Growing Sweet Potatoes In Containers / Indoors

Growing Sweet Potatoes in Containers.
Growing Sweet Potatoes in Containers.

Growing Sweet Potatoes In Containers

The following information is all about Growing Sweet Potatoes In Containers /Indoors.

Introduction to Sweet Potatoes

The sweet potatoes are large, starchy, sweet flavored root vegetable. The young leaves are also consumed. The sweet potatoes not related to potatoes family. The plant bears a heart shaped or palmately lobed leaves with flowers. The root comes with smooth skin color ranges between yellow, red, brown, purple, and beige. Its flesh colors range from white, red, pink, violet, yellow, orange, and purple. The doesn’t not tolerate frost, the average temperature of 24°C with a good amount of sunshine and warm night. Sweet potatoes are rich in carbohydrate, dietary fiber and beta-carotene.

  • Scientific Name: lpomoea Batatas.
  • Common Name: Sweet Potatoes.
  • Family: Belongs to family of Convolvulacae.

With the help of containers you can grow sweet potatoes on terrace, in balconies, and backyards.

Sweet Potatoes In Indian Languages

  • English: Sweet Potato/Kumara.
  • Tamil: Sarkarraivalli Kizhangu.
  • Malayalam: Madhura Kizhangu.
  • Telugu: Densu.
  • Kannada: Genasu.
  • Hindi: ShakarKand/Rat
  • Bengali: Mithai-Aloo/Misht
  • Gujarati: Shakkaria.
  • Konkani: Kanngi.
  • Marathi: Ra
  • Oriya: Chini-Aloo/ Kandamoola.
  • Punjabi: ShakarKand/ Ra
  • Tulu: Kereng.

Types of Sweet Potatoes In Containers

For growing Sweet Potatoes in Containers, select a suitable variety that grows well in Containers. Sweet Potatoes come in two different varieties dry flesh and moist flesh.  Select some compact varieties, like Porto Rico and Vardaman.

Porto Rico: This variety of the sweet potato plant comes in both vine and bush type plants. Portiorico is also called putertorico and portorica, this sweet potato has copper-colored skin and light red flesh. The harvesting period of this sweet potatoes is 100 to 140 days. This sweet potato plant has short, compact vines.

  • Harvesting period: 100-140 days.
  • Sow time: after frost.
  • Life cycle: Annual.
  • Sun: full sun.
  • Planting time: Spring.

Georgia jet: Georgia jet is short-season sweet potato, grows very quickly and very to grow. The Harvesting period is just 90 days. This tasty sweet potato has red-skin with deep orange, moist flesh.

  • Planting time: Spring.
  • Life cycle: annually.
  • Sun: full sun.
  • Sowing time: after last frost.

Varadman: this variety sweet potatoes are the famous grown in Mississippi. The best tasted sweet potato with a delicious taste. Vardaman is a bush type plant with golden yellow skin that darken after digging.

  • Harvesting period: 100 days.
  • Sow time: after frost.
  • Life cycle: Annual.
  • Sun: full sun.
  • Planting time: Spring.

Beauregard- sweet potatoes with pale reddish skin with dark orange flesh, best variety for growing in containers.

  • Harvesting period: 100 days.
  • Sow time: after frost.
  • Life cycle: Annual.
  • Sun: full sun.
  • Planting time: Spring.

Centennial: A tasty sweet potato variety with good resistance and quick maturity.

  • Harvesting period: 90 days.
  • Sow time: after frost.
  • Life cycle: Annual.
  • Sun: full sun.
  • Planting time: Spring.

Georgia jet: Reddish skin with orange flesh, good resistance power. Best for container farming.

  • Harvesting period: 90 days.
  • Sow time: after frost.
  • Life cycle: Annual.
  • Sun: full sun.
  • Planting time: Spring.

Patriot: Copper skin with orange flesh. Good disease resistance.

  • Harvesting period: 100 days.
  • Sow time: after frost.
  • Life cycle: Annual.
  • Sun: full sun.
  • Planting time: Spring.

