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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 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.
23 May 17, Annie Davis (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I am also trying to find out if there is such a thing as kumara "seeds" and where they can be found?
28 May 17, toya (New Zealand - temperate climate)
If your lucky you can find some at local garden places for tipu which you can grow out of the kumara tubers by place half of it into water.. they should grow stems/vines which you can snap off & placing those into water to help roots grow... or just cut sections of the tuber off..... but when planting them... they need that late spring early summer heat. Then harvest around now or when frosty etc...... just my 5 cents here lol
24 May 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Australian Seeds in Western Australia list a native sweet potato - Ipomoea costata but I don't know of any suppliers of seeds of the popular varieties. They are grown from cuttings as they establish quickly and will yield in their first season. Seedlings would probably take another year.
11 May 17, Jody Waaka (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Kia ora.Im thinking of starting a kumara garden soon.Where do you buy the seed from
13 May 17, Leslie Viljoen (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I'm not an expert but if you cut a Kumara into pieces, it will grow vines from the "eyes". We have one growing like crazy - but since it's cold now I think it's going to die.
15 May 17, Daniel (Australia - temperate climate)
With Kumeras, they will grow if you plant a whole kumara but they wont produce tubers. The shoots that do grow from that can be used as cuttings, and as these new cuttings grow, you will get the Kumera tubers growing from those new plants. Needs a long warm summer to grow bigger tubers! Hope that helps
02 May 17, Pou TeRongomau (New Zealand - temperate climate)
October and November best time to grow kumara in the Waikato Hamilton area.
Showing 1 - 10 of 19 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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