wisconsindead
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Sweet Potato - One big plant or many small plants (slips)?

Hey guys,

This is my first year attempting to grow sweet potatoes. I order slips from Johnny's which will arrive in two months. My space is limited. I bet I will have maybe something like 10' x 4' to grow them in. Maybe more. I am trying to squeeze far too many things into my garden this year :/

Anyways, I believe I will plant them at 12" spacing, which would give me ten slips in that space. Should I do that or should I grow like 2-3 slips in that space? What will give me the better yield? And do the plants tolerate pruning? I will try to prevent them from growing outwards into the other rows.

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Gary350
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Re: Sweet Potato - One big plant or many small plants (slips

How many sweet potatoes do you want? Each plant will give you 20 to 30 lbs of potatoes. The plants like full sun all day but do good with a little shade too. The hotter & dryer it gets 100 degrees blistering hot the better sweet potatoes like it. Plants don't do well in hard clay soil it restricts the roots and hard soil keeps potatoes from growing large. Fertilizer & water never seems to make my crop do better. I plant 4 to 8 plants in the center of a 12'x12' square patch in my garden and keep the vines all growing in a circle round the center. Every place vines touch the soil they grow roots & grow more potatoes. I cover my vines with soil about every 18' to promote the growth of roots and more potatoes. The mother plant will grow 2 times more potatoes than the satellite potatoes. If mother plants producess 20 lbs of potatoes vines will make about 10 lbs. I plant my potatoes about April 15 to 20 this is usually our last frost then let plants grow until frost kills the plants in Nov. If you growing season is shorter than mine you will get less potatoes than me.

About 6 years ago I got my plants in the garden 2 months late about June 15 that year 4 plants made 135 lbs of potatoes.

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Gary350
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Re: Sweet Potato - One big plant or many small plants (slips

I forgot to mention, plant your plants 2 ft apart.

wisconsindead
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Re: Sweet Potato - One big plant or many small plants (slips

Thanks Gary

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Gary350
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Re: Sweet Potato - One big plant or many small plants (slips

1 more thing I forgot to mention. Every place vines grow roots that provides more water for the whole plant and all the potatoes on the whole plant. If the vine never grow roots there will be no satellite potatoes and the mother load will be smaller maybe 7 to 10 lbs total potatoes.

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Gary350
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Re: Sweet Potato - One big plant or many small plants (slips

You can grow your own slips but they are very slow to grow at room temperature inside the house it takes about 4 months. Buy organic sweet potatoes at the grocery store keep them warm 85 degrees they will grow sprouts in 5 to 7 days. Put enough moist potting soil in a fish aquarium with a lid to cover several sweet potatoes laying on their side once they sprout slips will be 4" long in another 2 weeks. It will take another 3 to 4 more weeks to get 12" slips. Some of the slips will have roots & some not. You can cut off slips with roots to plant & also make small slip potato cutting with roots to plant. Slips with no roots can be rooted in a glass of warm water in 1 to 2 weeks. Using a warm 85 degrees fish aquarium you can grow slips in 2 months. Sweet potatoes love hot weather wait until soil warms up to 70 degrees to plant slips with roots or cutting with a slip & roots in the garden.

imafan26
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Re: Sweet Potato - One big plant or many small plants (slips

Sweet potatoes take up a lot of space and they keep trying to take over the surrounding area so give them lots of room.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Gary350
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Re: Sweet Potato - One big plant or many small plants (slips

imafan26 wrote:Sweet potatoes take up a lot of space and they keep trying to take over the surrounding area so give them lots of room.
I usually plant 3 or 4 plants in the center of a 10'x10' square I have no trouble keeping the vines growing in a circle around and around May to Nov. This year I am going to plant 8 plants 2 ft apart in the same 10'x10' space. I usually get 25 to 35 lbs of potatoes per plant. I do melons & squash the same way keep vines growing in a circle.

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