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How to grow yams in grow bags - Simple ways to grow sweet potatoes in containers
Sweet Potatoes are one of the Super Foods that everyone likes! It is not only a delicious food but also high nutrient food. It is rich essential vitamins and minerals that prevent from the diseases like cancer, heart diseases and obesity. It has lower GI when consumed as boiled form and controls the blood sugar level. Sweet potatoes are more healthier than regular potatoes. Though both are having same nutrients like high carbs and antioxidants, sweet potatoes has more vitamins and low GI when compared to regular white potatoes.
Grow Your own Sweet Potato at your Home
You can grow sweet potatoes in grow bags at your home. You can get the slips from the store bought sweet potatoes and plant it in your garden. But ensure, the sweet potatoes you got from is organic. Most of the sweet potatoes you buy from the stores might be chemically treated to avoid sprouts. Though they are harmless for consumption, it will not be useful for planting.
Grow Sweet Potato using Grow bags /Containers
Sweet potatoes grow in ground as well as in containers/grow bags. Sweet potatoes prefer horizontal space to grow well. So , you need to select wider grow bags. You can plant it in grow bag of size 15 X 12 inches like other vegetables. The grow bag should have sufficient drain holes as well.
Best soil for sweet potatoes
As the sweet potatoes are long time crop, you have to use nutrient rice potting soil. Sweet potato requires a well drained, sandy loam soil to grow well. The equal ratio of Vermi-compost, red soil, river sand and cow dung compost will work well for it. The Vermi-compost helps the plant to get immediate nutrition and the cow dung compost as a slow release fertilizer, will provide nutrition throughout the crop period.
How to get sweet potato slips from sprouts to plant sweet potato in bags
Yo can start sweet potato slips from the store bought sweet potato. Confirm the tuber is organic and not undergone from any chemical treatment to stop sprouting. There is a traditional and most followed way for getting slips from sprouts. Here are the few steps to get it.
Get a well matured, healthy and organics sweet potato
- Fix 3 tooth picks around all sides of the sweet potato in the middle area.
- Submerge the root area of the tuber in water. The taper side of the tuber will be the root end and the other will be the sprout side.
- Place the jar in warm area
- Change water every 2 to 3 days to keep it fresh.
- After 2 to 3 weeks , the new vines come from the tuber
- Wait until each vine get the roots.
Now the sweet potato vines are ready for planting. Normally, It will take 4-5 weeks.
Sweet Potatoes grow from cuttings
You can plant sweet potato from vine cuttings also. Select few healthy vines from existing plant or you can get it from stores as well. Place them in a jar filled with water after cutting the sweet potato leaves at the bottom. After you 10 days, you can see few roots from the nodes of the vines and it is ready for planting.
Planting the Sweet potatoes in Containers
Plant the healthy vines with roots you got either from sprouts or cuttings into the potting soil mixed with nutrients like vermi compost.
Use Potato Grow Bags for easy harvest
There are specially designed potato grow bags that have a open slit at the bottom side. This will help you at the time of harvest. You can get your yields without digging the entire grow bag till the bottom. You can either one type of grow bags as per your desire.
Caring of Sweet potato plants
Though Sweet potato is one of less maintenance crops , you have to take care of some simple things.
Required Sun Light
Sweet potato grows well in warm condition and you need to plant at place where it gets direct sunlight at least for 6-8 hours.
Watering your sweet Potato plant
Watering once in a week , will be enough for growing sweet potatoes and you have to keep the soil moist and do not leave to very dry condition.
Weeding and Mulching
As sweet potatoes grow by spreading its vines horizontally and grow like a bush, you have to take some extra care for weeding. you have to remove the weeds by hands and do mulching with dry leaves to control weeds growth.
Fertilize your sweet potato plant
There is no specific fertilizer is needed , and the regular slow release organic fertilizer with balanced numbers is enough. You can give the wood ash solution to the soil will be enough as a homemade fertilizers.
Harvest Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes will be ready for harvest after 120 days. You can understand the plant is ready for harvest, when the leaves turn to yellowish color. Cut the vines first to make the harvesting easy. Keep the health vines for next cycle of planting . Dig out the soil with little care to avoid damage to the sweet potatoes. you can store the sweet potatoes by spreading in a covered outdoors and protect them from animals.
A Simple guide on how to grow elephant foot yam at your home
You can also grow elephant foot yams also in grow bags at your home. You can easily produce seedlings from the store bought elephant foot yams and no need to shop seeds. Get the yams with sprouts and cut it into four pieces by leaving the sprouts area. From this cuttings you can get four seedlings. Regular garden soil is enough to produce seedlings. you will get the seedlings within 30 days. Water regularly enough to moist the soil.
Planting of elephant foot yams
Plant one seedling per grow bags by just covering the roots with soil and no need to plant it deeper holes. It will start growing with 2 weeks. After few weeks, you can notice another branch come from the roots.
Avoid over watering which will cause root rots. Water just to moist the soil whenever you notice the soil is dry.
There is no special need for fertilizing. The potting mix will be enough for growing . However you can give vermi compost or cow dung compost after 4 months of planting. Spray plant boosters on the leaves while watering to get good yields.
Cover the soil with dry leaves to protect the plant from hot summer period.
The elephant foot yams has long growing season and will be ready to harvest after 9-10 months only. Protect the soft stems from breakage by giving supports to the plant without damaging the roots. When the plants getting dry after 9 months, you can understand that is ready for harvest.
Hope the above tips and guidance will be useful for you to grow yams in your container garden!