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Growing Sweet Potato, also Kumara

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                       

Not recommended for growing in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions

  • Plant shoots or cuttings (Slips). Best planted at soil temperatures between 63°F and 95°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 16 - 24 inches apart
  • Harvest in 15-17 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Best in Separate bed
  • New shoots on Kumara
    New shoots on Kumara
  • Well grown Kumara
    Well grown Kumara

Sweet Potatoes require a long warm growing season. Plant in free draining loose soil . Fertilise before planting but no more when the plants are growing as it will encourage vine growth. They will go for miles and you will get no tubers. If they do start spreading, lift the vines off the ground to prevent them rooting.

Mound up the soil about 20cm (8 in) before planting Let the plants die down, (leaves die or turn yellow) before harvesting the tubers. Dry them in the sun for a few days . then store in a cool dry place for up to five months.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Sweet Potato

Use mashed, boiled, roasted, baked or fried. Or use in soups, pies, casseroles, curries and salads.

Your comments and tips

19 Sep 18, Eddy (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Can they grow on canterbury christchurch
21 Sep 18, Mike (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Did you read the notes here. I suggest you do and pay attention to when to plant.
16 Aug 18, Adrienne (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Can you please tell me what is the best type of fertiliser to prepare the soil for kumara?
11 Sep 18, Mike (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Any general fertiliser - but probably something with a fair bit of P in it. N P K - something like 10 -14N, 6-10 P, 10-15 K.
25 Mar 18, Julie Casidy (New Zealand - temperate climate)
When should I dig up Kumara? I didn't get them into the ground until late in spring. Should I do so before the first frost? I live in Wellington and never grown them. Yours thankfully Julie
30 Mar 18, Prakash Chandra (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
You can dig out Kumasi when you see the end of vines and the leaves are turning yellow or just take a hand fork and dig around one plant carefully and see but do not dig the plant outright
04 Mar 18, Sue Ussher (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
I live in Fairlie South Canterbury and want to know if I could grow Kumara here and what month should I be planting them
19 Oct 17, Allan (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Do you progressively mound up Kumara like growing potatoes?
25 Sep 17, Joss Roberts (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Is it possible for Kumara to be grown in Christchurch, New Zealand.
26 Sep 17, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Kumara needs a long summer/autumn before frosts start. Your microclimate might suit it. It's probably worth a try. One kumara used to produce growing shoots would not be very expensive.
Showing 1 - 10 of 27 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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