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How-To

It’s Easy to Grow Sweet Potatoes

Plant them right, give them plenty of room, and look forward to a bountiful harvest

Fine Gardening - Issue 189
Photo: Carol Collins

Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas, Zones 10–12) are fun and very easy to grow as long as you have enough space for their vigorous vines. At season’s end, the plants will produce delicious and nutritious roots that can store well for up to a year or longer. Though many gardeners think of this as a crop that needs warm weather and a long growing season, sweet potatoes can be easily grown wherever there are at least 90 to 100 frost-free days.

Photo: Carol Collins

Tiny slips (above) will produce an abundance of vigorous vines. As long as the vines have plenty of room to ramble, this undemanding crop will not need much else from you. Many growers use black plastic mulch, but even a bed without plastic (below) will soon be covered in an attractive living mulch of leaves and vines.

Photo: Carol Collins

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