average temperature of 24°C, abundant sunshine and warm nights.

    Annual rainfalls of 750–1000 mm are considered most suitable, with a minimum of 500 mm in the growing season. 

    Water as the soil starts to dry and use mulch to reduce soil moisture loss.

    The crop is sensitive to drought at the tuber initiation stage 50–60 days after planting and is not tolerant to water-logging, as it may cause tuber rots and reduce growth of storage roots if aeration is poor.

    The plant does not tolerate frost.

    Sweet potato plants spread rapidly and will require some space.

    Along the NSW coast, September to November proves to be the best time for planting, whereas in the warmer subtropics to tropic regions of QLD, you should plant anytime between July to March each year.

    Sow seeds in trays or medium sized pots at a depth of 2.5cm (1inch). Once seedlings reach 10-15cm in height they should be transplanted.

    Orange fleshed types require more irrigation.

    The sweet potato makes an ideal container or pot plant.

  • Fertiliser Applications:

    Stage: Pre Plant

    Product: Dinofert Organic Fertiliser, Dinofert Standard Pellets

    Gardener Use: ½-¾ cup (100-150g)/m²

    Commercial Use: 1.5kg/10m row

    Comments: In planting with closer inter-row spacing (80-110cm) fertiliser is broadcast prior to hilling up with wider spacing, apply in two bands, one on either side of plant line, before or during pre plant hilling up operation.

     

    Stage: Side Dress

    Product: Dinofert Organic Fertiliser, Dinofert Standard Pellets

    Gardener Use: ¼ cup (50g)/m²

    Commercial Use: 400-600g/10m row

    Comments: The use of Dino-Fert Premium Organic Pellets may be necessary on sandy soils especially for the orange fleshed varieties. Nitrogen should not be excessively used.

Disclaimer

Please note that the above information and recommendations are provided in good faith and are given without liability for loss or damage suffered as a result of their application. Optimum response to fertilisers will only be achieved when weeds, insect pests and diseases are controlled and adequate soil water is available.

Fertiliser use recommendations are presented as a practical guide to good agronomic practice under most situations. Local soil, climatic and other conditions should also be taken into account as these could affect plant response to fertiliser rates and applications.

For further information we recommend you seek advice from your local agronomist.