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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

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.
19 Mar 17, Sandy Greer (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Thanks for that, but I also remember some Maori potatoes being very similar also to the look of this type I ate..my ex use to grow a lot of heirloom veges and it looked similar to what hr grew back then... Might buy 1 again and grow it to see how it grows...as a vine or an up right plant.
16 Mar 17, Sandy.G (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi there, I bought a bag of mixed kumara & in it was 5 varieties & 1 was a purple fleshed purple kumara. I think its maybe a relative of potato.. as I am allergic to nightshade family & on eating 1 of these set my tongue and throat tingling, spat it oit and rinsed my mouth out.. any ideas!?
17 Mar 17, Ken (Australia - temperate climate)
Potato is a member of the Solanum (nightshade) family while kumara (sweet potato) is a member of the Ipomoea family which includes other plants such as Morning Glory, a totally different Genus.The purple 'kumara' may have been a knobbly potato packed with the others by mistake.
09 Mar 17, Lhatso (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Hi do you know where I could buy the purple sweet potato that is purple flesh in side the skin as well.This variety is Grown in Japan
09 Mar 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Log onto - www.kumera.co.nz for a list of varieties. If you contact them they should be able to help you. Sweet potato is very easy to grow from cuttings. Just put cuttings into a jar of water and they will soon grow roots, then plant them. All the best.
08 Jun 15, Winsom (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hello, saw where you have the purple sweet potato cuttings and would post to someone who was looking for it. I live in Brisbane and was looking for the purple skinned sweet potato. How do I go about sending you the costs for this? regards Winsom
Showing 1 - 10 of 13 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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