A couple of weeks ago, we harvested our sweet potatoes. The photograph above shows the bed shortly before harvest. As you can see, the sweet potato vines had grown and spread prolifically.
In May, we had planted several sweet potato slips from Territorial Seeds. Slips are essentially dry rooted seedlings. Approximately six plants survived and thrived.
Sweet potatoes usually take about four months until harvest to fully form big, fat roots.
After cutting back all of the vine growth, the each plant looked the photograph above. For some of the plants, you could see some of the roots protruding from the ground.
After it was all said and done, we harvested quite a few large, roots that are very sweet and tasty. It is difficult to tell from the photograph below, but some of these roots were enormous. To give you a sense of scale, the trowel in the photograph below is twelve inches long.
T0 cure these sweet potatoes, I put them in the shade under our covered porch and let them cure for approximately one week. I am now keeping them in my second refrigerator.
Most experts recommend that you harvest sweet potatoes before temperatures fall below 50 degrees. Harvest when the ground is dry so the roots are not damaged when you dig them up. Do not brush the soil and dirt off of the roots until you are ready to eat them. Howard Garrett recommends that after harvesting, to store the roots in containers in a warm, humid place for two weeks and, thereafter, at 55 degrees for up to three months.