Growing sweet potatoes in a raised bed- advice?

nessz79_10aFebruary 10, 2013

Hi everyone- I'm getting ready to move a bed and I want to grow sweet potatoes in it, starting in March or April. Right now, it's a short bed- maybe 6-8 inches high. I should probably add to the height, right? How tall should it be?

Also, this bed is an old one and needs to be filled up more- what should I add to it? Last year I grew sweet potatoes in sand and they would have been fine if they had been in a sunnier location and I hadn't picked them too early. So what can I add that will be good for sweet potatoes, but I don't have to dig out of my yard?

Thank you in advance!

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dlsm(Z9b Titusville Fl)

Hi, I grew the Porto Rico bush sweet potato in an 8 inch bed. I wouldn't plant any less than 8 inches. I used a mixture of pine bark fines, black cow manure and peat. You can also use bags of potting mix from the box stores. I would recommend you dip each slip in Sevin solution and spray weekly. The sweet potatoe weevils wiped out my crop this past year. Yes, you do need full sun if possible. They are a hot weather crop and need at least 4 months to mature.

Good Luch to you,


    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 2:12PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Nessz, my sweet potatoes grow around my bananas and in raised beds, they all do fine. What Luther is advising you to add is a good idea. My raised beds are filled with a combination of peat moss, black cow and sometimes I add leftover soil from the tomato containers that is mostly pine bark fines. In the summer I spray the tomatoes and with the same organic mixture sometimes I spray the sweets, only if there is a problem. Usually if they are strong enough they will resist any bug attack. For sweet potatoes do not add a high nitrogen soil, otherwise you get pretty leaves and no tubers.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 4:46PM
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Ok, that sounds good, thank you both!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 6:43PM
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I grew my party sweets in a 6 inch bed last year. They did fine with no spray. I'm still eating them, and may have a few roots left for starts when the taters are out. I use compost or rotted manure for make up dirt. Mine were runners and grew so fast the squirrels feasted on the leaves and couldn't slow them down.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 12:01AM
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Our experience with the black cow indicates that it is at least mildly toxic to plants. Probably loaded with strong salts. Luther, you might wonder if that is some or all of the reason your plants were weakened and vulnerable.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 1:35PM
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dlsm(Z9b Titusville Fl)

pnbrown, my vines were beautiful and I didn't know I had a problem until I dug the potatoes. This is what I found after digging the potatoes.

A fellow gardener told me this happened to him when he purchased contaminated slips.

I did not know black cow had all those toxins. Don't have a truck to haul real manure. Thanks for the Info.


    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 3:12PM
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Luther, if I could make a suggestion...take your pic to your local county extension office and ask them what did that. It looks to me more like a root worm type damage but I can't be sure. Your problem may not have come from your slips, it could be in the soil.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 12:07PM
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dlsm(Z9b Titusville Fl)

ga.karen, that is a good suggestion. I don't know what caused my problem. I'm just a back yard gardener with limited knowledge. My expertize is trial and error, ut-oh's, oh-sh*t's etc... But I enjoy my hobbie and enjoy all you fellow gardeners.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 1:21PM
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