There are 2 main culprits to avoid once your sweet potatoes are cured. The tubers won’t be quite as big, but you can have a respectable crop. Make sure you have the crop out of the ground at least two weeks before your first expected frost – remember you must allow time for curing as well. Frost can damage the tubers below. Always handle your sweet potatoes carefully. A root cellar or cool basement make good storage areas. Short-season sweet potatoes – better for colder climates – are ready in about 90 days from planting the slips. Cover the potatoes with a thick coat of straw, followed by 2- to 3-inches of dirt. If the growing season has been good with adequate water and sunshine, harvesting sweet potatoes should begin about 100-110 days after planting depending on the variety. Because they have thin skins sweet potatoes are easily damaged during harvest so extra care should be taken. When first harvested, the skins are fairly thin and the flesh will bruise easily. When And How To Harvest Sweet Potatoes. They come in various colors, including purple, as well as the classic red-orange. Try a few when they “should” be ready. When you first harvest them sweet potatoes are not really sweet and the texture is not ideal. more ››, How to become a board member of a nonprofit organization, How to paste the same thing in multiple cells in excel, How to know what processor is compatible with my motherboard, How To Work From Home Effectively Amid Covid-19, How to get back videos you deleted on your iphone. First, you need to avoid cold temperatures. You should cure your sweet potatoes before storage. If you live in USDA Zones 8 or 9, you’ll have no trouble growing sweet potatoes. The longer you can leave your sweet potatoes in the ground, the larger they will be. When to harvest sweet potatoes depends largely on the seasonal growing. Some people even go so far as to wear cotton gloves when harvesting as to not harm the potatoes. Handle the sweet potatoes carefully, as they bruise easily. It’s fine to cut some of the vines away. After harvest, the sweet potatoes should be cured. Maturity dates vary. Use lemon juice to prevent darkening. A good rule of thumb is to watch for the first signs of yellowing leaves. When to Harvest Sweet Potatoes… Sweet potatoes need a long growing season. Lay down 8- to 10-inches of wheat straw, then carefully pile the cured sweet potatoes in a 3- to 4-foot-tall cone or pyramid. It's also important to handle them with care and store them properly for best flavor, texture and storage life. When a gardener talks about sweet potatoes, he or she means the colorful, slightly sweet tubers from Ipomea batata – a relative of the morning glory. Although it is relatively easy to grow sweet potatoes without chemi - Sweet potato consumption is high-est among Americans over 60, and sweet potatoes may have special appeal to aging, health-conscious baby boomers. Keep an eye on the vines – when the tops begin to turn yellow, it usually means the tubers are ready. Most sweet potato varieties are ready to harvest 95 to 120 days after transplanting. When to harvest sweet potatoes depends largely on the seasonal growing. But smaller tubers—called “baby bakers”—can be lifted sooner if they are big enough to eat. Coupon for Then stack boards around the mound, fastening them at the top so they won't blow down. What to Avoid with Sweet Potatoes. A three- or four-tined fork allows you to lever up the plants and tubers with minimal potential for damage. You can also can them – use a tested recipe. If the growing season has been good with adequate water and sunshine, harvesting sweet potatoes should begin about 100-110 days after planting depending on the variety. Try a few when they “should” be ready. For harvesting, pick a harvest day when it hasn’t rained for a few days. Pull up the primary crown of the plant and use your hands to dig up the tubers. Cook them in boiling water and saute with oil and spices, use them in casseroles or cover with a creamy sauce. Bruised spots will begin to decay and rot, spoiling the entire tuber. The soil should be minimally moist and crumbly so that you can brush most it off the tubers with a very light touch. I let them be and not harvest until the end of October. The potatoes that are firm and moist are ready. Although both are perennial vines and sweet potatoes are sometimes called yams, they are very different plants and belong to different families. Cutting the vines 2 or 3 days before you plan to dig will toughen up the skins. True yams are white or cream-colored inside and starchy. When to Harvest Sweet Potatoes. Signs Your Sweet Potatoes are Ready. Brush off loose dirt and leave them in the sun for a few hours, then move to a table or shed that is warm and has good air circulation. Harvest sweet potatoes before the vines are touched by frost. Loosen the soil around the plant (18-inch diameter) so you do not injure the tubers. A good rule of thumb is to watch for the first signs of yellowing leaves. Cooked sweet potatoes also freeze well. There are dozens of sweet potato varieties that are commercially available. Your climate and weather can make a difference, as can your growing techniques. Even after curing, if you drop a tuber or dump them out of a container into the storage area, you may have damage. You can harvest leaves at any time up until the plants start to yellow. Sweet potatoes may take longer to produce in drought conditions. This will cause your sweet potatoes to turn a darker color and ruin them. Once they’re harvested, make sure you store them properly. The sweet potatoes that are soft should be discarded. Frost will kill plants and rot tubers, but even cold soil without frost can cause damage. You don’t want mud caked onto the tubers because it will make them hard to clean and store. Harvesting them correctly is just as important as how you grow them. Like other starchy vegetables, sweet potatoes can also be sliced thin and dehydrated for storage. In colder areas, you can start them in a greenhouse and harvest a little earlier. Sweet potatoes may take longer to produce in drought conditions. The leaves are used like other edible greens such as kale and spinach. Make sure they are well-watered during the growing period. In either case, plant them in loose, sandy soil with reasonable fertility. Sweet potatoes are easy to grow in the right areas – and even some where you wouldn't expect this tropical plant. When to Harvest Sweet Potatoes. All of the sweet potatoes listed below should be readily available from nurseries and mail-order houses: The published maturity date for a sweet potato variety is no more than a guide. Sweet potatoes don’t just produce tubers – they also have edible leaves. how to tell when sweet potatoes are ready to pick, https://www.almanac.com/plant/sweet-potatoes#:~:text=How%20to%20Harvest%20Sweet%20Potatoes%201%20You%20can,plant%20and%20use%20your%20hands%20to%20dig%20up, https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/sweet-potato/harvesting-sweet-potatoes.htm, https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/outdoors/gardening/when-to-harvest-sweet-potatoes, https://homestead-honey.com/how-to-grow-harvest-cure-and-store-sweet-potatoes/, https://garden.org/learn/articles/view/581/, https://pallensmith.com/2015/04/21/how-to-harvest-and-cure-sweet-potatoes/, https://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/harvesting-sweet-potatoes-zb0z10zkon, https://www.tenthacrefarm.com/harvesting-curing-and-storing-sweet-potatoes/, https://www.almanac.com/plant/sweet-potatoes, https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/sweet-potato/sweet-potato-storage-tips.htm, https://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/recipes/dont-eat-homegrown-sweet-potatoes-until-you-take-this-critical-step/ar-BB19naQd, https://homeguides.sfgate.com/its-time-harvest-sweet-potatoes-32758.html, https://growinginthegarden.com/how-to-grow-sweet-potatoes/, https://www.bhg.com.au/growing-sweet-potato, https://harvesttotable.com/how_to_grow_sweet_potatoes/, https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-grow-and-harvest-sweet-potatoes-in-your-garden, https://morningchores.com/curing-sweet-potatoes/, https://harvesttotable.com/harvest-store-sweet-potatoes/, Read