You can grow potatoes straight into the garden if you would like or you can grow them vertically in a canister. They just do. The potatoes themselves have been somewhat unpredictable, but I have produced some. So, now I’m back to harvesting as I want to eat them throughout the fall, then digging up the entire plot after the first frost. Often I give both tubers and volunteers to friends so they can start their own tater patch. Young sweet potatoes are using every ounce of energy to put up leaves that will generate more energy through photosynthesis. She writes: “I started growing sweet potatoes a few years ago. Sweet potatoes may be associated with the southern U.S., but they will grow in just about any garden. And, if growers can take advantage of Florida’s climate and plant sweet potatoes earlier than in other competing states, they might hit a market window advantage and get higher prices. Daytime temperatures in the upper eighties and low nineties severely limit choices we have to grow in the garden. They not only grow sweet, nutritious tubers under the ground, but also have beautiful foliage (and flowers!) Some sweet potatoes looked like string beans. To start growing potatoes in Florida, you plant the potato tuber. Then I roast them on a 350 degree preheated cast-iron skillet in my oven for about 30 to 45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes or so. Check out some more! My writing is based on my studies in Biology and Health, and my experiences from gardening with my family as a child. Read on to find out more Florida friendly varieties and get a better understanding of growing potatoes in Florida. Summer crops for coastal South Florida, Zone 9B / 10A – Sweet Potatoes. Planted sweet potatoes here in Central Florida for the first time last year. Many folks find it helpful to mulch the 3’ space between rows/beds to help the leaves in their efforts to keep weeds from encroaching on the grow mounds. I'm eager to do more! Happy Thanksgiving To All! Growing Sweet potatoes Planting & Growing from Slips. Those elbows, if left in the soil, will set new plants, which will set new tubers. My Mom and I each planted some, teasing each other about whose crop would produce the best yield. This will take nutrients and effort away from the main tubers you are growing back at the original planting hole, making those smaller. Work the soil loose down deep so the sweet potato tubers grow long and smooth. Here’s our Top 5 Pro-Tips for growing Sweet Potatoes here in Florida. above the ground. I always recommend working Shell’s Organic 3-3-3 into the mound as you work because it helps create a natural, bioavailable nutrient source for hungry plants. (A 10-foot row will produce 8 to 10 pounds of potatoes.) The Southeast’s long, hot summers are just what the sweet potato needs as it requires at the very least 150 frost-free days. Maybe I’ll try both ways as we have room. The late, great, J.C. Raulston once said, “If you’re not killing plants, you’re not stretching yourself as a gardener.” Learn by doing, gain knowledge from the failures, but more importantly, relish the successes, (because they’re delicious!) Donation Total: I’ve grown sweet potatoes in my riased bed and had a fantastic harvest. Visit their website here. Sweet potatoes will grow in poor soil, but deformed roots may develop in heavy clay or long and stringy in sandy dirt. Once you’ve harvested your sweet potatoes they will need to dry in a well-ventilated and shaded area to grow a thick skin. Lyda has some sweet potato problems – maybe you can help! Soil prep is best done in advance, so that when the slips are brought to the garden they are ready to pop right into the ground. I’m an over-educated, passionate, gardening and pet enthusiast, and I have found the perfect job! Growing Sweet Potatoes In Florida. Dig up an area by hand to see if they’re ready to harvest. Once they’re started, you’ll have everything you need to grow them year after year. It's happiest in sunny areas. For some reason sweet potatoes intuitively know the weather. Lots of water can even encourage fungus, which any Florida gardener know is an enormous problem for any garden plants. Yep, I’m a big sweet tater fan. Over the weeks and months they produce luscious vines with beautiful purple flowers. The potato is one of America's most popular vegetables. The process takes up to 10 days. of potatoes per person each year. I’ve been gardening organically for 20+ years. Each vine can grow to be over ten feet long. Growing Sweet Potatoes is pretty easy. In a few weeks, green sprouts will pop up. Most of us here in Florida don’t have root cellars so we usually store them in a cool dark spot. You may be familiar with sweet potatoes among Thanksgiving dinner tables, but these crops