HOW TO GROW SWEET POTATOES IN POTS OR CONTAINERS





Although the sweet potato is an exotic, tropical root crop from South America, it is becoming an increasingly common sight in our local supermarkets. Nutritious and easy to grow, you can plant it just about anywhere so long as the soil is free draining and the plant gets plenty of sun.

Generally pest free in the northern European countries, the only problem that you likely to get with growing sweet potatoes is slug damage, and this is why the practice of growing them in containers is becoming a far more popular method.

Being grown in a pot has other benefits too because not only will it provide better drainage than it would otherwise get in the ground, it will also afford warmer soil temperatures as the pot can transfer heat from the sun directly into the root environment. Both of these factors help to create improved growing conditions.

To make the most of the growing season your crop can be started off indoors by planting slips (rooted sweet potato cuttings) or tubers into as large a pot as you can physically move around. This will need to be done approximately 3-4 weeks before the last frost - which in the United Kingdom will mean planting from the beginning of April onwards.

They will require a rich, free-draining compost and you can create this by using good quality garden topsoil, horticultural grit and well rotted farm manure mixed together using a 1:1:1 ratio. Slips should be planted at the same depth that they were lifted from, while tubers should be planted on their side at a depth of about 6 inches. To give you a rough idea of spacing you can plant 3 slips/ tubers in an 18 inch diameter pot.

Being a semi tropical plants they require at least 110 days to mature. They are vigorous, and once they start growing, will readily spread. You can choose to control the vines by growing them vertically up a wigwam or trellis or allow them to trail naturally along the ground.

They can be lifted from the end of August, but it is usually better to leave them until the leaves begin to yellow and die back. In fact, you can leave them in the pot for as long as you can so long as they are not damaged by early frosts. Once lifted, the new tubers will need to be allowed to mature for a week or so in the warmest area you have in the house - something like the airing cupboard will be fine. This will allow the skins to ripen and the flavour to sweeten and become true to type. They are now ready for use in cooking and will store quite happily in a cool dry place for a month or so.

For more information on Sweet Potatoes click onto:
How to Take Cuttings from Sweet Potatoes

