Growing sweet potatoes in bags is a great way to cultivate this nutritious and delicious crop, even if you have limited garden space. This method is easy, inexpensive, and provides a bountiful harvest.
How To Grow Sweet Potatoes in Bags Complete Guide
Growing sweet potatoes in bags is a popular method among home gardeners because it is a convenient and space-saving way to cultivate this versatile root crop. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to grow sweet potatoes in bags:
- Choose a suitable bag: The first step is to select a good-quality bag that is at least 18 inches deep and 24 inches wide. The bag should be made of breathable material such as burlap, fabric, or grow bags.
- Prepare the soil: Fill the bag with a well-draining and clean soil, nutrient-rich soil mix. A mix of garden soil, compost, and sand in equal parts is ideal for sweet potatoes. Leave a 3-inch gap between the soil and the top of the bag.
- Select healthy sweet potato slips: Purchase or propagate sweet potato slips from a mature sweet potato. Cut off the ends with at least two or three nodes, submerge them in water, and leave them in a warm, bright location until they sprout.
- Plant the slips: Once the slips have sprouted, plant them in the soil mix, burying them up to the first set of leaves. Space them 12 inches apart, with the leaves above the soil.
- Water and fertilize: Sweet potatoes need consistent moisture, so water them regularly to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer every two to three weeks.
- Harvest: Sweet potatoes are ready to harvest when the leaves start to yellow and die back, usually around four to six months after planting. Carefully dig them out of the soil with a fork, being careful not to damage the skin.
What Size Container For Sweet Potatoes
When it comes to choosing the right size container for growing sweet potatoes, it is important to consider a few factors. Sweet potato plants need ample space to grow and develop a strong root system, so the size of the container should be large enough to accommodate the plant’s growth. Generally, a container with a capacity of at least 5 gallons is suitable for growing a single sweet potato plant.
It’s also important to consider the depth of the container. Sweet potato plants have long, vine-like stems that can grow up to several feet in length, so a deeper container will allow for better root growth and support the plant as it grows taller. A depth of at least 12 inches is recommended for sweet potato containers.
When it comes to choosing the shape of the container, a cylindrical shape is often the most efficient use of space for growing sweet potatoes. This allows for multiple plants to be grown in a smaller area without overcrowding or limiting the space for root growth.
It’s also important to choose a container that has adequate drainage holes to prevent water from pooling at the bottom of the container and causing root rot. The container should be filled with a well-draining soil mix that is rich in organic matter to provide the nutrients and moisture needed for healthy growth.
The best container to grow sweet potatoes is a large, deep container, such as a 5-gallon bucket or a fabric grow bag. These containers provide ample space for the sweet potato vines to grow and develop a healthy root system.
You can plant one to three sweet potato slips in a bag, depending on the size of the bag. For a 5-gallon container, it is recommended to plant one or two slips, while for larger containers, you can plant up to three slips.
The number of sweet potatoes harvested per plant depends on various factors such as the variety, growing conditions, and size of the plant. On average, you can expect to harvest 3 to 6 sweet potatoes per plant, with some varieties producing up to 10 or more.
The soil for sweet potatoes should be at least 12 inches deep, but ideally 18 to 24 inches deep. This allows sweet potatoes to develop a healthy and well-formed root system, which is crucial for their growth and yield.
What’s The Best Soil For Sweet Potatoes in Container
The best soil for growing sweet potatoes in a container is a well-draining, nutrient-rich soil that is loose and friable. The soil should be able to hold moisture, but not be waterlogged, as sweet potato plants are susceptible to root rot.
To create the ideal soil for sweet potatoes, start with a high-quality potting mix that is specifically formulated for container gardening. Look for a mix that includes ingredients such as peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite, which will help to improve soil drainage and aeration.
It’s also a good idea to amend the potting mix with organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to provide additional nutrients and improve soil structure. Sweet potatoes are heavy feeders, so a nutrient-rich soil is essential for healthy growth and a good harvest.
Another important factor to consider when choosing soil for sweet potatoes is the pH level. Sweet potatoes prefer a slightly acidic soil with a pH range of 5.8 to 6.2. It’s a good idea to test the soil before planting and adjust the pH level as needed with lime or sulfur.
How To Grow Sweet Potatoes in Small Space
Sweet potatoes are an excellent crop to grow in small spaces, as they can be grown in containers or small beds with relative ease. To start, you’ll need to choose a location that gets at least six hours of sunlight per day. Then, you can either buy sweet potato slips (small plants) or start your own by placing a sweet potato in water until it sprouts.
Prepare your soil by mixing in compost or other organic matter to improve drainage and nutrient availability. If you’re growing in containers, make sure they have drainage holes and use a high-quality potting mix.
Plant your sweet potato slips or sprouted sweet potatoes in the soil, making sure the soil is evenly moist but not waterlogged. As the plants grow, mound soil up around the base of the stems to encourage the development of more sweet potatoes.
Water your sweet potatoes regularly, especially during dry spells, and fertilize them with a balanced fertilizer once a month. Watch out for pests and diseases like sweet potato weevils and root rot, and take steps to prevent or treat them as needed.
Sweet potatoes are typically ready to harvest after about 100-120 days, depending on the variety and growing conditions. Once the leaves start to yellow and die back, it’s time to harvest your sweet potatoes.
Carefully dig them up with a garden fork, being careful not to damage them, and allow them to cure in a warm, dry place for about a week before storing them in a cool, dry place for long-term storage.
Growing sweet potatoes in bags is a great way to grow them in a small space. It’s important to choose a container that is large enough to accommodate the plant and provide enough space for the roots to grow.
The recommended size for a container for sweet potatoes is at least 10 gallons. The best soil for sweet potatoes in a container should be loose, well-draining, and rich in organic matter.
When planting, ensure that the plant is placed in a sunny location and receives sufficient water. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of delicious sweet potatoes in your container garden.