My writing is based on my studies in Biology and Health, and my experiences from gardening with my family as a child. It's Easy Growing Ginger And Turmeric - Fresh, Organic, Year Round, Mama's Backyard Garden | It’s time to plant Sweet Potatoes. Visit their website here. on April 7, 2015 in Things to Eat 0. I dug them up immediately to find they were even sweeter and tastier than usual. I get the root growth in the jar with water, but I guess they just don’t like the heat in my kitchen windowsills much. Or wait for the leaves to turn yellow from the first frost. If you like, you can gently wipe off the excess dirt. The potatoes themselves have been somewhat unpredictable, but I have produced some. In my Jacksonville home, I lower my carbon footprint with solar power, rainwater harvesting, composting, waste reduction, etc. Some people sauté the leaves, but I’m not a fan of that. When growing potatoes, it is important to take into consideration the time it … Slips are baby plants that sprout from a mature sweet potato. If it is windy, you’re better off waiting until the next afternoon. Have you seen my hub: 'How to grow sweet potatoes in a container', published in April last year? Often I don’t need to plant tuber’s because the area where I grew them last year is full of volunteers. They grow well in sandy soil and don't require much fertilizing. Remember to keep them away from onions and garlic which can make sweet potatoes rot quickly! My all-time favorite is roasted! You can grow them starting in mid-Spring and the vines will flourish during the heat of Summer while growing wonderful treats underground to harvest in the Fall and early Winter. Sweet potatoes will grow in poor soil, but deformed roots may develop in heavy clay or long and stringy in sandy dirt. To keep them as nourished as possible, you’ll need to keep the area free of any other competition that would steal the precious nutrients they need. But I like your way better. I like to sit by the garden bed and dig them up by hand. Where garden space is … I don’t recommend storage in the refrigerator either, because any temperature below 55 degrees Fahrenheit changes the starches and sugars in the potato and degrades a lot of the nutritive value of this very tasty tuber. So, it doesn’t matter how you do it – just plant some! How To Grow Potatoes in Florida. From our family to yours, we wish you the best of everything this holiday season, our Gratitude knows no end. and that can be an invitation for pests and disease to enter the plant and wreak havoc. Once you’ve harvested your sweet potatoes they will need to dry in a well-ventilated and shaded area to grow a thick skin. The Southeast’s long, hot summers are just what the sweet potato needs as it requires at the very least 150 frost-free days. I don’t even fertilize them, but then I plant everything in my homegrown, rich, organic compost. they're all growing vines. Work the soil loose down deep so the sweet potato tubers grow long and smooth. When you buy from us, we give you a guide that is provided to us straight from the grower. I put my harvest in newspaper-lined boxes, then place the boxes on my back deck out of the sun for a week. The sweet potato is a warm-season crop that requires a long growing season, ample sunlight and light-to-medium, well-drained soils to perform well. Once the vines are established, they are naturally multipurpose! Maybe I’ll try both ways as we have room. You can’t go wrong. Growing Sweet Potatoes in Florida in a Raised Bed. Want to grow more delicious vegetables? Written by Trish Michaels ● June 25, 2013 ● 4 Comments. Then I roast them on a 350 degree preheated cast-iron skillet in my oven for about 30 to 45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes or so. Growing sweet potatoes in pots from sprouts in water then into a pot and then additional pots. I cut them leaving an eye on each piece and stick them in the ground. Many gardeners feel it does best in a partial sun situation where it gets a bit of afternoon shade. when they came up and got a few inches long i cut some of the runners and stuck them around also. I turn under the vines so they’ll grow again on their own. My vision is a more sustainable community that lovingly supports one another with knowledge and resources. I find they store longer when I don’t wipe off any of the dirt. Plant the sections in a six-inch deep trench in a spot that receives full sun. Growing sweet potatoes is an adventure, and we hope that you will dive in and have fun with it! If you’re new to Florida, or new to gardening, you may not realize that you can actually grow quite a lot of food in Florida in Winter. I'm mostly vegetarian. Last year’s leftover sweet potatoes are sprouting by spring and ready to become this year’s crop. She planted hers like her grandparents did – at the top of high dirt mounds. Can’t wait to harvest. In the fall, check on them. They’re delicious and high in nutritional value. Dig up an area by hand to see if they’re ready to harvest. The process takes up to 10 days. Florida Friendly Sweet Potatoe Varieties: Centennial, Beauregard, Vardaman, Boniato. And I even attracted some root pests that ate holes in my taters. Copyright © 2017 Sustainable North Florida a Wuji