Growing Sweet Potatoes in Buckets

Republished on, 5/15/201
From the Facebook group Florida Gardening Friends
Growing Sweet Potatoes in Buckets
Sweet potatoes are VERY easy to grow. They are considered a "famine food" because they are so easy to grow, in hot climates as well as cooler climates and in poor soil. And, they are nutritious.
I started my sweet potato slips by placing the sweet potato pieces on a bed of potting mix. It’s a good idea to find an organic sweet potato for a starter. I couldn’t find one, but it still sprouted eventually. I kept the potting mix soggy wet until some good slips (sprouts) were growing.
Once I have Slips then I plant them in 5 gallon buckets with a trellis for the leaves. I use a mixture of dirt, Black Kow and my own leafy compost. The pot should have good drainage, with holes on the bottom of the pots. Keep them watered frequently. No need to fertilize.
Sweet potatoes like HOT weather, but you can grow them year round in Florida. It may take longer during the winter months, but sweet potatoes will still grow in frost-free areas during Florida winter.
  • Wait a minimum of 4 months after you plant the slips in 5 gallon buckets. The longer you wait, the bigger the sweet potatoes will be, and more of them.
  • When I harvest sweet potatoes, I dump the bucket into my little garden cart and sort out the potatoes. Don't wash them. Lay them on a tray and wait 10 days for the sweet potatoes to "cure." They will taste much better after curing.
  • After harvesting, I trim the sweet potato vines to shorter pieces with lots of roots, and replant them immediately in fresh pots of dirt.
  • If you grow in pots you're less likely to have problems with root pests. And, it's so easy to harvest the sweet potatoes when they're ready: no digging!
There are many kinds of sweet potatoes now. Orange sweet potatoes, red sweet potatoes with white flesh, white sweet potatoes, purple sweet potatoes. IMO they all taste pretty much the same.
  • White sweet potatoes can be mashed with cream, butter and chicken stock for a mashed potato lookalike.
  • I like to make sweet potato hash with onion, peppers, garlic, bacon and some regular potatoes as well as sweet potatoes.
  • The bits and pieces of small sweet potatoes that you harvest can be sliced up in soups or stews, as you would with carrots.