Row By Row Episode 106: Growing the BEST Sweet Potato Plant in your Backyard!

Simple Tips to Grow a Sweet Potato Plant

Many people will say that a sweet potato is the easiest plant to grow but won’t include the steps to make it the successful maintenance-free crop it’s meant to be. Here at Hoss Tools, we want to help you grow your own food, so this is what we do to make sure we have a successful sweet potato harvest. With any crop, it starts from the beginning. At Hoss Tools, we order sweet potato slips, which are different from a draw. A draw grows from the vine where a slip gets picked from the sprout of a sweet potato plant. 

We have to make sure our soil is ready to have plants in it by digging our rows, and we suggest planting sweet potato rows three feet apart and 12 inches between each seed. You want to plant these slips in soil that has been tilled well and has good drainage. The pH is always essential, and we have seen that they do best in soils with a pH level of 5.8-6. 

For fertilizing your sweet potatoes pre-plant or post, it is vital that you keep it low in nitrogen and high in phosphorous and potassium. Keeping the nitrogen down will help you grow fewer vines and instead focus on the roots. Travis likes to put complete organic hen manure on his sweet potatoes about a week before he plants and then thirty days after when he is hilling the potatoes. 

Our Favorite Sweet Potato Varieties 

We have grown many varieties of sweet potatoes, including the Centennial, the Covington, the Bearugaurd, and the Georgia Jet. We have seen many benefits in all of them, including the Georgia Jet, being the tastiest sweet potato with a short growing season, the Bearugaurd having excellent nematode resistance, and the Covington being the prettiest plant. 

Picking a variety that works for you depends solely on what you are looking for and how your growing season is. For someone up north looking for a quick potato that Georgia Jet might be best, whereas someone just looking for a pretty plant would choose the Covington. 

Show and Tell Segment

Sweet corn is ready to harvest, so Travis brought in some for Greg to try, and if you don’t like watching them eat on the show, you might want to skip the first half. With just some butter and salt, this sweet corn was delicious!! Greg didn’t want to praise it too much until Travis gets some of his though, but Greg’s is about ten days behind Travis’s. We all love some friendly garden competition.

If you watched any of our social media videos this past week, you might have heard Travis talk about his Tomato disaster that occurred from all the rain. Travis’s tomatoes fell slap over on to the next row when his T-posts started to move around in the wet soil. It’s not a bad problem to have such a big harvest that your posts can’t hold up. Thankfully Travis was able to save the row with not many tomatoes lost.

Hoss Tools has some exciting things coming in the next few weeks, including a product that is frequently asked for, T-shirts!! Be on the lookout for a Row by Row Garden Show T-shirt on the website soon and maybe even some more designs. As the guys wrapped up their first segment, they ask our viewers for some help! Hoss Tools wants to use real customer testimonials to compile a video to use as promotion, help them out by checking out the link in the latest Row By Row show!

Viewer Questions

Tim Jones started us off with a mind-boggling question of how do seeds know up from down?? Travis had to think back to his botany class days but then taught us that it has to do a lot with gravity and sunlight. When the seed is in the ground, it tells by the gravitational pull, and once they get blooms on them, they will grow towards the sun. After that we had a viewer ask us why we aren’t growing Dahlias, Greg then informed us that he has a current trial going on with Dahlias trying to learn more about them as they are hard to grow down here in the southern heat. Along with that question, we had another viewer ask about flowers. Randy asked the guys how long does it typically take sunflowers to germinate and grow into a full-size plant? They explained that it could be 50-60 days to mature, but it all depends on the water and weather, just like any plant.

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