thrive in Florida’s hot summers. While other states lead in sweet potato production, Florida is ranked fifth in growing sweet potatoes; it’s a decent ranking as many states grow these popular tubers. When growing potatoes, it is important to take into consideration the time it … Copyright © 2017 Sustainable North Florida a Wuji Technology Inc. program. What is your favorite green event during Earth Month (April)? If you’re working with tubers left over from last year’s harvest just cut them into cubes, making sure every section has an eye or sprout. My first experiment was a rather successful one. I haven’t had much luck growing the slips. You can also find more information I’ve put together from my research on our website, Easy Eating: Top Container Garden Recipes. Sweet Potato’s Insect Pests. Thanks for reading, You’ll find some recipes posted here. In the warmer southern part of the state, potatoes are generally grown in the fall. You can buy certified seed from a number of reputable garden supply stores. Shell’s Feed & Garden Supply sponsors the chickens and chicken coops there. In the North, cover the raised rows with black plastic to keep th… You can’t go wrong. You can grow them starting in mid-Spring and the vines will flourish during the heat of Summer while growing wonderful treats underground to harvest in the Fall and early Winter. A long hot growing season is ideal for growing these tuber-like roots. The blog this week is to help encourage you to pick out some fine Winter crops to grow this year, to give you a little time to... ©2020 Shell's Feed & Garden Supply | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Web Dev by Design Formare Inc. “Shell’s – Family Owned & Operated Since 1961”, Those are the top 5 Pro-Tips I have for sweet potato growing. Solanum tuberosum, the scientific name for potato, also called the Irish potato, is a cool-season crop.It is grown commercially in Florida for both fresh market and chipping in the winter and spring months when the days are warm and the nights are cool. I don’t recommend storage in the refrigerator either, because any temperature below 55 degrees Fahrenheit changes the starches and sugars in the potato and degrades a lot of the nutritive value of this very tasty tuber. Make sure your garden plot has plenty of room for the vines. Sweet potatoes grow best in hot weather, so I generally plant them in my garden about the middle of April. To keep them as nourished as possible, you’ll need to keep the area free of any other competition that would steal the precious nutrients they need. I'm mostly vegetarian. Florida’s Sweet Potatoes Industry . Make sure you give them plenty of room for expansion because the vines spread quickly, taking over anything in their way. Poke a hole in the mound, pour a little water into the hole, place the slip, then firm up the soil around it. I grow and sell Georgia Jets which is an early variety need about 90-120 days from transplanted slips until the full size tubers can be harvested. You can grow them starting in mid-Spring and the vines will flourish during the heat of Summer while growing wonderful treats underground to harvest in the Fall and early Winter. The mighty potato is a staple root crop in most of the world. Don’t forget you can eat the leaves too. They’re also a great choice for our Florida summers. And after all that hard work, you don’t want to do that. But we still get leaves that fall to the ground during this time of year. Try to avoid disturbing the vines as much as you can. Sweet potatoes are planted in the spring and early summer, after the growing season for white potatoes, so they can fit nicely into the traditional production systems. Some people harvest using a spading fork. The planting window is from about mid January to early March. You’ll want to sink the “slip” down far into the mound, but not so far that the bud (the vine stem) is covered by dirt. And I even attracted some root pests that ate holes in my taters. Many gardeners feel it does best in a partial sun situation where it gets a bit of afternoon shade. Learn how to grow sweet potatoes with these tips from our experts. We both won the competition because this plant thrives no matter how you plant it or care for it. You can get started from sweet potato slips purchased at local feed stores. My biggest issue is that I probably need a covered or shaded area to start seedlings/rootlets. Then I move them to my garage. I don’t even fertilize them, but then I plant everything in my homegrown, rich, organic compost. When the tuber is planted, it is called a "seed" potato. Some need to be cut into bite-sized pieces. they're all growing vines. Ideal spacing is 10-18” between each slip as you plant. But trust me, my lazy way works. If you