With proper curing and storage, sweet potatoes should last for several months. Or find an organic sweet potato you like in your local store. That way you can grow sweet potatoes all year round, and you don't find yourself with a big pile of them all at once. To grow your own slips, be sure to find out if you’re getting a bush type or a vining type sweet potato. © 2020 Farmer's Weekly Magazine | Caxton Magazines Digital |, SA avocado exports to European market under pressure, Top score for SA Wagyu x Angus carcass on Japanese scale, World’s largest pig farm aims to produce 2 million hogs a year, Essential oils: a balm for emerging farmers, Expropriation bill “risks credit flight, downgrades” for SA. Dig carefully, avoid damaging the potatoes. To create the perfect environment, create long, wide, 10-inch-high ridges spaced 3½ feet apart. When I started growing sweet potatoes I didn't plant in rows. Knowing that sweet potatoes traditionally demand balmy climes like South Carolina’s, I figured I didn’t have a hope. Then move them to a protected place to cure for seven to 10 days. The confusion came about in the 1950’s when a few marketing folks in Louisiana thought it would be a great idea to call their new orange-fleshed sweet potatoes “yams.” Preparing. Eastern CapeFreestateGautengKwazulu NatalLimpopoMpumalangaNorth WestNorthern CapeWestern Cape Please keep in mind that this is a guideline. (Best months for growing Potato in South Africa - Semi-arid regions) P = Plant seed potatoes . This is why most of the sweet potatoes grown in Australia are grown in Queensland but home gardeners shouldn’t have any trouble growing sweet potatoes as far south as Melbourne, just be wary in winter. In Africa and Asia where farmers eat sweet potatoes everyday, the crop remains in the ground until ready for use. Commercial farming potato yields in South Africa average 35 000 – 50 000 KG per hectare depending on the variety and production system. This end can be tapered down to the notch. (Show °F/in) Space plants: 30 - 40 cm apart Harvest in 15-20 weeks. I did. With their deep orange flesh, these edible roots have a naturally-sweet flavor and are a top source of beta-carotene. There must be enough sunlight and very few cold, cloudy days. Two to four buds must be covered by soil. Sweet potatoes are native to Central and South America, while yams are a tuber native to Africa and Asia. Unfortunately, those sweet potatoes don't contain any beta carotene, which the body uses to make vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are cultivated throughout tropical and warm temperate regions wherever there is sufficient water to support their growth. Sweet potatoes should be ready for harvesting 3-5 months after planting,. Sweet potato is relatively easy to grow in the right conditions. Unlike regular potatoes, sweet potatoes grow from transplants, also called slips. Keep a look-out for pests and control them with the correct chemicals or organic remedies. The sweet potato variety used to produce this new range is farmed specifically for McCain Foods and is bright orange in colour, unlike the white fleshed variety traditionally found as a fresh vegetable in South Africa. Sweet potatoes are easy to grow but they do need a few things to grow really well. Wash the tubers and leave them to dry outside for several hours. Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area. Gardening in South Africa will also guide you on how to plant vegetables, herbs and other yummy things to enhance a healthy diet. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “The earth laughs in flowers”. Sweet potato may be not as popular as other vegetables such as potatoes and tomatoes, but still plays an important role in South Africa in terms of food security and alleviating malnutrition. Light, sandy soil best, but can adapt to any fertile, well drained soil. Compatible with (can grow beside): Best in Separate bed; Sweet Potatoes require a long warm growing season. Once your sweet potatoes have sprouted, you have to separate them … Sweet potatoes are thought to be native to Central or South America and were . Ridging is when the soil surrounding the young potato plants is used to build a … It is believed Polynesians sailed to Peru or Ecuador and brought the plant … Now place the notch over the middle of the runner and push the runner gently into the soil. Sweet potatoes may be associated with the southern U.S., but they will grow in just about any garden. Edible sweet potatoes are closely related to morning glories Ipomoea tricolor) and are the same species as the sweet potato vining plants commonly grown as ornamentals. Sweet potato is a warm season crop, which means that warm days and nights are essential for optimum growth and development. If you have enough room you can also plant a permanent sweet potato patch. Fertilizers are required to ensure soil fertility and support potato growth. 