Japanese sweet potatoes are also known as Okinawan Sweet potatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes are usually found in grocery shops and in supermarkets. Japanese Sweet potato is usually grown in California, North California, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana in the United States. Japanese sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants, high in flavor, and high in fiber.
Japanese sweet potatoes are used for making several dishes by boiling, baking, mashing, roasting, and frying. Along with Japanese sweet potatoes, we can also eat Japanese sweet potato leaves because they contain high dietary fibers and are very delicious.
Japanese sweet potatoes are not grown from the seeds but from the chunks and in this article we will discuss the step-by-step process of growing Japanese sweet potatoes.
1. Cut Japanese Sweet Potatoes into Chunks.
Japanese sweet potatoes are not grown from the seeds but are grown from chunks and you can plant these chunks into the garden directly.
Firstly cut halves of the Japanese sweet potato into pieces and then soak half of these pieces into water and then pick out from the water with the help of toothpicks. Keep these chunks in the warm spot until it sprouts and then soak the bottoms into water. Roots will form after a few weeks your seedling will be ready to plant.
2. Choose a sunny spot.
Sweet potatoes have at least 6-8 hours of sunlight for their proper growth. Your Japanese sweet potatoes can still grow in partial shade but grow better in direct sunlight. But our suggestion for you is to plant your Japanese sweet potato where it can receive at least 6-8 hours of light daily.
3. Ideal soil for Growing Japanese Sweet Potatoes.
Japanese sweet potatoes grow well in well-draining soil and the ideal pH for growing Japanese sweet potatoes is between 5.8-6.2 but you can also add iron Sulfate to lower the pH or it makes the soil too acidic.
You can use potting soil for growing Japanese sweet potatoes. You can buy potting soil from the market or nursery or make it at home. For making potting soil mix ½ of compost, ⅓ manure, ½ coco peat, ⅓ peat compost mix well and then fill into the bed.
4. Plant Sweet potatoes.
You can plant sweet potatoes when the last frost has passed and soil temperature reaches above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant sweet potatoes in the raised beds, dig holes for planting, and then bury seedling into the hole and keep that in your mind sprouted leafy part above the ground. Fill the planting hole then gently press and remove air pockets.
During the first week of planting water your plant but not overwater your plant so that water does not become wet and soggy. After the first week, you can water your plant daily so that it shows better growth.
6. Take Care Of Japanese Sweet Potatoes.
It is very easy to grow Japanese sweet potatoes because Japanese sweet potatoes require low maintenance.
Japanese sweet potatoes do not need too much fertilizer but for improving your plant’s growth you can use low nitrogen fertilizers because too much nitrogen for Japanese sweet potatoes is not good because it induces growth in potato vine leaves rather than in tubers.
7. Pests Control.
White grubs and whitefly will attack your plant to keep these pests away from your plant. You can use a net or wire cage or you can spray insecticides to prevent insects.
8. Harvesting of Japanese sweet potatoes.
If you live in a cooler climate, Japanese sweet potatoes mature in 90 to 170 days and after 4-6 months. When Your Japanese sweet potatoes are ready, use a pitchfork or digging fork to loosen the soil and then dig out the Japanese sweet potatoes, and after harvesting Japanese sweet potatoes you can use them in making several dishes by boiling, baking, roasting, and by frying.