For more information on growing edible crops click onto:
Artichokes
Asparagus - Asparagus officinalis
Banana Plants
Chitting Potatoes
Cucumber 'Long White' Seeds
Gardenofeaden
Growing Garlic in Pots and Containers
Garlic
Growing Asparagus from Seed
Growing Brussels Sprouts from Seed
Growing Mushrooms
Growing onions in Africa
Growing Parsnips from Seed
How to Compost
How many Calories are in a Potato?
How to grow Allium Giganteum from Seed
How to Grow Artichokes from Seed
How to Grow Asparagus Plants
How to Grow Asparagus from Seed
How to Grow Autumn Sowings of Broad Beans
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How to Grow Basil from Seed Outdoors
How to Grow Butternut Squash from Seed
How to Grow Broad Beans from Seed
How to Grow Broccoli
How to Grow Butternut Squash in Pots or Containers
How to grow Cauliflower from Seed
How to grow Cilantro from Seed
How to Grow Citrus from Seed
How to grow Cucumbers
How to Grow Cucumbers from Seed
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How to Grow Garlic
How to Grow Garlic in Pots and Containers
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How to Grow Leeks from Seed
How to Grow Leeks from Seeds
How to Grow Lemongrass
How to Grow Lettuce From Seed
How to Grow Marrows from Seed
How to Grow Mushrooms
How to Grow Onions From Seed
How to Grow Onions from Onion Sets
How to Grow an Orange Tree from Seed
How to Grow Outdoor Tomato Plants from Seed
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How to Grow Peppadew Peppers from Seed
How to Grow Peppers
How to Grow Plants
How to Grow Potatoes
How to Grow Potatoes in Pots or Containers
How to Grow Pumpkins from Seed
How to Grow Radish from Seed
How to Grow Strawberries from Seed
How to Grow Sweet Potatoes
How to Grow Tomatoes
How to Grow the Autumn Broad Bean 'Aquadulce Claudia'
How to Grow the Autumn Fava Bean 'Aquadulce Claudia'
How to Grow Giant Onions
How to Grow Okra
How to Grow Mushrooms
How to Grow Oyster Mushrooms
How to Grow Potatoes
How to Grow Pumpkins from Seed
How to Grow Radishes
How to Grow Raspberries
How to Grow Runner Beans from Seed
How to Grow Strawberries
How to Grow Tomatoes
How to Grow Tomatoes
How to Grow Tomatoes - Growbags or Soil?
How to Grow Watercress from Seed
How to Grow Winter Lettuce from Seed
How to Make and Prepare an Asparagus Bed
How to Plant and Grow Artichokes
How to Plant and Grow Strawberries
How to Plant and Grow Blackcurrants
How to Plant Garlic in Containers
How to Make and Prepare an Onion Bed
How to Grow Potatoes
How to Propagate and Grow Sweet Peppers from Seed
How to Propagate and Grow the Bell Pepper from Seed
How to Propagate Strawberries
How to Protect and Over-Winter Bananas
How to Prune Blackcurrants
How to Prune Raspberries
How to Recognise Potato Blight
How to Tell when Pumpkins are Ready to Harvest
Mexican Jumping Bean
Is a Peanut a Nut?
Mint Tea - the Latest in Pain Relief?
Organic and Cultural Control of Potato Blight
Organic Control of Aphids on Lettuce
Organic Control of Grey Mould on Tomato Plants
Organic Seeds with the Royal Connection
Plants
Potagers
Potato
Potato Blight
Salad Crops for Late Summer/Autumn Planting
Slug and Blight Resistant Potato Varieties
Starting Tomato Plants From Seed
The Peanut
The Mushroom
The Secrets to Growing Bonsai
The Snake's Head Fritillary - Fritallaria meleagris
Watercress - Nasturtium officinale
Watercress - The New Superfood
What is an Artichoke?
What is the Difference between a Turnip and a Swede?
What is the Difference Between Fruit and Vegetables
What is Butternut Squash?
What is a Peanut?
What is a Pumpkin?
What is Quinoa?
What is a Vegetable?
WHEN ARE POTATOES READY TO HARVEST
When are Potatoes ready for Harvest?
When do you Harvest Sweet Potatoes?
Where do Peanuts come from?
When do you harvest Broccoli
When to Harvest Potatoes
When do you Harvest Garlic
Why and How to Chit Potatoes

9 comments:

Nancy Bond (Soliloquy) said...

Thanks for this informative post, Simon -- I love sweet potatoes, and I'm all about container gardening. :) I believe I may try this this spring!

Flowers said...

Thanks for sharing the tips to grow sweet potatoes in pots or containers. Your blog is informative and helpful.

Barbara said...

What a great idea. I love sweet potatoes, and your description makes it sound easy. Thanks for an informative post.

p.a.turner said...

just what i needed to find out! thanks so much for the info, I'd ordered sweet potato slips and they'll be here in a few days and I needed this information so I can get things ready for them.


thanks again,
pamela

Amy M. said...

What do you think about growing sweet potatoes in a large trash can?

Organic Girl said...

Thanks for sharing, I was pleased to find your post about planting sweet potatoes in pots explaining what I needed to know :)

katty said...

I love to prepare some recipe with potatoes although i know that a person can gain weight if eat potatoes frequently, but i can´t deny that i really like the flavor, most of all when is combine it with some ingredients. Simply delicous. And when i cook, my husband usually is very happy.
Actually i was looking information about how to buy viagra but i reached this blog, i really enjoyed reading.

Savvy Mummy said...

Wow your pots of sweet potato plants look amazing!!! I find it hard to root the tubers, I never got successful. I usuallly buy the baby plants from nursery but they dont have it every year. This year I am using stem cuttings from market and so far they are rooting in water and I wil plant them into deep pots after this.

Do you harvest the shoots for stir-frying with chopped garlic? They are super yummy. I actually grow sweet potatoes for the shoots.

A question : Have you tried overwintering your tubers in the pot and see if they resprout next spring?

Sheowahya said...

I tried this this year. My pots were a LOT bigger than what yours look to be. I was expecting more sweet potatoes, but I barely got 5kg/10lb out of two huge tubs. What did I do wrong? I want to try again next year.