Tis the season to harvest sweet potatoes, as the cool temps, and frosts come and kill off the heat loving vines of the sweet potato it is time to harvest all those lovely tubers hiding under the soil.
This year (2012) we planted a large bed of sweet potatoes out front those vines are still growing so they are still in the ground but in the backyard I planted 3 leftover plants. 2 red and 1 white. Those vines started dying back so it was time to yank them up.
Plant 1 (red) was in a weed free area and produced a couple tubers larger then my head as well as standard supermarket size and even smaller ones.
Plant 2 (red) was in a area where weeds had taken over you could hardly see the vines. This plant produced a much smaller amount of tubers and no large ones.
Plant 2 (white) was near the porch underneath the roof runoff and produced huge running vines that went EVERYWHERE. This plant produced a good amount of tubers large, medium, and small. Some split because of the large amount of late season water it received from the runoff, tubers reached 10 ft from the initial planting site.
Lessons Learned from year 1 of planting sweet potatoes:
~ Do not plant where plants will get an excessive amount of water
~ Make sure you do NOT allow weeds to take over plants
~ Keep vines you do not want rooting off the ground, maybe make some strong trellis like item
~ Plant starts about 3 ft from each other to maximize planting space
~ Plant will strangle out any other smaller plants in the area so keep them in their own bed