How to Harvest and Store Sweet Potatoes

How to Harvest and Store Sweet Potatoes

Harvest sweet potatoes as soon as they are big unbearable to eat—usually when the ends of the vines uncork to turn yellow.

Harvest sweet potatoes surpassing the vines are touched by frost. Frost can forfeiture the tubers below.

Related articles:

  • Seven Ways to Cook and Serve Sweet Potatoes
  • How to Plant and Grow Sweet Potatoes
sweet potato harvest store
Harvested sweet potatoes

When to harvest sweet potatoes

  • Most sweet potato varieties are ready to harvest 95 to 120 days without transplanting. But smaller tubers—called “baby bakers”—can be lifted sooner if they are big unbearable to eat.
  • Lift a few tubers to make sure they are the right size surpassing you dig up the whole patch.
  • Sweet potatoes are tropical. Lift your yield surpassing the first frost. Sweet potato roots will protract to grow until frost kills the vines.
  • Lift the yield if a nonflexible frost is predicted and surpassing the soil temperature drops to 50°F (10°C). A nonflexible frost can rationalization forfeiture to roots near the surface. If you can’t harvest your yield surpassing frost, mulch the patch heavily with straw or fallen leaves.

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Sweet potato in garden
Dig sweet potatoes thoughtfully to stave bruising the tubers; bruising can lead to rot.

How to harvest sweet potatoes

  • Sweet potatoes tend to grow near the surface. Dig thoughtfully to stave bruising the tubers; bruising can lead to rot. To find the crown of the plant, you may want to trim when the vines.
  • Cut or trim the vines two or three days surpassing harvest; this will help toughen the skins and help reduce skinning the roots at harvest. Minor nicks or cuts can rationalization tubers to decay.
  • To lift sweet potatoes, find the crown of the plant and then use a hand or garden fork to loosen the soil in an 18-inch (46 cm) wide whirligig virtually the plant.
  • Lift the crown and use your hands to unearth the tubers.
  • Sweet potatoes should be handled as little as possible to prevent bruising and skinning. Use cotton gloves to reduce skinning during harvest.
  • Sweet potatoes are not very sweet when first dug. To sweeten, they need a period to sit and cure.

How to cure sweet potatoes

  • To cure a sweet potato, shake off the soil then lay the tuber in a warm (80°F to 90°F/26-32°C), well-ventilated place for well-nigh 10 days, longer if the air temperature is cooler.
  • Sweet potatoes should be cured with upper relative humidity (85-90 percent); curing tubers in perforated plastic tons will alimony the humidity high. As roots cure starch will be converted to sugar and the tubers will wilt sweeter.
  • Uncured sweet potatoes do not torch well.
Sweet potato storage
Store sweet potatoes in a single layer; wrap the tubers individually in newspaper.

How to store sweet potatoes

  • Store sweet potatoes without curing in a cool, visionless place at well-nigh 60°F (16°C). Do not refrigerate or store sweet potatoes unelevated 50°F (10°C).
  • Store only sound, whole roots that are self-ruling from disease and insect damage. Use cut pieces and damaged roots as soon as possible; do not store damaged roots.
  • Store sweet potatoes in a single layer; wrap the tubers individually in newspaper.
  • The tubers should alimony for 4 to 6 months in a spot that is 55° to 65°F.

Related articles:

How to Plant and Grow Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Plant Starting Tips

How to Harvest and Store Sweet Potatoes

Seven Ways to Cook and Serve Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Sweet Potato Growing Problems: Troubleshooting

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More harvest tips:

Learn when and how to harvest your favorite vegetables for the weightier savor and texture. Get storage tips for each crop. Click on the vegetable you are growing below.

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