Sweet potato’s leaves, roots are healthful food stuff | Columnists

Dear AMOR: At times I impulse-obtain plants with no prior research. So, I bought two cells of sweet potato starters. Can I split this plant up into a number of slips and plant, or is this a person plant? I’m going to plant this in a 50 percent-cu,t 55-gallon barrel. Any considerations with that or any other info and suggestions? — Steve

Dear STEVE: By the years I have often lifted sweet potatoes. But in my circumstance, I lifted them specially for their leaves. I do know that a one new sprout, also called slip, can be planted independently with or with out roots as very long as the slip has at minimum 3 experienced/really hard nodes. Roots will improve from those nodes and will develop into a healthful meals-bearing plant down below and previously mentioned ground.

Although sweet potato is a extremely common meals in this portion of the world, I do wonder why its tender shoots, or tops (leaves and stems), are not taken benefit of as foods, like spinach kale and other nutrient-laden leafy green greens.

Blanching or steaming sweet potato leaves for salad, sautéed on their personal, or as additions to soups has been carried out in other countries by way of the ages. Recipes, which actually are just clicks absent, are a reward to us if we wish to enterprise out and study additional about this considerably less-regarded, but usually a person of the most healthy leafy veggies about.


Sweet potato “storage roots” are loaded in nutritional vitamins A and C, fiber, beta carotene and carbohydrates. Sweet potato leaves are rich in vitamins A, C, K, B1, B2, B3 and B9, and minerals (calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc).


Because sweet potatoes can be harvested from 85 to 120 times, destinations that can provide heat sunshine through its increasing period are excellent sites to grow them. Normally, this plant is very easily killed by frost.


Sweet potatoes can be really successful with a pH stage of 5.8 to 6..

In Barrel Planters

Use a good potting soil with the suitable variety of pH and adequate drainage. Harvesting root crops is much easier when the soil is not compacted, doing away with bruises or cuts.

Starter cells with numerous slips means lots of prospective vegetation. Plant them individually to spread out the before long-to-be root bounty below the vines so they can increase to their full likely sizing.

Because of a limited place and overcrowding opportunities in a barrel planter, more compact-measurement root crops might be expected.

Deliver sufficient drainage. It is vital that the roots are not soaked in drinking water, which can cause root rot or cracks on sweet potatoes.

In Ground Gardens

Plant rooted slip individually and equally distanced from other slips. Since of its vining and spreading behavior, a single foot aside must be ideal. A lot more than that will consequence in challenging-fleshed, very large roots. If that transpires, it is practically nothing to panic about. This really hard-fleshed sweet potato is then ideal for French fries, drizzled with caramelized sugar.

A rootless twig or stem can also be planted. It should really have at minimum 3 nodes for it to effectively increase roots.

Sweet potato vegetation will turn into vigorous growers when watered sufficiently for every their demands.

Toward the close of the rising time when Jack Frost arrives nipping by with temperatures below 55 levels, harvest your sweet potatoes all at once and retail outlet them thoroughly.

Crop rotation needs to be taken into thought to stay away from or reduce plant diseases that could overwinter in the soil.

Amor Chamness Cook is a Brigham Younger University-Idaho graduate. E-mail your yard concerns for “Dear Amor” at dearamor@yahoo.com.