Technology Inc. program. You can grow potatoes straight into the garden if you would like or you can grow them vertically in a canister. Planted sweet potatoes here in Central Florida for the first time last year. Some sweet potatoes looked like string beans. I grow and sell Georgia Jets which is an early variety need about 90-120 days from transplanted slips until the full size tubers can be harvested. of potatoes per person each year. I’m an over-educated, passionate, gardening and pet enthusiast, and I have found the perfect job! Florida’s Sweet Potatoes Industry . In previous years I watered them daily. If you’re working with tubers left over from last year’s harvest just cut them into cubes, making sure every section has an eye or sprout. Read on to find out more Florida friendly varieties and get a better understanding of growing potatoes in Florida. above the ground. Harvesting is easiest when the dirt is dry. Now I realize they don’t need any water or care. Only certified seed potatoes should be planted in your home garden. Sweet potatoes thrive in our hot North Florida summers with minimal care or watering. They not only grow sweet, nutritious tubers under the ground, but also have beautiful foliage (and flowers!) They will grow best when they are set in the ground in the late afternoon on a sunny day that is NOT windy. I don’t think sweet potatoes really care what they are growing in. You can get started from sweet potato slips purchased at local feed stores. They just do. I always recommend working Shell’s Organic 3-3-3 into the mound as you work because it helps create a natural, bioavailable nutrient source for hungry plants. Coat them with olive oil and whatever fresh are growing (rosemary, cilantro, basil, oregano, thyme, etc – plus sea salt and pepper). Sweet potatoes prefer a warm environment, so try to choose an area that gets a lot of sunlight (especially if you live in the north) and is well drained. Ideal spacing is 10-18” between each slip as you plant. Growing Sweet Potatoes – by Mark Govan, host of “Florida Gardening” heard on 970WFLA. Grow a lush beautiful vine from a bottleneck vase (or a glass soda bottle!) Plant potatoes throughout the state in January; you can still plant them in February in North and Central Florida. The potato is one of America's most popular vegetables. Both the roots and leaves are loaded with nutritional value and oh so very delicious. Pingback: It's Easy Growing Ginger And Turmeric - Fresh, Organic, Year Round. Written by db on June 21st, 2012. I don’t know what my hens would do without the abundance of sweet potato leaves and Okinawa spinach – the only greens that thrive in our garden during the relentless summer heat. To start growing potatoes in Florida, you plant the potato tuber. I’ve grown sweet potatoes in my riased bed and had a fantastic harvest. While sweet potato slips are pretty tough little things, they do need to quickly get to growing like they were born to do. Sweet potatoes can be planted in the spring through the end of June. Years ago a friend gifted me with a handful of slips. The only time to fuss with the vines is to lift the vine “elbows” out of the soil. Soil prep is best done in advance, so that when the slips are brought to the garden they are ready to pop right into the ground. In the North, cover the raised rows with black plastic to keep th… Each year I set aside the ugliest, least desirable tubers to create next year’s crop. With every bite, I’m glad I spent the little effort required to grow them! Thanks for reading, I launched Sustainable North Florida in 2012 as a way to donate my digital marketing skills to help promote the many sustainable events and people greening our community - and to connect with other locals who share my passion for protecting natural resources, eating healthy and living green. Monthly. Daytime temperatures in the upper eighties and low nineties severely limit choices we have to grow in the garden. They easily damage (even a strong wind can hurt them!) Like what you’re reading? Sweet potatoes may be associated with the southern U.S., but they will grow in just about any garden. Water and fertilize on a regular basis, and mound soil around the stems as the plants grow. The blog this week is to help encourage you to pick out some fine Winter crops to grow this year, to give you a little time to... ©2020 Shell's Feed & Garden Supply | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Web Dev by Design Formare Inc. “Shell’s – Family Owned & Operated Since 1961”, Those are the top 5 Pro-Tips I have for sweet potato growing. Pro-Tip #1: Work the soil loose down deep, then build a “mound” about 12” high. She writes: “I started growing sweet potatoes a few years ago. Join our gardening community, and sign up for our email newsletter, for helpful free articles, resources, inspiration, and more! This skin is essential for storing your sweet potatoes for any length of time. Lots of water can even encourage fungus, which any Florida gardener know is an enormous problem for any garden plants. I am so glad you found the article helpful. They like loose, well-drained, sandy soil. Plant potatoes in an area with full sun from September to January in South Florida and from January