Best variety for Growing Sweet Potatoes In Containers

Select the bush varieties, which have short vines and easily compatible in containers. Puretorico and Vardaman are best to grow in containers.

Steps For Growing Sweet Potatoes In Containers

  • For growing Sweet Potatoes in containers, they need large containers with warm climate. Slips or transplants are used for growing sweet potato in containers, you can get them from nearby nurseries.

Best season for Growing Sweet Potatoes In Containers

The Sweet Potato crop grows well in hot and warm areas. Sweet Potatoes grown in all he zones except the cold regions. The best season to grow sweet potatoes are spring and summer.

Best Containers for Growing Sweet Potatoes In Containers

  • Select a right container for Growing Sweet Potatoes.
  • In the market there, containers suitable for growing Sweet Potatoes are available.
  • Don’t go for plastic containers or metal containers, use clay containers and whisky barrels are good choice.
  • Containers should have a good draining system.
  • Fabric potato planter bags or potato growing bags are available in the market.
  • Potato growing bags provide good aeration to the roots with an adequate draining facility.
  • During the harvesting period, you can just lift the bag and dump the contents into a wheel barrow making harvest extreme easy.
  • Potatoes grow bags are available in all the gardening stores and online stores.

Soil for Growing Sweet Potatoes In Containers

  • Sweet potatoes a deep, loose sandy and well-drained soil that allows tubers to grow easily and avoid rotting in times of heavy rainfall.
  • Mix the soil with the compost or organic manure, and with a pH level 6.5 to 7.0.
  • Using commercial high-quality potting mix recommended.
  • Mix the potting mix the organic compost and granular organic fertilizer high in potash.

Planting sweet potatoes for Growing Sweet Potatoes In Containers

  • Sweet potatoes are grown from slips, slips are he sprouts grown from the stored sweet potatoes or you can buy slips from the nurseries or local gardens.
  • Slips can be grown at home itself, get a fresh, unblemished and uncracked potatoes from the supermarket. One sweet potato can yield minimum 12 plants.

How to grow potato slips?

  • The best time to grow slips is November.
  • Store sweet potatoes in room temperature 15-20°c. Store them till the last fros
  • Take a container that can hold 2 gallons of potting soil. Fill the container with 3 inch mulch and then 2 inches of potting soil.
  • Now plan the potatoes in the container at 45 degrees angle, this allows the sprouts to grow above the soil.
  • Water he potatoes thoroughly. Keep the soil moist. The potatoes start sprouting in 6 weeks.
  • Place a container in the sun for 3 to 4 hours till the potato sprout.
  • Once the slips grow ill 6 to 12 inches, transplant them into different containers.
  • Plant the slips deep enough to cover the roots and about½ inch of the stem.
  • Water the plants with a liquid fertilizer, water the plant continuously for 10 days, make sure that he stems root well.

How to transplant slips in Growing Sweet Potatoes In Containers

  • Growing slips at home and transplanting cannot successful, some sweet potatoes sprout, and some will rot without sprouting. Cutting the slips can also harm their roots and transplanting may not work.
  • It is a good idea to get the slips from nursery and transplant them.
  • Get the slips of 15 to 20 cm long, remove some leaves except the two at the top.
  • Plant the slips directly in containers filled with potting soil and the organic compost.
  • Just leave some leaves on the top above the soil surface.
  • Keep the soil till plants roots establish firmly in the soil. New tubers will be formed from these roots.

Propagation for Growing Sweet Potatoes In Containers

  • Sweet potatoes are very to grow from existing plants. Just break off a branch that has several leaf nodes.
  • Remove all leaves at the bottom and place the stem in water.
  • In 1 to 2 weeks, you can observe root at the bottom the stem.
  • Transplant he plant in a large container.

