Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

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 17°C and 35°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 40 - 60 cm apart
  • Harvest in 15-17 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Best in Separate bed
  • New shoots on 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

27 Jun 19, Ana (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Try this page: https://www.koanga.org.nz/grow-great-kumara/. They have the most thorough advice on growing kumara that I've seen.
06 Apr 19, Sam (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi there.. I harvested my Kumara in March and unfortunately most of them tubers had multiple small holes in them. Looks like some type of insects got there first and ruined it. Is there anything that I can spray them with and kill them little bugs before they ruin my crops next season.. cheers
09 Mar 19, Andrea (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi there,I live in chilly chch but want to attempt to grow kumera. I had one sprouting so I cut it in half and put it in water and now it's sprouting . But it's the wrong time of yr,March to plant them . How can I keep my sprout until October ? Thanks
10 Mar 19, Mike Logan (New Zealand - temperate climate)
It may survive if you plant it now - might not grow much or produce a crop. Might be better to try again say Oct and plant out Nov Dec. You are temperate climate.
30 Oct 18, Mike (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Here is how they grow them commercially in sub tropical southern Queensland Australia. They hill the soil up with a 2' base and about 1' high - paddock looks like corrugated iron - wave pattern. They then take cuttings (called slips about 50-60cm long) of vine from a pre-existing growing plant. These are planted (in the top part of the mound) horizontally into the soil with just the tip sticking out of the soil. Keep well watered the first week or two until the plant starts growing. Good rich soil to start with and then do not fert again especially with N. You want root development not vine production. If looking for cuttings/slips/tubers ask friends/neighbours/produce companies/internet sites etc or start a tuber as stated here.
26 Oct 18, Julie McLean (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I'm a very beginner gardener and want to try my hand at kumara . Your advice and comments are helpful and interesting. Thanks Julie.
10 Mar 19, Andrea (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi Julie,I'm also a beginner so all the best with growing your kumera. I'm in chch so it will be a challenge I think !
18 Oct 18, john ward (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
where can i get some orange kumara cuttings .Not easy to find im having problems trying to get them sprouting
23 Oct 18, Mike (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Ask around nurseries or produce/farming depots /supply companies or phone some of them.
02 Oct 18, Warren Leedes (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Firstly thanks for the web site I would like to grow the different coloured Kumara, how do I go about getting seeds please? Any advice would be gratefully received Kind regards Warren Leedes
Showing 1 - 10 of 40 comments

It may survive if you plant it now - might not grow much or produce a crop. Might be better to try again say Oct and plant out Nov Dec. You are temperate climate.

- Mike Logan

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put GardenGrow in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join 30,000+ gardeners who rely on GardenGrow. Subscribe to our free planting reminders email newsletter


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About GardenGrow | Contact us | Privacy Policy

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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.