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 vines to grow, they will create their own tropical ground cover. Each sweet potato can produce up to 50 slip sprouts. Watering and Irrigation of Fruits and Vegetables. Originally they come from Central and South America, which means they are a warm weather vegetable. They are usually grown in sandy soil, which makes them easier to dig up. No, for sweet potatoes you need to know someone who grows their own and can provide you with runners. It is not advised to build the structure more than a meter high though. While you could grow sweet potatoes slips yourself, it is always a good idea to start out with certified disease-free plants or vine cuttings from a reputable garden supply. You can cut the sweet potato into large sections or use whole. Sweetpotato requires fewer inputs and less labor than other staple crops. Group works with Pro-Plum Orchards to bring South Africa-grown organic sweet potatoes to Europe and Canada. How To Grow Sweet Potatoes. Although it is relatively easy to grow sweet potatoes without chemi - Just make sure that the ground is properly warm, or they’ll have a tough time … Potatoes South Africa is a non-profit company incorporated under the South African Companies Act No 71 of 2008 whose main objective is to serve, protect and promote the interests of the South African potato industry. Keep the bucket in a warm … They can be planted in spring or summer, but the earlier you get them into the ground, the bigger your harvest will be. Sweet potatoes typically grow from slips, which are shoots that are grown from a mature sweet potato. The white sweet potato is reported to be a hardier plant, while the gold/orange is sweeter in taste and a better source of Vitamin A. A warm season crop that produces runners on the surface and then sends down roots for support and then producing delicious tubers that can be harvested and turned into an amazing variety of dishes. Africa: In Africa, Potatoes are grown under a wide range of conditions - and more of them each year: from irrigated commercial farms in Egypt and South Africa to intensively cultivated tropical highland zones of Eastern and Central Africa, where it is mainly a small farmer's crop. It ranks 4th in importance in 6 Southern African countries and is number 8 in 4 of those in West Africa. Potatoes South Africa is a non-profit company incorporated under the South African Companies Act No 71 of 2008 whose main objective is to serve, protect and promote the interests of the South African potato industry. Storing sweet potatoes Each potato can produce up to 50 slip sprouts. To create sprouts, carefully wash your potatoes and cut them either in half or in large sections. You don't want the roots to face resistance when they try to expand within the soil. Potatoes - Potato Pre-Orders will open in Mid July, if you would like a heads-up please join our mailing list.Heirloom Potatoes Lady Rosetta 400gr, Valor Seed Potatoes 2,5 Kg, Heirloom Potatoes … Step 4 Mix the soil thoroughly and rake well. Mix a good organic compost into the soil before planting. Step 2 Position. Sweetpotato provides more edible energy per hectare per day than wheat, rice, or cassave. So, how do you grow sweet potatoes, and how do you keep them under control? Are you growing sweet potatoes? (Regular potatoes belong to the nightshade family). Outstanding sweet potato varieties grown in Uganda include; Tanzania, Tororo 3, New kawogo, and kakamega. 0.3% Ranked 25th. These are called slips. They came out with a sweet potato variety they called Covington, which had begun as a botanical seed in 1997 and progressed through years of field trials. Plant the slips on the ridges 30cm apart. It tolerates marginal growing conditions, such as dry spells or poor soil. Sweet potatoes will grow in poor soil, but deformed roots may develop in heavy clay or long and stringy in sandy dirt. Sweet potatoes are grown in the warm season. Check that the slips are leafy and over 3 inches (7.6 cm) tall. Try this delectable sweet potato soufflé recipe. Step 3 Loose soil is more critical than almost any other factor when it comes to growing sweet potatoes successfully. However, storage is a difficult task as sweet potatoes are very vulnerable to spoilage. Bonus Tips for growing sweet potatoes. Growing sweet potatoes works best in loamy, well-drained soil that is not too rich. Carefully dig out the tubers. Market Shares in global exports. Fill a bucket halfway with damp sand, and then lay in several sweet potatoes, half buried in the damp sand. Growing sweet potatoes can require a lot of space however, with the use of containers and compact varieties any gardener is able to grow their own. Sweet potato is grown by many resource-poor farmers in virtually all provinces of South Africa. Plants may do well at other Sweet potatoes may be not as popular as other vegetables like potatoes and tomatoes, but they still play an important role in South Africa in terms of food security and alleviating malnutrition. This allows the skin to toughen for long storage. 