Sweet potato harvesting

Matt Kurl

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Hey,

I recently just got my first ever sweet potato from my garden - very exciting. Yeah probably a bit early but still very encouraging. I was wondering if its possible to just continue to harvest the potatoes as you need them, while leaving as much of the plant in tact as possible - and how long you can continue on like this. All the harvesting videos I see on youtube involve people pulling everything out of the ground at the same time and restarting - but to me it makes more sense intuitively to treat it like a perennial and take as I need.

Any tips are appreciated
 

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Wedgetail

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Hi Matt nice looking sweet potato with mine I have a area about 10 square meters so I will dig out 2meters take all the potatoes I will replant all the vines that I just took out to start a new patch remove most of the leaves to ease shock cover with mulch just leave the few leaves sticking out keep well watered and you should see some new growth in a few weeks. In your photo you have it up the fence the runners need to be on the ground and you can dig a small hole and push part of the runner into it and cover over it will then make roots hence more potatoes. All the best with it . Dave
 
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Dione

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Yes you can bandicoot around the base and harvest some and leave the rest if you're careful.

I've done it on multiple occasions when all I wanted was an odd one to add to a curry and the plant continued to grow.
In fact I think the other sweet potatoes in the cluster grew better because they had a little more space to expand.
 
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ClissAT

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Nathan, normal potatoes are not vines. They have a season also.
But you can bandicoot them like Dave suggests to get young spuds before the rest have matured.
Make a mound, plant your seed potatoes, then as they go yellow, dig around the sides of the mound to find the new potatoes.

The New Guinea method of growing sweet bucks is fairly simple and works in most climatic conditions.
They put lots of plants on mounds or have permanent mounds for permanent trees such as bananas.
They break off 2ft (60cm) from the ends of several sweet bucks vines, remove most of the leaves, fold the leafless part of the vines in half, then shove the looped part into the side of a mound as deep as it will go so just the few leaves on the tips are sticking out. Every week they stick a bunch of new vines into a mound.
They work their way along a row or line of mounds progressively so they know the age of the vines as to which might be ready next.
It's often the job of the kids to dig up some sweet bucks for dinner.
 

DTK

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I love my sweet potato. I usually let it go crazy and harvest as I wish, so yes, I have found you can harvest as you want it, but I suggest dave's mething is great! I am going to try it outside the cage, While on holidays recently, the vine went looking for the sky and climbed up the vege cage sides. It has now been trimmed accordingly.
 

ClissAT

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Can I just clarify for everyone, sweet potatoes don't usually grow from other potatoes.
They grow from vine cuttings. You can put a sweet potato root in the ground and sometimes get more roots.
But the usual way to grow them is from vine cuttings. The ends of vines, the off-cuts around 60cm long usually.
Buried in the ground, ploughed in or planted in mounds.
On commercial farms, they just go along and plough in the previous crop after it's been harvested.
All the vines get cut up by the discs and grow like crazy again.

The other method to get a sweet potato started from a root is to cut the vine end off once a few shoots appear.
Stick 3 toothpicks around the base of the piece so it will be supported in the top of a glass of water like happens with an avo seed. Keep the cut side submerged until the shoots grow 60cm long then carefully break them off at the base where they emerge from the parent.
You will have several shoots. Stand these in another glass with a bit of water in the bottom until they grow roots which should within several days.
PLant those rooted shoots in your garden. Your piece of cut sweet potato that is still resting in water will continue to produce shoots for several weeks as long as you keep replacing the water with fresh and removing the grown shoots.
 

Zooper

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Jun 21, 2020
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I've been growing Sweet Potatoes in 50cm pots for years. I just take a piece of the vine tip about 20cm long, remove bottom leaves as you would for any cutting and bung it in a tiny jar of water with 2 drops of Power Feed liquid. Leave it in a well lit place and roots start to form within a couple of days. Change the water at least every 4 days. I do this every 4-5 weeks for succession planting in new pots so I get sweet potatoes all year round. I'm in Logan, Qld.