July 1, 2009 at 4:32 am #248659
Just wondering if anyone has grown sweet potatoes in SE Victoria successfully? Would like to give it a try if it can be done, so any hints, tips ect would be fabulous.
LizzieJuly 1, 2009 at 4:59 am #419108BelMember
I asked the same question of growing sweet potatoes in Adelaide recently and others told me they’d grown them successfully here. I haven’t tried yet but figure if it grows ok here in Adelaide, it’d probably grow where you are too – fairly similar climate….:shrug:July 7, 2009 at 4:12 am #419109em_84Member
I’m in Vic too, and wonder if you found any answers on growing sweet potatoes?
i cant even find any to plant… I assume they would just come as seed potatoes as all the normal potatoes do? Diggers don’t have them listed on their site and other sites i have seen have no mention either. Does anyone else out there know much about growing sweet potato? Thanks!!July 9, 2009 at 12:03 am #419110
Thanks Bel and Em for your replies.
I sent an email off to Goodman seeds in Bairnsdale re availability and growing the sweet potato around here. They planted some last year in their garden and had great success with it, (extremely surprised), they are available around the end of September.
They went onto say, “they are not grown like a regular potato, as the mother tuber grows shoots, you take cuttings of these shoots and grow these shoots in the garden where you would like the sweet potatoes to grow.
The growing season for sweet potatoes is not long in Victoria, keep the mother tuber growing and you will have a better result in the second year.
So be on the look out where you see Goodman Seeds sold or order direct from company, http://www.goodmanseeds.com.au. They are an excellent company, I bought my hothouse through them last year and found them to be extremely helpful.
Will update how it all goes after planting and harvesting.
LizzieJuly 9, 2009 at 5:49 am #419111KasaliaMember
I have planted sweet potato in the Coffs area, took over the entire garden, Just let a normal sweet potato start shooting like potatos do and plant. It runs out like a vine and sends down roots every now and then that turn into tubers. The vine can stay in the garden forever, and the tubers just get bigger. Taking cuttings I presume must root in
the ground therefore forming tubers. Dont feed them, too much nitrogen just makes lots of leaves.
Maybe in Vic the vine dies off in cold weather, they need heat and lots of sun.July 9, 2009 at 7:57 am #419112dustygrl70Member
Hi Lizzie, you can sprout your own at home from a shop bought SP – cut it in half and place the cut ends in a bowl with 1/2cm of water. They can take 6wks or so to sprout depending on the temp, but once they have good shoots you can plant them directly in the ground if you want. The sprouts will form vines that run across the ground and SP tubers will form where the vines touch the soil and can root into it – to help them root and tuber faster you can cover the vines over in spots with a bit of soil. When the soil starts to bulge up you’ll know that a good sized SP is underneath.
The reason they let the SP shoot, then cut the shoots off and re-strike those, is that the tuber can carry fungal diseases but the shoots won’t. You could do this too is you wanted – let the shoots grow 4+ inches then cut them off and let them form roots in a jar of water.
Don’t plant them until the frost risk is over as they won’t recover from frosting. If you have 5 months or so of growing season you should get some good size SP. We’re in SE Qld and planted some in Nov – they lasted till a heavy frost in June and we have a *lot* of SP!July 9, 2009 at 8:05 am #419113hillbilly girlMember
While living in the UK I heard that Kew was experimenting with them. They also had them growing in someone’s allotment garden on Gardening World -the UK equivalent of Gardening Australia. If they can grow them there you should not have too many problems growing them in Victoria.July 9, 2009 at 9:42 am #419114LearningMember
Lizzie, pm Red Dragon. I believe her dad grows sweet potato in gippsland.July 9, 2009 at 11:54 am #419115kiwimamaMember
In NZ the Maori traditionally grew kumara as far south as Kaikoura, which is not a warm place! To get them growing that far south, they grew them planted in the north side of mounds. The purple-skinned variety (dryer with pale yellow flesh) grows better in cold climates than the orange type.July 12, 2009 at 2:00 am #419116AnonymousGuest
Lots of very rich soil for the vines to spread over. It can’t be too rich! They need a long summer to grow the tubers big enough and must be kept nice and moist. That hot spot protected from southerlies that fries everything else (talking southern gardens here…) – fill it with manure and plant away. Buy some sweet potato from the shop – cut each one in half and dip the cut half in dry cement. Let it dry for a day or two, then plant out – not too deeply – leave a bit poking out of the ground. If the vines grow out of the bed, just loop them back.July 12, 2009 at 3:13 am #419117billMember
Its hot in summer and cold in winter here. I grew the purple skinned variety here over all of last summer and harvested them just before the frosts started. I encouraged the vines to spread and put down secondary roots. I noticed I only got spuds directly under the original cutting and not under the secondary roots. I think this is because of the short season. as opposed to the tropics where the vines will grow all year. Next time I will put in more cuttings and limit the spread of the vines. I remember someone on this or another site saying that is how the Maories grow kumura – they discourage secondary roots. I got about 10 – 12 kg out of two vines…… but the tubers were huge.July 12, 2009 at 4:00 am #419118ChezzaParticipant
I can’t believe I didn’t like sweet potato until a couple of years ago…. All those years I missed out on eating yummy sweetbuck…. :(:lol:
Bill, that was a pretty good haul…. :tup:April 13, 2010 at 4:13 am #419119
Thought I would up-date this thread that I started back in July 09. Planted 1 seed tuber and 2 pieces from supermaket that I sprouted inside on window sill. They have all grown vines off them, 1 has grown more tubers off main one, will be digging up soon for closer look before frost hits. So yes we can grow them down South. But I think I needed to pay them more attention and should have covered some of the vine in dirt like suggested, to get more tubers.April 13, 2010 at 4:52 am #419120KirstyMember
:clap::clap::clap:April 13, 2010 at 5:02 am #419121BobbeeMember
Busylizzie, I put in one sp tuber that I bought from the organic veg shop.
It has growth similar to yours but I haven’t checked for tubers yet.
Last year I had a lovely healthy one growing but forgot to protect it from frost and it was zapped.
This year I will try to put a protective cover over the top and will mulch well with straw to see if the plant will overwinter and have a headstart come the spring.
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