Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Storing Sweet Potatoes

Someone asked how to keep sweet potatoes. It has been a number of years since we raised sweet potatoes but we were able to save a few until spring. The old timers always say to wrap them in newspaper and store them under the bed. If any of you have personal experience, please share. Here is the directions I found in my gardening book.

Harvesting: Dig on a sunny dry day. Let them lay in the sunshine for an hour or two. Separate the bruised or cut ones to eat first as they don't keep as well.
Curing: Cure for 10-14 days in a hot humid spot. 80 degrees with high humidity is ideal. Near a wood stove or even in a car parked in the sunshine will work. Cover with a damp towel if you need more humidity.
Storing: Once cured, sweet potatoes need to be kept very dry, which is why wrapping in newspaper is recommended. Store at 45-55 degrees. They will get better tasting with longer storage as starch changes to sugar.
Freezing: Wash, cook or bake in oven, peel, cool, fill bags, and freeze.
Canning: Cook in boiling water for 20-30 minutes. Peel and cut into pieces. Fill jars, add salt, and pressure can for 95 minutes at 11 lb pressure.

Did you know?
*That sweet potatoes (which are not potatoes at all) have more vitamins than almost any other vegetable.
* In this country, the name sweet potato and yam are often used interchangeably. But yams are not at all related to the sweet potato. Yams grow only in the tropics with a 12 month growing season, and can reach sizes of a hundred pounds!
*Sweet potatoes prefer to grow in poor dry soil without much fertilizer. Rich soil will promote lots of vine growth and yield long skinny tubers.


  1. I am so glad I found this! I have been fertilizing our sweet potatoes and sooo pleased to see quick growth. But, ahem, would I ever have been in for a surprise in the fall. I'm afraid the ground is too rich the way it is. We put inches of compost on it this spring since we have such poor soil here. I'll have to remember to put them on the poorer edge of the garden next year. Your blog is a WEALTH of information!

  2. Thanks for posting this! I needed to know how to store my sweet potatoes!!


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