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Growing Sweet Potato Plants

freshly harvested sweet potato beauregard

What makes Suttons Sweet Potato Plants so special?

Growing process on Suttons Sweet Potato plants

Over the last year Suttons UK Nursery team has been busy developing our propagation and growing techniques to ensure these exceptional plants continue to provide you with plenty of tasty tubers.

With this in mind, Suttons Seeds has developed an improved propagation technique that is now used on Sweet
Potato ‘Beauregard’ plants in order to produce more tubers, earlier and over a longer period!

How are the plants grown?

Traditionally Sweet Potato plants are grown from ‘slips’ – this is where actual tubers are cut into large sections and partially immersed in water and left to spout leaves which are then separated and left to root.

Suttons Seeds have now developed a new propagation technique that involves growing the plants from ‘cuttings’.

What are cuttings?

Cuttings are taken from the young growing shoots of mature sweet potato plants using a sharp knife. These are then rooted in conditions of high temperature and humidity to produce well-rooted plants that will romp away when planted.

Why grow from cuttings rather than from slips?

The big advantage in growing sweet potatoes from a Suttons rooted cutting is that this allows the young plant to start growing much earlier with more vigour and therefore cropping is much earlier and greater yields can be produced.

The benefits of growing from cuttings:

  • Earlier production of tubers
  • Earlier harvest
  • Longer harvest
  • Greater yield
  • Resistance to disease
  • Grows well outside
  • Can be grown in pots

Healthy, vigorous, hardy and producing up to 70% more fruit!

Looking after your Sweet Potato Plants

We know how excited you’ll be to get your new Suttons Sweet Potato Plant (or plants!) home, but please do take a few moments to read the enclosed information to ensure you get the absolute best from your plants.
Nothing tastes quite like fresh vegetables picked straight from your garden and, the delicious vegetables produced from Suttons Plants are sure to wow you, your friends and family, and leave you eager to cook up a storm in the kitchen!

Unlike some, all Suttons plants are grown in our own UK nursery and undergo rigorous inspections by our vegetable experts to ensure you only receive the highest quality plants.

At home

Once you receive your new plant it is important that you give it time to adjust to its new environment. Check the compost is moist and if required leave the plant to soak in approx 5mm water for 5-10 minutes or until the top of the compost is damp.

Stand the plant in a warm, light, airy place such as a windowsill or conservatory and allow to grow, ensuring that the compost is kept moist.

Potting on and planting out your sweet potato plants

Grow your plants on a windowsill indoors (or in a warm greenhouse) until the roots have developed to fill the pot and hold the compost together.

As the plant grows and develops it will need transferring into a larger pot to ensure the roots have plenty of room to grow. Once your plant reaches around 30 cm in height, you can transfer it to its final growing place. Sweet potatoes are best suited to greenhouse or tunnel growing (recommended for northern regions) but will thrive outdoors in warm summers further south. Ideally add some plant protection and plant under a cloche or fleece and through black plastic mulch laid on the ground to suppress weeds and retain the sun’s warmth.

Sweet potato plants are ready for planting in the greenhouse or outside from late May-June (when danger of frost has passed), they will crop best when kept at temperatures between 10-30°C.

Plant your Sweet Potato plants at a spacing of 30 cm (12″) apart. They prefer a light sandy soil, as good drainage is important; however they can be planted into ridges 15 – 30 cm high if your soil is not naturally free-draining. Alternatively,you can plant into patio containers as long as they are in a sunny, sheltered spot. If plants are to be grown in containers, use a deep pot no smaller than 30 cm (12″) diameter for one plant or 45 cm (18″) diameter
for 3 plants.

Very little after-care is needed, other than feeding and watering. Keep an eye out for pests and remove any diseased leaves. Tubers take 4-5 months to mature.

Food & Watering

Vigorous growth can be expected and care should be taken to prevent your plants drying out with moderate regular watering, increasing in frequency from August onwards when you should commence feeding using a high-potassium plant food.

Harvesting

You can lift your tubers from late September, however, it is better to leave them until the leaves begin to turn yellow and die back. Be sure to lift before the first frosts. Once your tubers have been lifted they should be ‘cured’ to set the skins and allow the sweet flavour to develop further.

Place your tubers in trays and keep them in a warm area at a temperature between 25-30°C with high humidity as this will help to prevent weight loss during curing. Allow your tubers to cure for 7-10 days and then the tubers can be stored at 10-12°C for up to six months.

Sweet Potato Beauregard Suttons

Cooking with Sweet Potatoes:

Sweet potatoes are delicious and a great low calorie substitute to standard potatoes and can also be used in sweet dishes too. Why not try them:

  • Mashed
  • In soups
  • Baked
  • In Potato Salads
  • Chips or Potato Wedges
  • In Pies
  • Sautéed
  • Curried

Freshly Baked Sweet Potatoes Veer Sweet Potato soup in white bowl

The possibilities are absolutely endless!

Tip: There is some consideration that Sweet Potatoes grow well in the vicinity of root crops such as Beetroot, Parsnips and Turnips.

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