How and when to Water for Growing Sweet Potatoes In Containers

  • Keep the plants moist continuously, don’t wet the soil.
  • In summer season, water deeply.
  • Water frequency depends on the type of container.
  • If you are growing, sweet potatoes in grow bags, moisture in the soil should be checked daily.
  • If you are using container made of clay or wood, they hold moisture for long periods.
  • Slips should be watered generously for 2 to 3 weeks, after the plant roots well water them regularly.

Sunlight requirement for Growing Sweet Potatoes In Containers

  • Sweet potatoes are warm crops, they need full sun to grow.
  • They thrive well in full to partial shade.
  • At the time of sprouting they need 5 to 6 hours of sunlight.
  • Once they grow, plant full sunlight 8 to 9 hours.
  • Sweet potatoes thrive well in heavy sunlight in midsummer days.

Best location for Growing Sweet Potatoes In Containers

  • Sweet potatoes are very choosy on their locations.
  • They need warm all the time.
  • Sweet potatoes need a temperature above 15 °C degrees during the day and night.
  • Place the container in a location where it gets full sun in the day.

Fertilizers for Growing Sweet Potatoes In Containers

  • Sweet potato plants have very low nutrient needs. You can fertilize them with low-nitrogen organic fertilizer blend or with organic materials.
  • Depending on the soil, use fertilizer mix in ratio of 5-10-10 or 15-30- 15 (nitrogen: potassium: phosphorus).
  • Natural composts as a fertilizer, provide most of the nutrients to the plants.
  • Use well decomposed home-made manure, like leaf mold, vegetable waste, tea composts.
  • Don’t use animal manure, as it contains more nitrogen that can harm plants.
  • You can use commercial organic fertilizers at he time of planting or side dressing.
  • Select a low nitrogen level organic fertilizer in a ratio of 5-10-10.
  • Molasses or potash, blood meal or bone meal supply a good amount of nutrients to plants.
  • Applying the fertilizers at initial stage can help the growth of the plants.
  • Apply a 2 inch layer of leaf mold on the top of the potting soil will provide the necessary nutrients at the planting stage.
  • A side dressing with leaf or vegetable compost will supply necessary nutrient at 8 weeks after planting.

Diseases and pests for Growing Sweet Potatoes In Containers

  • Wire worms and root-knot are the most common problems in growing sweet potatoes.
  • You can avoid many diseases by selecting diseases resistant varieties.
  • Some common pests are white fringed beetle grubs, white grubs, beetles, aphids, tips and whiteflies.
  • To get rid of these pests using neem oil sprays or horticultural soaps or insecticidal soap sprays.

Harvesting and storing for Growing Sweet Potatoes In Containers

Sweet Potato Harvest.
Sweet Potato Harvest.
  • Sweet potatoes take minimum 4 months to harvest when planted in tropical regions and 6 months in cold regions.
  • Allow the potatoes to air dry for 7 to 8 hours.
  • Then collect them in a basket with ventilation and cover with newspaper.
  • Then the tubers should be cured for 10 to 15 days at 22 °C
  • The Ideal temperature to store tubers is 12 ºC degrees to 15 ºC

Tips for Growing Sweet Potatoes In Containers    

  • Sweet potatoes are cold sensitive the soil temperature should be 15°c.
  • Ideal temperature for growing sweet potatoes in containers is 16°c.
  • You really don’t need to fertilize the sweet potatoes at planting time, excess nitrogen can harm the plants.
  • Mulching helps to keep the soil moist.
  • Sweet potatoes are slow starters and there are chances of weeds, so weeding should be done regularly.
  • Sweet potatoes are can face drought, regular watering will prevent plants from splitting.
  • Arrange some support of stakes or trellis to support vine growth.
  • Don’t cut the vines, it may affect the growth of sweet potatoes.
  • Sweet potatoes are less tolerant of cold, the plant stops growing in cold seasons.
  • Don’t water the sweet potato plants before 3-4 weeks of harvesting, to protect roots from spitting.
  • Prune the vines spreading rapidly, regular pruning is important, pruning is done at any time.
  • Pruning is mainly done in summer and spring season, don’t prune when the weather is cool. Warm temperature promotes the growth of plants.

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