Peter1142
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Location: SE NY ZONE 6B

Sweet Potato Spacing

This is my first year growing sweet potatoes. I bought some Beauregard SP slips and I have more than I can plant. Just how tight can I squeeze them together? I have read conflicting answers via Googling. I have them at like 6-8 inches right now (I wanted to get them in the ground ASAP) and figure I will thin them out if necessary. Thanks!
Zone 6b SE NY
My blog Peter's Vegetable Garden

CharlieBear
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Location: Pacific NW

Re: Sweet Potato Spacing

Actually the proper spacing for sweet potatoes if you want a good yield is 24" apart. Anything less than that lowers the yield. Those roots need space to grow. If you have the space you could zig zag them so they are 24" apart, in a wide row of about 3' total. You are not the first to find you don't have room for 12 slips. If you have some really big pots you might try planting one in each, mulch, keep properly watered and you should get a yield, but they will probably be as large and numerous as in the ground. Unless you believe you have slips that will not grow there in no reason to plant them so close you need to thin them, in fact that is a very bad idea. You are growing a root plant and the roots need space to grow and expand.

Peter1142
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Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:23 pm
Location: SE NY ZONE 6B

Re: Sweet Potato Spacing

This seems to be contradictory to other information available online... including from Steele where I got them.

http://www.sweetpotatoplant.com/growing-tips/
http://www.hort.cornell.edu/expo/procee ... 0Bornt.pdf
http://www.ncsweetpotatoes.com/sweet-po ... /planting/
http://www.almanac.com/plant/sweet-potato

I am going to try for a closer spacing and see what happens.

I did believe I had slips that would not grow, my first order was completely dry with all dead foliage and roots.
Zone 6b SE NY
My blog Peter's Vegetable Garden

CharlieBear
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Re: Sweet Potato Spacing

I gave you standard agricultural practices for the lower 48 states, since you are in NY I would go with Cornell, which is your extension, but follow all of the advice not just spacing depth, watering, etc. I use them as reference often, since NY has so many hardiness zones, most of their info is more generalized and often more complete on vegetables especially. I hope you have a really good crop.

Peter1142
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Posts: 313
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:23 pm
Location: SE NY ZONE 6B

Re: Sweet Potato Spacing

Thanks. There are obviously a lot of different opinions about this, and a lot of variables involved.
Zone 6b SE NY
My blog Peter's Vegetable Garden

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Gary350
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Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Re: Sweet Potato Spacing

Plants should be 2 to 3 ft apart. The most important thing is the vines grow roots every place they touch the soil so keep out all weeds and grass. Give the vines some help put a shovel of dirt on the vines every 3 ft to insure roots at that spot. Keep the vines in a 25 foot diameter circle for 5 or 6 plants. The mother plants will grow 2 to 3 times more potatoes than the satellite plants where the vine grow roots. Do not harvest until after frost kills the vines. 5 plants will make 130 to 150 lbs of potatoes.

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