There have already been many innovations in farming and polytunnel gardening over the years for the sweet potato, making growing sweet potatoes in the UK genuinely worthwhile. To grow the best, you must have the resources — like the polytunnel– and know information on the cutting, timing, and the number of potatoes you can get from a plant.
Sweet potato has a fascinating history. The earliest harvests of this crop dated back to 750 B.C. in Peru, but the cultivation of sweet potato started in 1,850 B.C. When coloniser Christopher Columbus landed on the New World in the 1400s, sweet potatoes had established themselves as a popular food source in Central and South America.
These sweet potatoes are abundant in fibre, and they also contain essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium, selenium, and iron. Plus, these are also excellent sources of Vitamins B and C.
This food source is identifiable with a texture that’s moderately stingy, comparable to a yam. The taste, as the name implies, is sweet but could be fresh when tried raw. Cooking the sweet potato even tastes better.
How Do You Grow Sweet Potatoes In the UK?
Growing sweet potatoes in the UK involves dedication. According to a university in the country, the warmer regions of northern the UK are perfect areas where you can grow the sweet potato. However, due to limitations, polytunnels are recommended to plant these crops right within your gardens. They belong to the Morning Glory or the Convolvulaceae family.
There are two various types of sweet potatoes, and these are:
- Soft-fleshed – Have orange and sweet flesh known as yams, but are farther from what sweet potato is today
- Firm-fleshed – Notable for their light orange, light yellow, and white flesh, homeowners can store for more extended periods
The soil required for these sweet potatoes must be moist, fertile, and nutrient-rich. Remember that you have to prepare the ground by adding a maximum of six inches of organic matter well-composted and a maximum of two pounds of fertiliser, all-purpose. Do not go overboard because these must be added per every 100 square feet.
Place the soil to its eight-inch depth, and rake the ground to provide a maximum of 10-inch tall raised beds for better drainage and root development.
Growing sweet potatoes in the UK entails that you know they are cultivated from cuttings in their stem. This means that they are grown from the root’s plant sprouts.
You can encounter varieties grown from cuttings from the vine. If you require fewer plants, you may grow these from roots suspended in water containers with toothpicks. When you need more plants, you may arrange several roots from the sweet potato about an inch apart covered with approximately two inches of light soil or sand.
Then, begin adding two inches of sand at most as the shoots start the sprout. Ensure that you maintain the bed soil on the moisture in the sprouting period, but avoid having them waterlogged. The temperature of the soil must be from 70 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. What are the things you must know more about sweet potatoes?
How Long Does It Take To Grow A Sweet Potato?
Sweet potatoes are ingredients to a variety of dishes. However, you may find yourself on a bit of a spree when you buy the potato from the grocery store. Aside from being pricey, you will always prioritise essential ingredients over crops of this kind.
Initially, you can put these sweet potatoes inside a jar of water. Half of the sweet potatoes must be submerged in the water, leaving the rest set aside. Those underwater will be sprouting roots in the coming weeks, while those above the water will grow the sweet potato slips or the sprouts. Should you find your crop a little bit skinny, then you may use a toothpick, just like how they are done in recipes, to keep them away from falling.
Store the jar with the potatoes inside where it is warm. The ideal temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The warmer the area, the better it would be. Many house owners want to place them in their dining room’s cupboard just beside their heat vent. Warmth over lighting is what these sweet potatoes are about.
Before they can grow “slips,” it may take a month-long or more, and you must always keep them in check once they have started to pop out. The sweet potatoes may also grow roots before they grow the slips, so make sure to check on these as well. Depending on the “mood” of the potatoes, these will grow just from anywhere between a week to two months.
How Long Can You Keep Cutting Sweet Potatoes?
Keep your cut and cooked food sources in the refrigerator for up to seven days. Do not forget to use an airtight container to store these sweet potatoes within an hour after cooking. While they are hot, please place them in the fridge should you want to keep them after this immediately.
A note, though: Make sure that you label the storage container with the “made on” complete data to remind you of how long they will be suitable for. The last thing you want to happen is encountering these sweet potatoes wasted from the gardening because you’ve missed the storage time.
How Do You Grow Sweet Potatoes From A Sweet Potato?
Growing sweet potatoes in the UK involves knowing the details about the steps to grow these. Sweet potatoes are among the last crops you will grow after tomatoes, peppers, and other heat-stimulated plants—the requirements — warm air and warm soil.
Get started by warming the soil by layering black thermal plastic in the garden bed. A recommended material is biodegradable plastic out of cornstarch. Heat the soil at 10 degrees, and begin planting the sweet potato slips two weeks at the most if you are not keen on utilising this material.
This leads us to the next and last question from the bunch: how many sweet potatoes do you get from one plant?
How Many Sweet Potatoes Do You Get From A Plant?
If you are looking at reselling these sweet potatoes so you can earn or harvesting them so you can pursue them in the market nearby, you must know the number of potatoes you can grow from each plant. It also helps you in the layout of your polytunnels or gardens.
You can have eight or more tubers in a plant. Here are more of the steps:
- Step 1: Begin with the sweet potato slips
- Step 2: Root their slips
- Step 3: Prepare the soil
- Step 4: Start with the planting
- Step 5: Water and take care
Grow Sweet Potatoes With Krostrade
Sweet potatoes and polytunnels go together to offer you the best results. With its North American and European markets, Krostrade.com is the online marketplace that provides the polytunnels you need to make growing sweet potatoes in the UK always possible. Visit www.krostrade.com to learn more.