would like to know how to grow a big harvest of sweet potato watch this video for my five top tips on sweet potato growing! Sweet potato is a fast - you might even say rampant - grower, staying fairly low to the ground. $5.00 I select the smallest ones and scrub the skins really well. Often I don’t need to plant tuber’s because the area where I grew them last year is full of volunteers. One hundred degrees is just fine for these aggressive vines. Growing potatoes in Central Florida is fun and easy. I am so glad you found the article helpful. You have chosen to donate $5.00 monthly. Once the vines are established, they are naturally multipurpose! as a houseplant. They easily damage (even a strong wind can hurt them!) In fact, they do their best work in soil that isn’t heavy with water. Other than that I have had good yields with peppers, so my gardening skills are a constant work in progress. Perhaps someone could tell me how to create a makeshift root cellar! I put them in green smoothies all through the hot summer months when most other greens aren’t growing. Remember to keep them away from onions and garlic which can make sweet potatoes rot quickly! In South Florida, plant them from October to January. Bonus Tips for growing sweet potatoes Growing sweet potatoes works best in loamy, well-drained soil that is not too rich. They’re delicious and high in nutritional value. I find they store longer when I don’t wipe off any of the dirt. Soon you’ll have a gorgeous decorative vine! Sweet potatoes are typically started from transplants called "slips." In my Jacksonville home, I lower my carbon footprint with solar power, rainwater harvesting, composting, waste reduction, etc. Want to grow more delicious vegetables? In central Florida, they should be planted before mid February. The colorful potatoes are grown throughout the state and are good sources of vitamins A and C. Unfortunately, the potatoes also have unwanted pests. By late spring they’ve sprouted. Florida Friendly Sweet Potatoe Varieties: Centennial, Beauregard, Vardaman, Boniato. Growing Sweet Potatoes. I turn under the vines so they’ll grow again on their own. It is a nutritious, filling food that is high in Vitamin C, Potassium, Fiber, and Vitamin B-6. Sweet potatoes prefer a warm environment, so try to choose an area that gets a lot of sunlight (especially if you live in the north) and is well drained. It helps heal some of the harvest injuries and prepares them for long-term storage. I like to sit by the garden bed and dig them up by hand. They won’t hurt your plant but could affect the tasty harvest you’re hoping to grow! Growing Sweet Potatoes in Florida in a Raised Bed. Because potatoes like well-drained, loose soil with a pH of 5 to 6, they do well in most Florida soils; however, they don't like to be flooded. The potato is one of America's most popular vegetables, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension and is a popular crop for home gardeners due to its relative ease of growing and high yields. Plant the sections in a six-inch deep trench in a spot that receives full sun. The great thing about gardening is that it is a life-long learning process. Or wait for the leaves to turn yellow from the first frost. Jacksonville is a great place to call home! They’re the ultimate, sustainable crop for a lazy Jacksonville gardener like me. Sweet potatoes can be planted in the summertime here in Florida and regular potatoes can be planted in early spring and fall. We have a lot of local resources that can help you, as well as some at the State and even the Federal level. I don’t know what my hens would do without the abundance of sweet potato leaves and Okinawa spinach – the only greens that thrive in our garden during the relentless summer heat. Just be careful not to bruise them. Super healthy! Plant potatoes in an area with full sun from September to January in South Florida and from January through March in Central and North Florida. Glad I got some. Have you seen my hub: 'How to grow sweet potatoes in a container', published in April last year? This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. You can eat them fresh out of the ground, but they get sweeter when fully cured. Now I realize they don’t need any water or care. By Mark Govan, Host “Florida Gardening” on 970WFLA. Sweet potatoes can be planted in the spring through the end of June. Delaying planting means it will just take them a little longer to get going. Sweet potato grown from slips generally need at least 4 months of frost-free growing. Prepping the garden this year, I found more little sweet potatoes from last year and replanted them in a new patch. I don’t think sweet potatoes really care what they are growing in. You’ll get the best results planting right