When is the right time to plant sweet potatoes and how best?

Sunday June 18 2017

Farmers planting sweet potatoes in their

Farmers planting sweet potatoes in their garden. FILE PHOTO 

Sweet potatoes are planted at the beginning of the rainy season to get best results. The vines are grown on mounds and ridges of varying sizes. A mound should be 100cm wide and 60cm high, the distance between mounds should be one meter. Ridges are spaced at 0.5m from each other. The planting operation involves pushing the lower part of the vine cuttings into the soil, such that they are nearly horizontal. Three vines are planted per mound (four to five vines can be planted on extremely large mounds like in Buganda). Vines are spaced 30cm from each other on mounds or ridges. With adequate soil moisture and good soil fertility, sweet potato vines will cover a large area within one month. Thoroughly weed your sweet potatoes twice; within one month after planting and two months after planting by pulling them gently; if possible, avoid deep digging with a hoe or other tool that disturbs the feeder roots that quickly spread throughout the bed. Water is especially important as plants grow and roots spread.

Answered by Dr. Jolly Mary Kabirizi, Senior Principal Research Officer/Forage scientist, National Livestock Resources Research Institute (NaLIRRI)

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