When to Harvest Sweet Potatoes. Watch the weather report and harvest your sweet potatoes when the night time temperatures start to dip into the 40s to 30s to ensure that none of your crop is lost to frost. Fortunately, it doesn’t take a master gardener to determine when you can finally dig up those delicious root veggies, such as sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes crop best at temperatures between 21-26°C (70-80°F). Sweet potatoes are fully mature at this point and you should harvest them before the first frost. Sweet potatoes are easy to grow but they do need a few things to grow really well. Harvest sweet potatoes before the vines are touched by frost. Let's get together. In colder areas – some gardeners in Canada have managed to grow sweet potatoes – you’ll need to use season extending techniques in spring for an adequate growth period. Ideal conditions are the same as for winter squash—just slightly cool (55 to 60 degrees) and with a moderate relative humidity (60 to 75 percent). Overwinter plants in a frost-free greenhouse or windowsill. When the ground bulges, they are almost ready to harvest. We love to DIY. The foliage of the plants tends to spread out a lot and it's best to pinch out the growing tips when the stems reach 60cm / 2ft long to keep them tidy and encourage side shoots. Then the area is kept at about 90% humidity. When to Harvest Sweet Potatoes When to harvest sweet potatoes depends largely on the seasonal growing. Plant. This gives them time to harvest before the first frost, so the potatoes are in storage as the weather turns cool. Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. Store your sweet potatoes in a dry and cool environment (such as a garage or basement). Frost can damage the tubers below. When the sweet potato leaves turn yellow, growth has stopped and the roots have matured. Sometimes, you can’t do much about this if Mother Nature is the culprit. For home gardeners, the best time to harvest sweet potatoes is immediately before or just after the first fall frost. Watch the weather report and harvest your sweet potatoes when the night time temperatures start to dip into the 40s to 30s to ensure that none of your crop is lost to frost. Because they have thin skins sweet potatoes are easily damaged during harvest so extra care should be taken. The longer you are able to keep the plants in the ground, the larger and more numerousyour harvest will be. The first is well dug, compost rich soil, and they need drainage. Beauregard is one of the world’s most popular sweet potatoes. But smaller tubers—called “baby bakers”—can be lifted sooner if they are big enough to eat. Since the roots spread 4 to 6 inches deep in the soil, a spade fork is useful when digging up the potatoes. Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online. It will be nearly four months before your sweet potatoes are ready to harvest. Using a shovel or a pitchfork, gently lift the soil. The sweet potato root has a delicate skin that is easily bruised at harvest. Sweet potatoes will continue to grow and produce until frost or freeze stops them. When the leaves turn slightly yellow they are usually ready to harvest. Download a printer-friendly version of this page: Growing Swee… Most varieties of sweet potato take around 100 days to go from planting to harvest. Most gardeners in warmer climates, like USDA Zones 8 and 9, usually try to time the harvest for September or October. Examine the ground for bulges about 90 to 100 days after planting sweet potatoes. For winter storage, it’s best to let the plant and the weather tell you when to harvest potatoes. National Gardening Association: Harvesting Sweet Potatoes, Harvest to Table: How to Grow Sweet Potatoes. After harvesting, store the sweet potatoes in a box in a warm room. I let them be and not harvest until the end of October. Some growers have mixes specifically for northern gardens. Container grown sweet potatoes should be ready for harvest after 150 days and certainly just after a vine killing frost. Try to reserve some of your sweet potatoes for creating slips in your future garden. Sweet potato varieties are ready to harvest 95 to 120 days after planting in the garden. Keep greenhouse plants well watered, and feed every other week with a high-potassium liquid feed. The mystery of the sweet potato origins continues with each hemisphere arguing that this delicious food crop belongs to them. Keeping in mind that the longer you keep them in the ground the … A good rule of thumb is to watch for the first signs of yellowing leaves. How to harvest. It’s easy to tell when tomatoes and peppers are ripe, but those hidden wonders developing under the ground don’t scream "harvest time" like other vegetables do. Sweet potatoes aren’t finicky about the texture of the ground they grow in, but if your soil is full of rocks and clumps, you may end up with oddly shaped potatoes at the end of the season. This is a good time for harvest. Harvesting Your Sweet Potatoes . Find solutions for sourcing organic sweet potato slips and fertilizing with naturally derived nutrients. You can also harvest sweet potatoes earlier than this, when they are slightly immature. It’s best to stop watering your sweet potatoes 3-4 weeks before harvest. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. © 2021 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. Harvest sweet potatoes on a cloudy day. Typically, most varieties will take about three to four months to mature – about 90 to 120 days, but there are some newer varieties that take less time and bred specifically for northern climates (such as Georgia Jet, Vardaman, Centennial). Sweet potatoes form a lush mat of vining growth, and their tubers form underground, so it can be hard to know when to harvest sweet potatoes. Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths. She has also written for various online publications. You’ll know when your sweet potatoes are ready to harvest when the leaves start to turn yellow. If you’re further north, you’ll want to do the same thing; harvest your sweet potatoes as late as possible. In the Mid-Atlantic, sweet potatoes are typically harvested from early September until the end of October. To help increase their sweetness, place harvested sweet potatoes in a dark, warm room for at least two weeks before eating. When you first harvest them sweet potatoes are not really sweet and the texture is not ideal. It offers high-yield and disease-resistance. Then sift through with your hand to retrieve all your potatoes. Here are some key instructions on curing and storing sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes can last six months or more in storage, if held properly. With southern gardens, try to keep your potatoes in until 120 days since typically cold nights and frost will not be a problem. Learn the basics about growing sweet potatoes and their origin. Watch for the plant foliage to turn yellow. Letting them cure for two months is said to enhance their flavor, but it can be hard to wait that amount of time especially if you love sweet potatoes. Gardeners in North Carolina, the biggest sweet potato-producing state, time their plantings so the roots will mature by late September and early October. Most gardeners wait until the foliage starts to turn yellow or after … Simply wait it out and look out for a couple of signs and you’ll soon be eating a sweet potato pie. Sweet potatoes are the tuberous roots of a beautiful perennial vine. When receiving your slips, it is important to read the packing. 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