This plant has no fragrance
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Sweet Potato Overview
Ipomoea batatas is a tuberous, climbing perennial species resides in the Convolvulaceae family. It is more often grown as an annual plant for the roots. Commonly known by the name Sweet Potato, the tuberous roots, which are consumed widely as food are oblong and have orange to brown skin with cream to yellow to orange flesh. It has excellent yields, vigorous vines and produces a couple of large roots in each bunch. Sweet Potato is used as snack, meal and staple food in many countries, also known by the names Batata, Kumara and Yam in different locations. Both the tuberous roots and leaves may be consumed, they are said to taste like spinach!
Common problems with Sweet Potato
Sweet potato can have Fusarium wilt, sweet potato flea beetle and the tubers can be affected by wireworms and nematodes.
Sweet Potato Companion Plants
Companion plants that grow well near sweet potatoes include dill, thyme, beets and parsnips. Avoid planting squash near sweet potatoes because of a similar vine spreading growth.
How to harvest Sweet Potato
Tubers are ready to harvest 3-5 months after planting. Stop watering 3 weeks before harvesting to keep mature tubers from splitting. Greens can be harvested throughout the season with light cuttings. Dig up potatoes where the slip was originally planted.
How to propagate Sweet Potato
Take tip cuttings of about 30-40 cm long with approximately eight nodes. Cut away the lower leaves, as tearing these off may damage the nodes that will produce the roots. Plant cut end in the ground.
Place slips 7.5 cm deep, spaced 30cm apart and rows should be about 0.9-1.2 m apart.
Propagation is by seeds in the spring.
Special features of Sweet Potato
Rotate with other groups of vegetables before replanting the same area with root crops again.
Tubors can grow in aquatic systems - roots will benefit from the nutrients from fish, clearing the water and the vine will quickly grow out to breath in air.
Bees are attracted to the flowers.
Butterflies are attracted to the flowers.
Other uses of Sweet Potato
Culinary, vegetable, food
The leaves, shoots and tubers are edible. Tubers can be boiled, roasted or cut into chips and the shoots and leaves can be cooked and used as a spinach or green vegetable substitute. High in Vitamins and minerals and effectively used as staple food.