Sweet potatoes (ipomoea batatas) are good for big food plots. When planting companion plants for your sweet potatoes, which are considered to be hardy perennials in zones 9 to 11 of the United States Department of Agriculture, but can be grown as annuals in zones 1 to 8 of the Missouri Botanical Garden, make sure to leave sufficient space around each plant for the vines to grow and spread out. Sweet potatoes can be grown as annuals in zones 1 to 8.
According to the University of Illinois Extension, sweet potatoes should be planted in mounds of loose, loamy soil about 8 inches in height. Because these plants like to produce vines and grow in a rambling fashion, you shouldn’t place any companion plants too closely to them.
Sweet Potato Companion Plants
The majority of gardeners engage in some kind of companion planting at some point in their careers. Few gardeners desire just one plant in their yard, particularly vegetable gardens. However, there should be enough spacing between sweet potato plants; Gardeners Supply Company recommends giving them at least 12 to 18 inches of space between each plant.
You may plant vegetables that grow vertically alongside sweet potato vines, provided that you construct trellises or cages that will prevent the plants from competing with the sweet potato vines for ground space. According to Garden.eco, pole beans and tomatoes both love a loose, loamy soil and grow best when grown vertically. Sweet potatoes are another plant that thrives in this kind of soil. Pole beans, which are classified as legumes, provide nitrogen to the soil, which is an additional benefit for sweet potatoes.
Planting oregano and dill next to sweet potatoes can help keep pests at bay. Because beets and parsnips will establish their root systems in the soil’s upper layer, which is located above the sweet potato root, these plants can be sown in the fall and winter close to sweet potato plants. According to Garden.eco, summer savoury and thyme are two other excellent options. Since thyme, however, is a perennial that grows in a mat, it is ideal to position a potted thyme plant next to sweet potatoes.
The Companion Planting Chart recommends avoiding growing squash beside other plants that have a tendency to spread out over the ground. Also, resist the urge to grow bush beans in your garden. Despite the fact that sweet potatoes are legumes and will contribute to the improvement of the soil, they will compete for space with your bush bean plants.
Plant in Warm Soil
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, sweet potatoes can only be grown successfully in soil that is at least 90 degrees Fahrenheit over a period of 90 days. If you reside in USDA zones 1 through 8, keep this in mind. Because of the extended amount of time needed for growth, it is possible that you may need to begin your plants inside.
The use of cloth mulch may assist in warming the soil to a point where it is suitable for planting. It is recommended by Gardeners Supply that you plant in soil that is at least sixty degrees Fahrenheit warm. According to Gardeners Supply, there are a few of new sweet potato cultivars that, when combined with methods for warming the soil, make it feasible to produce sweet potatoes anywhere in the United States.
According to research published by the University of Illinois Extension, after your sweet potatoes and companion plants have been planted in the ground, it is critical to maintain the space surrounding the potatoes weeded while they are establishing themselves in the soil. Once they have taken hold, the sweet potato vines will spread out to cover the uncovered ground surrounding the plants and even create new roots at the points where the leaf nodes contact the soil. That, in turn, leads to an increase in the output of sweet potatoes.
Varieties and Care
There is a wide variety of different kinds of sweet potatoes. The University of Illinois Extension lists the following among the sweet potato types that are particularly noteworthy:!!-!! Maintain a consistent watering schedule for your sweet potato crop throughout the growth season. Be careful to water the soil surrounding the plants evenly, and watch out that the roots don’t get too saturated with water. Your neighbouring sweet potato companion plants should be able to keep the insect population under control, which will go a long way toward ensuring a good harvest.
Water your sweet potatoes regularly throughout the growing season. Water the soil around the plants evenly, and make sure the roots aren’t constantly wet. Your nearby sweet potato companion plants should keep down the pests to help ensure a successful harvest.