Sweet potato’s leaves, roots are wholesome food items | Columnists

Expensive AMOR: Often I impulse-purchase vegetation devoid of prior investigation. So, I purchased two cells of sweet potato starters. Can I break this plant up into a number of slips and plant, or is this just one plant? I’m heading to plant this in a 50 percent-cu,t 55-gallon barrel. Any considerations with that or any other facts and guidelines? — Steve

Pricey STEVE: By means of the years I have constantly lifted sweet potatoes. But in my case, I raised them especially for their leaves. I do know that a single new sprout, also known as slip, can be planted individually with or with no roots as extended as the slip has at least a few mature/really hard nodes. Roots will increase from those people nodes and will grow to be a healthier food items-bearing plant down below and previously mentioned floor.

While sweet potato is a extremely prevalent food stuff in this part of the globe, I do speculate why its tender shoots, or tops (leaves and stems), are not taken benefit of as food stuff, like spinach kale and other nutrient-laden leafy eco-friendly greens.

Blanching or steaming sweet potato leaves for salad, sautéed on their personal, or as additions to soups has been completed in other countries by way of the ages. Recipes, which essentially are just clicks absent, are a profit to us if we wish to undertaking out and learn more about this less-known, but otherwise just one of the most wholesome leafy veggies about.


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


Due to the fact sweet potatoes can be harvested from 85 to 120 times, destinations that can offer heat sunshine all over its escalating year are excellent destinations to grow them. Usually, this plant is conveniently killed by frost.


Sweet potatoes can be pretty effective with a pH degree of 5.8 to 6..

In Barrel Planters

Use a very good potting soil with the proper kind of pH and adequate drainage. Harvesting root crops is a lot easier when the soil is not compacted, getting rid of bruises or cuts.

Starter cells with multiple slips usually means quite a few possible plants. Plant them separately to distribute out the before long-to-be root bounty beneath the vines so they can increase to their full prospective size.

Because of a constrained spot and overcrowding prospects in a barrel planter, more compact-size root crops may possibly be envisioned.

Deliver ample drainage. It is vital that the roots are not soaked in h2o, which can cause root rot or cracks on sweet potatoes.

In Ground Gardens

Plant rooted slip independently and equally distanced from other slips. Simply because of its vining and spreading pattern, one foot aside should really be best. Much more than that will result in challenging-fleshed, incredibly substantial roots. If that happens, it’s nothing to worry about. This challenging-fleshed sweet potato is then best for French fries, drizzled with caramelized sugar.

A rootless twig or stem can also be planted. It need to have at minimum three nodes for it to effectively grow roots.

Sweet potato crops will become vigorous growers when watered adequately for each their needs.

Toward the end of the growing season when Jack Frost will come nipping by with temperatures underneath 55 levels, harvest your sweet potatoes all at as soon as and shop them correctly.

Crop rotation demands to be taken into consideration to avoid or minimize plant illnesses that could overwinter in the soil.

Amor Chamness Cook is a Brigham Youthful College-Idaho graduate. E mail your back garden concerns for “Dear Amor” at [email protected].