Growing Calendar for Sweet Potato - O'Henry
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Sweet Potato O’Henry produces cream coloured smooth crops with less string and a nutty flavour with hints of honey. Has a slightly drier texture making them better for baking. A high-yielding variety. O'Henry looks a little different from regular dark-skinned varieties. It’s a white-skinned variety with cream-flesh inside that becomes drier when cooked. O'Henry's. It produces large tubers in compact which makes harvesting easy. A high yielding variety that stores well. If you though that sweet potatoes were too exotic to grow in the UK, think again.
On arrival the slips may look withered. Do NOT worry!
Lay them in a shallow bowl of cool water approx. 2cm deep so that all of the stem is just covered with water. Placing in a warm light room. Leave them in this state for at least a week until roots have started to form from the base of the stems. Add fresh water daily in order to keep the slips healthy and stop the water from turning sour.
Once the roots have developed, carefully plant the whole slip individually. Mostly fill a 9cm pot and lightly firm the compost before curling the stem around the pot and placing on compost surface, topping with compost so that the stem is covered leaving just the base of the leaves protruding. Water and keep warm. Allow the plants to establish root systems within the pots before planting on into their final container this typically takes around 3 weeks.
Sweet Potatoes require high temperatures and plenty of space to produce good yields. In the UK they are best planted in poly tunnels or greenhouses, however in a warm sheltered outdoor spot they can thrive. In order to increase the productivity of the plants try covering the beds in black polythene and planting through in order to increase temperature, or planting in black 30cm containers. Fleece and Cloches can also help.
Sweet Potatoes prefer full sun on well-draining fertile soil. Plant 30cm (12”) apart and leave at least 75cm (30”) between rows. Alternatively they can be grown in containers or patio grow bags.
Water regularly and feed every few weeks with a multi-purpose fertilizer. Sweet Potatoes are vigorous with sprawling stems that can be tied onto a trellis or strings if desired.
Approximately 12-16 weeks after planting, the foliage will start to turn yellow and die back… now it is time to start harvesting. The tubers can be left in the ground longer if you desire larger potatoes.
Ensure that all tubers are lifted before the first frosts.
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Sweet potatoes are colourful, tasty and lower in calories than traditional potatoes. View here how to grow your own!
Please unpack the plants as soon as you receive them and sit them in a tray of shallow water if they appear to have dried out in transit.
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