Sweet potatoes are a versatile and increasingly popular vegetable and is certainly able to grow outdoors in the milder areas of the UK. They are grown more often in southern regions because they require at least four months of warm temperatures, though there are varieties that will grow in northern gardens, too. Here you may need to use a greenhouse, glasshouse or Poly Tunnel.
Sweet potatoes are surprisingly easy to grow and just a few plants can produce a generous harvest. It is a scrambling, tender perennial closely related to Morning Glories. Grow it as an annual and harvest in the early autumn.
You can grow them from a sweet potato from the supermarket.
- Take a few clean sweet potatoes and place into a container
- Cover them with peat and keep damp
- Leave in a warm place
- When ‘slips’ emerge from the surface to a height of 20cm, trim them off
- Pot into Compact Rootrainers and allow to grow on. You could go with ordinary pots but the Rootrainers will prevent root disturbance when you plant them on.
- It is very important to wait for the frost danger to pass. Then you can plant them in their final position.
- then it is a case of watering and weeding well until around late September when they should be ready to harvest. to do this, carefully dig them up. Leave for one week to mature in a warm place (allows skins to set and flavour to sweeten)
Alternatively, order cuttings or slips, which will be delivered from late April onwards and pot the cuttings immediately into the Compact Rootrainers