through March in Central and North Florida. Sustainable North Florida is part of a Benefits Corporation therefore, your donation is greatly appreciated but is NOT tax deductible. Sweet potatoes don’t require a ton of water. I put them in a large mixing bowl with other garden goodies (onions, leeks, garlic, fennel bulbs, baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, etc). Bonus Tips for growing sweet potatoes Growing sweet potatoes works best in loamy, well-drained soil that is not too rich. Jacksonville is a great place to call home! By Mark Govan, Host “Florida Gardening” on 970WFLA. Don’t ask me how they know. It’s important that when you pick them up from the store you plant them as soon as possible. You can buy certified seed from a number of reputable garden supply stores. They won’t hurt your plant but could affect the tasty harvest you’re hoping to grow! I find they’re quite flexible on harvest time. While other states lead in sweet potato production, Florida is ranked fifth in growing sweet potatoes; it’s a decent ranking as many states grow these popular tubers. They’re easy to grow, thrive in our hot summers, require little water and store for months. You can eat them fresh out of the ground, but they get sweeter when fully cured. A long hot growing season is ideal for growing these tuber-like roots. This is usually about 6”. Those elbows, if left in the soil, will set new plants, which will set new tubers. You get the best of both worlds from them. Thanks for reading! Once they’re started, you’ll have everything you need to grow them year after year. Sweet Potato’s Insect Pests. (A 10-foot row will produce 8 to 10 pounds of potatoes.) Most of us here in Florida don’t have root cellars so we usually store them in a cool dark spot. Silly me. My first harvested sweet potato looked like and as big as a fetus! I begin harvesting them in November, or earlier for some varieties or for “baby bakers.” The many blunders and successes of my own gardening projects over the years have been invaluable to me. Here’s what I’ve learned so far. Some need to be cut into bite-sized pieces. Yep, I’m a big sweet tater fan. My first experiment was a rather successful one. They act as a natural mulch, shade the ground, and choke out the competition, while harboring moisture the plants need to grow strong and healthy. I’ve been gardening organically for 20+ years. In north Florida, we plant sweet potatoes late March through early June. Here’s our Top 5 Pro-Tips for growing Sweet Potatoes here in Florida. The mighty potato is a staple root crop in most of the world. I tried growing them year-round here, but didn’t like digging up monster-sized, tough, old potatoes. Growing Sweet potatoes Planting & Growing from Slips. Last year’s leftover sweet potatoes are sprouting by spring and ready to become this year’s crop. Growing Sweet Potatoes In Florida. Shell’s Feed & Garden Supply sponsors the chickens and chicken coops there. I planted some in late July once and still had a banner yield. When thinking about how to grow sweet potato plants, realize that these particular tubers grow on vines. Ideally, the pH is between 5.8 and 6.2, although, they will tolerate a more acidic pH to 5.0 Plant slips 10-12 inches apart and allows room for the … And, if growers can take advantage of Florida’s climate and plant sweet potatoes earlier than in other competing states, they might hit a market window advantage and get higher prices. Donation Total: Other than that I have had good yields with peppers, so my gardening skills are a constant work in progress. They’re also a great choice for our Florida summers. They can be planted a month sooner in central and southern Florida. Interested in learning about green events throughout the year, check out our calendars! $5.00 Sweet potatoes grow primarily underground, but their vines grow above the ground. Here’s our Top 5 Pro-Tips for growing Sweet Potatoes here in Florida. Posts with the growing sweet potatoes in florida tag gardening, plants. How easy is that? I find it fulfilling. Sweet potatoes don’t need to be trellised, they can … And after all that hard work, you don’t want to do that. If your summer is short, pick an early variety like Beauregard or Georgia Jet to ensure you’ll have enough … Check out some more! Recommended varieties for Florida are Red Pontiac, Sebago, Atlantic, Red La Soda and Superior. The first thing you should know about growing sweet potatoes is that they love hot weather! Oddly, I’m not crazy about baked sweet potatoes, so each year I experiment with new recipes. One of my favorite plants, the sweet potato, is easy to grow and a great choice for summer gardens. But  be gentle because they spoil quickly when bruised. So, now I’m back to harvesting as I want to eat them throughout the fall, then digging up the entire plot after the first frost. In the warmer southern part of the state, potatoes are generally grown in the fall. The late, great, J.C. Raulston once said, “If you’re not killing plants, you’re not stretching yourself as a gardener.” Learn by doing, gain knowledge from the failures, but more importantly, relish the successes, (because they’re delicious!) We both won the competition because this plant thrives no