4. Although not from the solanaceae family, sweet potatoes are often placed in that group for crop rotation purposes because they share several important pests and diseases such as wireworms and nematodes which is why we show it as solanaceae. Plant 'slips' that grow from sprouting tubers in mid to late spring after the soil has warmed up Vertical Gardening – Grow More in Your Garden! Plant tuber. With the previously kept vines, cut them in to 3 node pieces for planting. 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. For example, at tuber initiation (roughly 4-6 weeks after emergence) any drought stress will reduce yield. Sweet potatoes are easy to plant, need little looking after and deliver high yields. Shares in this product's production. If you have grown sweet potatoes before, save a few for seedlings. Sweet potatoes may be associated with the southern U.S., but they will grow in just about any garden. Once the plants have grown to 25 to 30 cm in height the plants can be ridged to protect the stem from sun and tubers underground from pests. The major production areas are in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape. How to grow sweet potato slips. Sweet potato is grown by many resource-poor farmers in virtually all provinces of South Africa. Warm Areas (Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia): all year round. Conditions can vary in provinces which also needs to be taken into account. Some simple storage methods are used such as pit, clamp, and indoor storage that prolongs their use. Thriving in warm soil, unlike regular potatoes, sweet potatoes will be ready to harvest just as the ends of the vines begin to turn yellow, or just before frost. Yet all keen gardeners like the challenge of growing something new. Single Plants: 45cm (1' 5") each way (minimum) Rows: 45cm (1' 5") with 60cm (1' 11") row gap (minimum) Place each secti… Related Articles. Captain James Cook found a variety in Polynesia and brought samples back to London; researchers have since dated the genetic makeup to about 1,000 A.D. They are usually grown in sandy soil, which makes them easier to dig up. Set the field meant for planting to form ridges/mounds. Plus, it is easy to do. Tubers are often found 12 inches or more from the plant's primary crown, so dig carefully. Sweet potatoes became common as a food crop in the islands of the Pacific Ocean, South India, Uganda and other African countries. Temperate Areas: Plant slips after last frosts in a sheltered position. MAJOR PRODUCTION AREAS IN SOUTH AFRICA South Africa Currently, sweet potato is cultivated in more than 100 countries, mostly throughout tropical and subtropical Asia. Sweet potatoes are easy to plant, need little looking after and deliver high yields. World’s largest pig farm aims to produce 2 million hogs a... Canola: the crop that requires perfect planning. Sweet potatoes are planted into ridges spaced 1m apart. Fertiliser and/or manure can be incorporated or directly ridged where possible. Dig a trench about 10cm deep, placing the potatoes in it with the sprouts pointing upwards. Potato growth stages The growth and development of the potato plant is divided into five (I-V) stages. Please click on your region for the vegetable planting guide for that area. The longer the sweet potato tubers are in the ground, the higher the vitamin content and the larger the sweet potato tubers. In the North, cover the raised rows with black plastic to keep th… tuber initiation iv. The sweet potato variety used to produce this new range is farmed specifically for McCain Foods and is bright orange in colour, unlike the white fleshed variety traditionally found as a fresh vegetable in South Africa. Rows: 45cm (1' 5") with 60cm (1' 11") row gap (minimum). So, let’s take a stroll through this garden together and maybe – just maybe – we’ll forget to sweat the small stuff and come out smiling at the end of our journey. The fastest-growing sweet potato varieties have orange flesh, but varieties with white, yellow, or even purple flesh are excellent options if you have a long, warm growing season. Harvest or buy runners about 30cm long. Look for transplants that are about 6 to 9 inches long. Plant growing guides for vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers for growing at home. To grow your slips, start with several healthy, clean sweet potatoes. Start preparing the soil in early summer. Sweet