away, but even if they sit around and become slimy and stinky, they will STILL do fine if you get them in the ground. Daytime temperatures in the upper eighties and low nineties severely limit choices we have to grow in the garden. there is one more fun thing you can do with sweet potato slips beyond tasty garden treats. But I like your way better. They grow well in sandy soil and don't require much fertilizing. Pingback: It's Easy Growing Ginger And Turmeric - Fresh, Organic, Year Round. I put my harvest in newspaper-lined boxes, then place the boxes on my back deck out of the sun for a week. Last year’s leftover sweet potatoes are sprouting by spring and ready to become this year’s crop. Place a slip in the vase, add some water, and place in a sunny spot. Water and fertilize on a regular basis, and mound soil around the stems as the plants grow. Both slips and cuttings go directly into the dirt ideally between March and June. The perfect crop for lazy gardeners like me! The many blunders and successes of my own gardening projects over the years have been invaluable to me. My vision is a more sustainable community that lovingly supports one another with knowledge and resources. I cut them leaving an eye on each piece and stick them in the ground. Sweet potatoes thrive in our hot North Florida summers with minimal care or watering. Sweet potatoes are an amazing vegetable. Years ago a friend gifted me with a handful of slips. When thinking about how to grow sweet potato plants, realize that these particular tubers grow on vines. They act as a natural mulch, shade the ground, and choke out the competition, while harboring moisture the plants need to grow strong and healthy. Florida summers present a challenge to food gardeners: what will grow in the heat, humidity and swarms of insects? Oddly, I’m not crazy about baked sweet potatoes, so each year I experiment with new recipes. They only need about 1” of water once a week if it hasn’t rained. I launched Sustainable North Florida in 2012 as a way to donate my digital marketing skills to help promote the many sustainable events and people greening our community - and to connect with other locals who share my passion for protecting natural resources, eating healthy and living green. Sweet potatoes don’t need to be trellised, they can … I planted mine all crowded together in a flat area. I put them in a large mixing bowl with other garden goodies (onions, leeks, garlic, fennel bulbs, baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, etc). Don’t ask me how they know. Posts with the growing sweet potatoes in florida tag gardening, plants. How To Grow Potatoes in Florida. Written by Trish Michaels ● June 25, 2013 ● 4 Comments. To create the perfect environment, create long, wide, 10-inch-high ridges spaced 3½ feet apart. Where garden space is … I find it fulfilling. 9513 N. Nebraska Ave. Tampa, FL 33612 (813) 932-9775, Monday thru Friday 8:00am- 5:30pm Saturday 8am - 3:30pm Closed on Sundays. The sweet potato is a warm-season crop that requires a long growing season, ample sunlight and light-to-medium, well-drained soils to perform well. This plant is tropical by nature and prefers Zone 10 temperatures. With every bite, I’m glad I spent the little effort required to grow them! Sweet potatoes don’t require a ton of water. Only certified seed potatoes should be planted in your home garden. I begin harvesting them in November, or earlier for some varieties or for “baby bakers.” It certainly was an exciting journey in growing the sweet potatoes. I tried growing them year-round here, but didn’t like digging up monster-sized, tough, old potatoes. Pro-Tip #1: Work the soil loose down deep, then build a “mound” about 12” high. Or from tubers and vines from a friend who grows them. If you share in our vision, please take a brief moment to become a member and support our efforts with a recurring monthly donation of an amount between a cup of organic coffee and a farm to table dinner. Growing sweet potatoes in pots from sprouts in water then into a pot and then additional pots. When you buy from us, we give you a guide that is provided to us straight from the grower. Roasted sweet potatoes with sautéed greens. Here’s our Top 5 Pro-Tips for growing Sweet Potatoes here in Florida. In tropical regions they grow year round in permanent patches making a beautiful ground cover. Some people sauté the leaves, but I’m not a fan of that. If you like, you can gently wipe off the excess dirt. Even in the 2011 heat and drought, they thrived in full sun! We hope you are safe and happy celebrating home, and hearth, and food, and togetherness - even if it’s over video through the... Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about composting - because it’s trending right now!