matter how you plant it or care for it. Delaying planting means it will just take them a little longer to get going. The perfect crop for lazy gardeners like me! good looking Sweet taters David,i'm hoping for a few myself but i planted very late.I bought some sweet taters from Tim sometime over the summer, cut the ends off them, and stuck them in the ground all around. But keep the vines trim or they’ll take over! there is one more fun thing you can do with sweet potato slips beyond tasty garden treats. Work in plenty of compost, avoiding nitrogen-rich fertilizers that produce lush vines and stunted tubes. Lyda has some sweet potato problems – maybe you can help! Americans eat an average of 125 lb. It certainly was an exciting journey in growing the sweet potatoes. In a few weeks, green sprouts will pop up. For the crafty. The colorful potatoes are grown throughout the state and are good sources of vitamins A and C. Unfortunately, the potatoes also have unwanted pests. Sweet potatoes can be planted in the summertime here in Florida and regular potatoes can be planted in early spring and fall. Sustainable North Florida remains free and takes time and energy to provide quality consolidated information with value to our audience. Or from tubers and vines from a friend who grows them. They’ll develop thick skins that help them store for months! Happy Thanksgiving To All! In South Florida, plant them from October to January. Each vine can grow to be over ten feet long. To create the perfect environment, create long, wide, 10-inch-high ridges spaced 3½ feet apart. Don’t forget you can eat the leaves too. Marissa. They’re the ultimate, sustainable crop for a lazy Jacksonville gardener like me. Sweet potato is a fast - you might even say rampant - grower, staying fairly low to the ground. Sweet potatoes are planted in the spring and early summer, after the growing season for white potatoes, so they can fit nicely into the traditional production systems. What’s more effortless, rewarding, nutritious, delicious and fully sustainable than growing sweet potatoes in Florida? Perhaps some of you experts will tell us the “right” way to master this crop. 9513 N. Nebraska Ave. Tampa, FL 33612 (813) 932-9775, Monday thru Friday 8:00am- 5:30pm Saturday 8am - 3:30pm Closed on Sundays. Research Brief: With Support, Social Enterprise Could Drive Job Growth in Africa, Real Change in the Real Economy: Decarbonizing Industry, The race to mainstream electric vehicles by 2030. You’ll find some recipes posted here. In central Florida, they should be planted before mid February. Sweet potatoes are an amazing vegetable. Florida summers present a challenge to food gardeners: what will grow in the heat, humidity and swarms of insects? Let them marinade for minutes or even hours. Perhaps someone could tell me how to create a makeshift root cellar! Certification insures that the seed tubers are free of disease. You can also find more information I’ve put together from my research on our website, Easy Eating: Top Container Garden Recipes. Sweet potato grown from slips generally need at least 4 months of frost-free growing. My Mom and I each planted some, teasing each other about whose crop would produce the best yield. Glad I got some. as a houseplant. They only need about 1” of water once a week if it hasn’t rained. Because potatoes like well-drained, loose soil with a pH of 5 to 6, they do well in most Florida soils; however, they don't like to be flooded. We have a lot of local resources that can help you, as well as some at the State and even the Federal level. You may be familiar with sweet potatoes among Thanksgiving dinner tables, but these crops thrive in Florida’s hot summers. Growing Sweet Potatoes. Prepping the garden this year, I found more little sweet potatoes from last year and replanted them in a new patch. You’ll want to sink the “slip” down far into the mound, but not so far that the bud (the vine stem) is covered by dirt. One hundred degrees is just fine for these aggressive vines. We hope you are safe and happy celebrating home, and hearth, and food, and togetherness - even if it’s over video through the... Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about composting - because it’s trending right now! I'm eager to do more! In tropical regions they grow year round in permanent patches making a beautiful ground cover. Gina Welds Hulse (author) from Rockledge, Florida on July 22, 2017: Thank you, Martha and Chitrangada Sharan. Both slips and cuttings go directly into the dirt ideally between March and June. Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are a warm weather vegetable; they do not grow like regular potatoes.Growing sweet potatoes require a long frost-free growing season. Admittedly I’m a sweet tater novice who hates sweating in the heat, so it’s full of short cuts. Make sure your garden plot has plenty of room for the vines. It's happiest in sunny areas. This will take nutrients and effort away from the main tubers you are growing back at the original planting hole, making those smaller. It is a nutritious, filling food that is high in Vitamin C, Potassium, Fiber, and Vitamin B-6. The great thing about gardening is that it is a life-long learning process. My horse loved them as treats. Special thank you to Abby’s Organic Community Farm. Sweet potatoes are typically started from transplants called "slips." My biggest issue is that I probably need a covered or shaded area to start seedlings/rootlets. What is your favorite green event during Earth Month (April)? I select the smallest ones and scrub the skins really well. It helps heal some of the harvest injuries and prepares them for long-term storage. The perfect crop for lazy gardeners like me! If you share in our vision, please take a brief moment to become a member and support our efforts with a recurring monthly donation of an amount between a cup of organic coffee and a farm to table dinner. It even has some protein! Autumn Leaves in Florida may not be the idyllic multicolored leaf-fireworks show that it is in our northern neighboring states. By late spring they’ve sprouted. Especially getting the vines and leaves. Composting Is The New Trendy Socially-Responsible Practice, Top 5 Winter Crops You Will Want To Plant In Florida This Year. For some reason sweet potatoes intuitively know the weather. Pingback: Mama's Backyard Garden | It’s time to plant Sweet Potatoes. Sweet potatoes grow best in hot weather, so I generally plant them in my garden about the middle of April. Often I give both tubers and volunteers to friends so they can start their own tater patch. When the tuber is planted, it is called a "seed" potato. The potato is one of America's most popular vegetables, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension and is a popular crop for home gardeners due to its relative ease of growing and high yields. Roasted sweet potatoes with sautéed greens. Just be careful not to bruise them. Learn how to grow sweet potatoes with these tips from our experts. I purchased an oriental sweet potato from an Organic Farmers Market and just put it in the ground and watered it. Solanum tuberosum, the scientific name for potato, also called the Irish potato, is a cool-season crop.It is grown commercially in Florida for both fresh market and chipping in the winter and spring months when the days are warm and the nights are cool. Super healthy! The planting window is from about mid January to early March. This plant is tropical by nature and prefers Zone 10 temperatures. Learn how your comment data is processed. The part we eat is the tuberous root of a vining plant that is closely related to morning glories (Ipomoea tricolor) and youll easily see the similarity in leaves to the sweet potato vines we now grow as ornamentals. Soon you’ll have a gorgeous decorative vine! I left some in the dirt one year until the first frost turned all the leaves black. You have chosen to donate $5.00 monthly. Poke a hole in the mound, pour a little water into the hole, place the slip, then firm up the soil around it. Don’t forget the leaves are also edible. Make sure you give them plenty of room for expansion because the vines spread quickly, taking over anything in their way. Now I have seen videos where you grow the slips and plant those. Growing potatoes in Central Florida is fun and easy. But we still get leaves that fall to the ground during this time of year. Over the weeks and months they produce luscious vines with beautiful purple flowers. You’ll get the best results planting right away, but even if they sit around and become slimy and stinky, they will STILL do fine if you get them in the ground. Young sweet potatoes are using every ounce of energy to put up leaves that will generate more energy through photosynthesis. 3 Comments. You can grow them starting in mid-Spring and the vines will flourish during the heat of Summer while growing wonderful treats underground to harvest in the Fall and early Winter. I put them in green smoothies all through the hot summer months when most other greens aren’t growing. Growing Sweet Potatoes is pretty easy. Thanks for stopping by. I love cooking what I grow and creating recipes to incorporate whole grains, beans and seeds. I haven’t had much luck growing the slips. Let your taters dry in the sun on top of the bed for several hours (or days). Written by Trish Michaels June 25, 2013 4 Comments. Some people harvest using a spading fork. Daytime temperatures in the upper eighties and low nineties severely limit choices we have to grow in the garden. Try to avoid disturbing the vines as much as you can. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. If you would like to know how to grow a big harvest of sweet potato watch this video for my five top tips on sweet potato growing! But trust me, my lazy way works. Sweet potatoes love the heat as long as they get enough water. In fact, they do their best work in soil that isn’t heavy with water. I planted mine all crowded together in a flat area. Summer crops for coastal South Florida, Zone 9B / 10A – Sweet Potatoes. Place a slip in the vase, add some water, and place in a sunny spot. We ate our taters all winter and into the spring retelling the story of our competition. Then I move them to my garage. Many folks find it helpful to mulch the 3’ space between rows/beds to help the leaves in their efforts to keep weeds from encroaching on the grow mounds. Even in the 2011 heat and drought, they thrived in full sun!