Hi. I noticed a few of you growing sweet potatoes in bags/containers or mounds. Do you reuse the potting mix/soil or do you have to start a new crop with fresh mix to prevent build up of pests like sweet potato weevil?? I find the crop rotation thing quite difficult in a small garden.

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  • Thanks for all your replies. I like the idea of putting them up high Christa. I would do that if i had a suitable spot. Jeff that is a great idea about using a metal garbage can to solarise a pot of soil. I was thinking that i will need to solarise as i dont have a big enough garden to rotate crops every few years and that would be easy to do for pots. I have Jerusalem artichokes which have been popping up the last few years since i planted them in my raised beds (they are 40cm high and on top of concrete) so maybe they like the good drainage. I have dug some out and put some in a large pot dug part way into a very dry coarse soil. Yep the sweet potatoes keep resprouting (its quite annoying actually) so i have lifted a few vines up and tied them to a teepee. We don't eat that many sweet potatoes but they are fun to grow and i have lots of planting material anyway.
  • I grow mine in a polystyrene box and it seems to be doing ok.  The box is up high so the runners hang down on concrete path.  I don't want them to overrun the ground. 

    • Heat will kill a lot of the pathogens in soil and if growing in pots can place in a steel  pot  and leave where gets very hot during the day  or even put on the stove or in the oven  or even a closed car in the sun.

      Have boiled up soil in a pot and then used to grow seeds to kill all weed seeds .Last time was to grow onion seed.

      If you go out into garden in bare feet on a hot day the bare soil is very hot to stand on and any small plants are going to suffer .Was thinking of getting some metal trays and trying that to kill nut grass  it just seems to keep coming back each time there is heavy rain.

  • I don’t rotate, good luck not having them sprout again from the tiniest root. I plant them and then have basil and plants I don’t mind potentially losing after 4months over the top to get the most out of the space.

  • Do you need to rotate sweet potatoes? It is a perennial cultivated as an annual. Unless you wanted to grow a specific type the harvest isn't necessarily huge to  warrant the space allocated.

    That was my conclusion.It still grows outback but I only harvest from the plants occasionally.

    Unlike standard spuds, a home grown sweet potato -- to me -- tastes much like a purchased one.

    People do grow sweet potatoes in small spaces for the leaves.

    I used to experiment with a lot of starchy veg  but I've settled finally on growing Yacon (a root veg really)-- although can easily grow Cassava which I grow as a hedge and don't eat much of. Another productive option for me was Jerusalem artichokes. -- but each year, here in SEQ, you need to find more planting stock.  JA do grow OK in pots apparently...and you get flowers!

    I love the nutty taste.

    RELATED ANECDOTE: Yesterday I was out shopping and two Pacifika  guys behind me were walking out of the shop with a 10 litre bucket of fresh  poi (made from taro). You can buy it there.

    • Sweet potatoes can be cured where kept in hot humid environment to convert there starch into sugar.

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