Did you know you could grow your own sweet potatoes? Do you have one or two older sweet potatoes in storage that are stretching their pale pink arms up for help? Using those sprouts, you can grow these nutritious vegetables in your own vegetable garden.

It’s Easy to Grow Your Own

Watch this short video as I transform a sprouted old sweet potato into several new plants for my garden! Follow the easy Step by Step instructions:

Timeline to Grow Your Own Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are tropical plants that can’t withstand frost and need warm soil to grow. 

1. Put potato chunks with shoots into shallow water. It takes approximately 1.5 months for nice roots to develop so you’ll want to start this in March or April.

2. Pull off the shoots and root them in soil, ideally one month before planting in the garden (early June). Twist the shoots off the potato chunks when they have nice roots and fully-expanded leaves. As they grow indoors, you may need to snip the ends of extra-long ‘viney’ shoots. Don’t worry, it won’t hurt them. 

3. Plant the seedlings in your garden in early/mid-June, when the soil is quite warm. Space your plants approximately 10-12 inches apart. I like to use two plants per hill. 

Planting Tip – Hilling is important.  When your potatoes reach about 8-10 inches high, bring soil up around the vines from both sides to bring more loose soil where the potatoes will form.

We are fortunate in southern Ontario to live in one of the only regions of Canada capable of growing sweet potatoes. They are easy to grow and high-yielding. 

Grow your own sweet potatoes

This harvest came from slips off just one potato!

Sweet potatoes are usually ready to harvest just before frost. Use a digging fork and start approximately 18 inches from the crown of the plant to start loosening the soil and freeing the sweet potatoes. They will store well in your cold cellar. Remember to keep one or two so you’ll be able to start more new plants next spring! 

Just to spur you on, here are some great sweet potato recipes from Jamie Oliver!

 Happy Gardening!