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Can Sweet Potatoes Grow on a trellis?

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Can Sweet Potatoes Grow on a trellis? Empty Can Sweet Potatoes Grow on a trellis?

Post  bhende2112 on 2/27/2011, 3:17 pm

Can Sweet Potatoes Grow on a trellis to keep the vines from taking over the garden?
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Post  camprn on 2/27/2011, 4:08 pm

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Post  Megan on 2/27/2011, 5:35 pm

@bhende2112 wrote:Can Sweet Potatoes Grow on a trellis to keep the vines from taking over the garden?

Welcome to the forum, bhende2112! glad you\'re here

I am trying sweet potatoes this year, too. Not sure if I will trellis them or not. Have my first slip starting now. Let us know how yours go!
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Post  bhende2112 on 2/28/2011, 1:09 am

Thank you to you both! This is a great site, everyone is so helpful and friendly!
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Post  Odd Duck on 3/1/2011, 5:13 pm

I can't think of any reason why you couldn't trellis sweet potato vines, but I can think of a reason why you shouldn't. Sweet potato vines will root where they touch the soil and can make more tubers at that location, too. So, you could potentially have increased yield via the rooted vines. I'm not sure how much of a difference it would make, not having grown much sweet potatoes yet. I'm planning a larger area of sweet potatoes this year, not in the raised beds and MM, just in my rather clay soil. The slips were free from a tuber that started growing in the cabinet, so no loss if they don't do well, except in my labor and some water.
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Post  Megan on 3/1/2011, 5:58 pm

Odd Duck, I was reading about sweet potatoes the other day and I came across a good reason why you SHOULD trellis them. Says in the thread below they let their vines sprawl, and got so many tubers that they didn't get a chance to grow very large.

http://www.helpfulgardener.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=21912

I've never tried it either way, and I'm not sure what I'll do. May come down to whether I have an available trellis. Wink

Also, here is a nice link: The North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission (which unhelpfully does not mention trellises at all!) http://www.ncsweetpotatoes.com/how-to-grow/home-gardening-section.html
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Post  Odd Duck on 3/1/2011, 6:54 pm

Interesting link. I've read that thread and didn't even snap to the comments early in the thread about only letting the vine root in 3-4 places, then preventing more rooting. It makes sense, too. I had an ornamental sweet potato vine in an old wheelbarrow last year. I had only 1 big tuber and a few small ones when I pulled it out. I just kind of guessed that was because it was bred as an ornamental, rather than because I had "swirled" it around on itself a bunch and it had rooted in lots of places.

I'll be taking this into consideration growing the eating sweets this year. Thanks, Megan!
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Post  Megan on 3/1/2011, 6:59 pm

Welcome, friend, I hope it helps! Smile
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Post  ander217 on 3/2/2011, 8:38 am

Welcome to the forum, bhende. I'm about three hours south of you between Sikeston and Poplar Bluff. It's always great to welcome another Missourian to the forum.

We grow sweet potatoes in raised beds but haven't yet tried them in our Mel's Mix. The vines can get really long, so if you trellis them make sure to allow plenty of running room. What variety are you planning to grow?

Keep us posted on how your garden grows.

Can Sweet Potatoes Grow on a trellis? 396615
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Post  Smartchick on 3/2/2011, 1:08 pm

Well, I can tell you that I grew them in my SFG my first year and I pretty much wound the vines around themselves to keep them under control (and the rabbits helped by "trimming" the edges that spilled out of the chicken wire fence.) Very Happy They were kind of a space hog but I had 2 planted, each in a 1 ft. square in the front corner of the box and got probably 20 nice sized potatoes otal(two of which were over 3 pounds each - they were giant and my grandma couldn't believe they came out of my "little" garden) out of the two plants. Last year I tried to grow them in our old grill which I'm repurposing as a planter (not in Mel's mix mind you which will be remidied this year) and let the vines spill down the front of the grill and I got maybe two or three edible sized ones from two plants. Not sure if it was the absence of Mel's Mix or letting the vines trail but I was disappointed. This year I'm going to try the rubbermaid tote method (with Mel's mix) and let the vines bunch up in the tote to see what happens. I shall plant lettuce or maybe onions in the grill this year!

I did find a couple of pictures from my first year. Note the giant tubers!

Can Sweet Potatoes Grow on a trellis? Sp_110

Can Sweet Potatoes Grow on a trellis? Sp210


Last edited by Smartchick on 3/2/2011, 1:21 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Adding Pictures)
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Post  Furbalsmom on 3/2/2011, 2:15 pm

Wow, Smartchick!

All that from two slips? Absolutely amazing.

I am starting slips from a single grocery store sweet potato.

Unfortunately, the Oregon State University Extension Service basically says SP are not suitable for my area. We just don't have the heat necessary.

Blehhhh, I am trying them anyway, it's only a bit of space.
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Post  coolmantoole on 4/19/2012, 2:43 pm

I remember reading in a scientific article many years back on the subject of "sweet potato genetics" where in the "methods section" of the article the author stated that they trellised the sweet potato plants to stimulate them to bloom better for breeding purposes. I was a kid the last time we grew sweet potatoes, and our's never bloomed at all. I'm growing them this year, and as an experiment, I plan to trellis a few to see if trellising really does cause them to bloom. (I will try to remember to comment on whether this makes a difference in productivity at harvest time.) Sweet potato flowers are lavender morning glories, but not as showy as some of the other morning glory species. Even so, I think lavender morning glories would make a nice addition to the vegetable garden.
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Post  Pepper on 4/19/2012, 3:32 pm

check out this link in this forum about trellising sweet taters

http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t2619p75-sweet-potato-question

look at page six Squat_Johnson had fantastic results; 96 lbs from 8 squares 12 inches deep
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Post  CarolinaGirl on 4/19/2012, 3:33 pm

I've planted six beauregard sweet potatoes in six squares at the north side of my big box. I haven't put the trellis in yet, but I plan to here in the next week or so.
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Post  Reikifarm7 on 5/22/2012, 4:57 pm

Lots of good info. I'm going to train them up onto the garden fence and see how it goes. Can't be any worse than last year's. The variety is "Centennial". This site is great!
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Post  sceleste54 on 5/22/2012, 8:23 pm

I grew sweet potatoes last summer in pots and in a bed, some trellised and some left to run back and forth in the bed. I got 3 to 4 medium spuds in each large pot. The vine that was trellised had 3 medium potatoes. The vine that was left to sprawl formed small potatoes all down the length. It was so neat when I pulled it up because the Mel's Mix is so light and crumbly the vine just pulled right up with all these little potatoes hanging off it. And talk about tasty !! Way more flavor than the ones in the store !! Very Happy
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Post  littlejo on 5/23/2012, 8:25 am

Sweet potatoes grow bigger potatoes from the main slip. As the vine grows, clip off the end, maybe 10 inches, and put in dirt(mm) and it will make another plant, more big potatoes! But the small potatoes taste good too!

In areas that don't have enough hot days, they can be grown by building a tent of plastic over the plant to add more heat to the ground and air around the plants.

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Post  dmj24 on 5/23/2012, 4:53 pm

where is cottageville in SC? I am in Greer SC (formerly sugar tit)
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Post  littlejo on 5/23/2012, 6:23 pm

Cottageville is halfway between Walterboro and Summerville on hwy 17a.

Isn't Greer up by Greenville?

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Post  CarolinaGirl on 5/23/2012, 9:15 pm

I'm in Summerville, SC Very Happy
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Post  littlejo on 5/23/2012, 10:38 pm

Carolina Girl, I'm in Summerville at least once per week.

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