Sweet potato harvest

It might be humidity issue. Perhaps too dry.

I would eat the ones with dark spots first and put them separately from the rest. The dark spots/patches tend to get bigger over time , the bud will turn woody and inedible.

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Does the skin wrinkle? If so, it is losing moisture and not curing properly. Part of the what curing does is to thicken the skin in addition to converting starch to sugar. A proper curing will let you store them for 4-6 months.

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I agree with Tim. Curing time is typically 7-10 days. 4 days is not enough.

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My Beauregards don’t seem sweet here in Dallas. I planted 4/1, dug out large S potatos 9/1, cured in a sun room for 2 weeks, and let sit in my house a week.

What am I doing wrong? Is another variety sweeter?

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I don’t think it was humid enough. Although they’re in a cardboard box, I think with dew points in the 30s and 40s here, they just got to dry.

I put a trash bag around the box, loosely, and put a couple wadded up moist paper towels inside the boxes where they are not touching the roots at all, but hopefully adding some moisture.

I feel very fortunate to get these (variety=PortoRico). Early August some deer ate them down leaving only about 30% of the foliage (only planted 4 slips). They did grow back but hadn’t flowered yet. We are looking at lotsa rain this weekend (dif from just plain rain, LOL) after a relatively dry fall so far. So I thought best to pull them. Only one was cracked which will cure up just fine. Very thankful to get some decent potatoes.
I put them up and forget about them for a month. Our humidity is high in the fall so maybe that’s why I’ve never had problems. Sweet potatoes are pretty forgiving.


I think it’s too late. I ruined them.

I increased the humidity, but the dark spots are getting worse, and the ones that are shriveled don’t look any better.

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Have you cooked any yet? I hope they are tasty even if they are ugly.

About half appear to be curing correctly. They’re still firm, skin appears “tougher”, etc

I’m cooking the other half tonight to mash and freeze. I’ll try a bit as well. So far, very bland.

As I was peeling them to boil them, I think I figured out why some of them appear to be dehydrating, and getting dark spots. The dark spots are where the skin has been rubbed away. Because some idiot (this idiot typing this) washed them with a clean dish sponge to remove the dirt before curing.

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The half that didn’t shrivel appear good so far, and are now in my coolish (mid-upper 60s, but will cool to around 60 by winter), moist basement. Yet, I still see small sprouts growing on them.

A - how can I stop the sprouting?

B - how can I keep a couple to where I can sprout them when I WANT to next spring, (to grow next years’ slips) and make sure they last that long, and don’t sprout every dormant bud they have, and have nothing left to sprout in March?

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It is getting colder so I dug potatoes. They were grown from my own slips, only four bushes gave quite a lot of potatoes.


Wow! That looks nice!!! I’m waiting for another month or so to dig mine…can’t wait!!


Here’s my sweet potato patch. It’s gotten a bit out of control. Been trying to keep it in the confines of my small garden, but it’s a constant chore…These were regular store bought sweet potatoes that we had left over, so I wasn’t expecting them to take off the way they did and I didn’t bother to write down when I planted them…It’s still plenty warm here, so I’m planning to leave them in the ground as long as possible. Now whether there are any potatoes under there or not and how big they are is another question.


yours look like mine…it runs wild in my garden but now that it gets colder, I just let it take it’s course.

We had our first frost so I dumped my 55 gallon drum over.

I was having high hopes of success from right off the top.

The soil is getting dryer the deeper I go. I should have done more deep watering!

I put some water in the bottom of this 30 quart pot with a false bottom to keep the potatoes off the water. I have them down by the boiler where it’s 90 deg. I put the lid on too. They weighed 20 lbs 11 oz.


Tell us more about planting sweet potatoes in a barrel. What are the advantages? How many plants do you put in the barrel? Do you fill the barrel entirely to the top,or leave room to cover in case of frost? Can you put a pane of plastic or glass on the top to serve as a mini-greenhouse?

This was my first time growing them, so I am not to sure of advantages. I would say that I got some solar heat through the barrel till the vines totally covered the barrel. I drilled four holes one third of the way up, and four staggered 2/3 of the way up. I filled it full and planted one slip in each hole. I then planted four more in the top. The soil settled down four inches after a while. I did make a big plastic bag I used in the spring for a week during a cold spell. I drove four post in the ground to make a square and then put like a big garbage bag over it made from clear plastic. I only used that for about a week. Thern on top of the post I ran a circle of wire fence for the vines to grow on. I was dumping one to two sprinkler cans of water in it when watering, but that wasn’t enough to keep the bottom soil wet. I only watered it about once a week except during the dry spells I watered twice a week. I think half barrels would work better. My soil was mostly shredded leaf mold with some cow manure and a bit of moss.

I dug mine up last Saturday and they look a lot like yours but the taste should be fine. Mine were grown in 25 gallon plastic containers. I did not notice any cracking on vardaman but my nancy halls look exactly like yours, at least most of them. A few smaller ones had no cracking. Inconsistent watering is the only thing I could think of.