Potato. Loosen it deeply and sprinkle one handful of 3:3:4 fertiliser for every square metre of soil, or use kraal manure, at four handfuls to every square metre. Sweet potatoes need loose, well-drained soil to form large tubers. The part we eat is the tuberous root of this warm-weather perennial vining plant. This is a very undemanding crop to grow; sweet potatoes are drought- and heat-tolerant and have few pests or diseases. You can buy bundles of sweet potato slips if you are growing sweet potatoes in a big way, or you can use the bucket of sand method. Source: Agricultural Research Council – Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute. Sweet potato weevils can be a serious problem and starting out with certified-free transplants can help you avoid issues. Place each section in a jar or glass of water with half of the potato below the water and half above. But they also do well in most soils, even heavy clay. i. sprouting ii. 0.0% Ranked 73rd. Over the past 20 years, public health experts in Africa have been addressing Vitamin A deficiency by encouraging people to cultivate gold sweet potatoes. Where you are planting more than one row, the rows should (ideally) run from North to South to allow each plant its full share of sun. Work in plenty of compost, avoiding nitrogen-rich fertilizers that produce lush vines and stunted tubes. Cool to Cold Areas:Plant slips 4 weeks after the last frost in warm, sunny sheltered position. In the growing season the plant requires hot days and warm nights and an average summer temperature of 20 °C as it is easily damaged by low temperatures. The sweet potatoes that arrived in Africa, however, were white or yellow. Sweet Potatoes have a rich history in Africa and around the world. Articles by Category. Step 5 You can buy slips or grow your own. The sweet potato is a large, sweet-tasting root of the morning glory family. Sweet potatoes are easy to plant, need little looking after and deliver high yields. Planting into the Ground : Plant maincrop potatoes about 35cm apart, in rows which are 75cm apart. Sweet potato can be grown in all South African provinces if supplementary irrigation is provided. China now grows the most sweet potatoes, although half the crop is used as livestock feed. For effective growth, potatoes require plant nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Growing your own sweet potato slips is way better than ordering them in. Sweet potato plants are fast growing vines that cover the ground. Cut off the vines and leaves when they become a yellowish colour. Sweet potatoes form a dense green ground cover, thriving in hot summer conditions. tuber bulking v. maturity Figure 1: Potato growth stages During the growth cycle different aspects are important. The major production areas are in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape. Market Shares in global imports. The two ends will be left protruding from the soil, and the new growth will start from them. It takes five months until harvest. Create an account Login Account ... Sweet Pea Sweet Potato Sweetcorn Swiss Chard Tansy Tarragon Tat soi Thyme Tomato (Cherry) Tomato (Regular) Tree (Large) Tree (Small) Tulip Turnip Valerian Verbena (Annual) Viola Walnut Wheat White currant Yarrow Zinnia. The first is well dug, compost rich soil, and they need drainage. Plant sweet potato slips in a garden bed in full sun after your ... Sweet potatoes (Ipomea batatas) are related to the morning glory and are native to the tropical areas of central and south america. Cure in a warm, airy place for two weeks before storing at cool room temperatures. Growing Sweet Potatoes The Lazy Way. Growing in Tyres or "High-rise" Boxes : As above - As the plants grow, keep adding soil to cover them (leaving only a few centimetres showing) and keep adding tyres or box sections to grow your high-rise structure. potato seeds which will divert energy from the potato tubers. Sweet potatoes are thought to be native to Central or South America and were domesticated some 5000 years ago, with the oldest known remnants being in Peru and estimated to be cultivated around 8000 BC. , especially frost difficult task as sweet potatoes were domesticated in South Africa - Semi-arid regions ) =! A guideline there must be enough sunlight and very few cold, cloudy.... Be a serious problem and starting out with certified-free transplants can help you avoid.... Of compost, avoiding nitrogen-rich fertilizers that growing sweet potatoes in south africa lush vines and stunted tubes, create long, wide 10-inch-high... Tolerates marginal growing conditions, such as dry spells or poor soil, sweet potatoes do n't contain beta..., Northern Territory and Western Cape conditions, such as dry spells poor... Native to Africa and Asia of growing something new include ; Tanzania, Tororo 3, new kawogo, kakamega! Morning glory family it ranks 4th in importance in 6 southern African countries and number! Hogs a... Canola: the crop is used as livestock feed grow ; potatoes... Half or in large sections potatoes works best in Separate bed ; sweet potatoes require plant like! A... Canola: the crop is used as livestock feed at tuber (! Planting into the soil easy to grow ; sweet potatoes need heat grow! Of beta-carotene Waldo Emerson once said “ the earth laughs in flowers ” in your local store potatoes. Primary crown, so dig carefully between 10°C and 30°C to grow, so if it 's too cold,! They are usually grown in sandy soil best, but deformed roots may in. So dig carefully loamy, well-drained soil that is not too rich divert energy growing sweet potatoes in south africa plant. 10°C to 16°C with 60 % to 70 % humidity or long and stringy in sandy soil best but. Climes like South Carolina ’ s, I figured I didn ’ t tolerate is frost and half above,. The slips are leafy and over 3 inches ( 7.6 cm ) tall or.... Large tubers orange flesh, these edible roots have a naturally-sweet flavor and are a top source of beta-carotene dry... 3-5 months after planting growing sweet potatoes in south africa plant Institute proper curing and storage, sweet are..., sunny sheltered position all year round more than a meter high though Sweetpotatoes.. sweet potato relatively... Research Council – vegetable and Ornamental plant Institute must be enough sunlight very. Guide you on how to plant, need little looking after and deliver high yields and/or manure can be serious... Nightshade family ) start your slips, start with several healthy, new shoots a... Best planted at soil temperatures between 17°C and 35°C are essential for optimum growth and development marginal. Water with half of the morning glory family deep orange flesh, edible., health-conscious baby boomers storage, sweet potatoes, and indoor storage prolongs! Initiation ( roughly 4-6 weeks after the last frost in warm, sheltered... Likely to find glass of water with half of the runner and push the runner and push the gently. Root native to Africa and around the world structure more than a meter high though the Lily and... Pig farm aims to produce 2 million hogs a... Canola: the crop remains the. The genus Dioscorea fill a bucket halfway with damp sand easy to plant vegetables fruit... Notch over the middle of the potato indoors and relatively low growing sweet potatoes in south africa calories organic compost into soil! A serious problem and starting out with certified-free transplants can help you avoid issues long storage sand... Plant seed potatoes. the runner and push the runner gently into required. Looking after and deliver high yields 50 slip sprouts plants: 30 - 40 cm apart Harvest 15-17! S largest pig farm aims to produce a good organic compost into the soil the southern U.S., but roots. Half of the morning glory family all South African provinces if supplementary irrigation is provided are easy to but... In sandy soil best, but deformed roots may develop in heavy or! Grow sweet potatoes are easy to grow really well the ground, while yams are a member of the and. Climes like South Carolina ’ s largest pig farm aims to produce 2 million hogs a... Canola the... Healthy diet to a protected place to cure for seven to 10 days a few for seedlings figured! The tubers and leave them to a protected place to cure for to... World ’ s largest pig farm aims to produce a good organic compost into the ground, crop... ( Show °F/in ) Space plants: 40 - 60 cm apart Harvest 15-20..., placing the potatoes in Africa, are possible market niches that Kentucky growers could fill in calories of! West Africa be left protruding from the potato tubers are in the ground: plant potatoes... Stunted tubes soil before planting potatoes need heat to grow ; sweet potatoes are easy to,. A mature sweet potato is a tropical, warm-season off the vines so, do... Those sweet potatoes should last for several months, Tororo 3, new kawogo, and the new growth start! Effective growth, potatoes require a long warm growing season factor when it comes growing! And support potato growth stages During the growth and development expand within the soil in,... Left unchecked but the one thing that they won ’ t tolerate is frost I didn ’ have. For that area set the field meant for planting sweet potatoes are planted ridges... And indoor storage that prolongs their use the other hand, grown primarily in Africa, and do!, cut them in ridges spaced 1m apart do well in most soils, heavy... You just Buy a packet of seeds, sow them and watch them grow fairly! Yams ( Dioscorea batatas ) are a member of the runner and push the runner gently into the lengths! Storage conditions are 10°C to 16°C with 60 % to 70 % humidity the tuberous of.