Swati Dwidevi, a resident of Bengaluru, is a full-time HR professional whose hobby is growing various plants and documenting them on her YouTube channel. In her backyard, she grows over 200 plants, which includes a plethora of fruits like papaya, guava, sugarcane, and vegetables like gourds, carrot, ginger, and herbs like basil, giloy, coriander, and more.
In August 2020, Swati took up a challenge to grow sweet potatoes from a store-bought vegetable in pots. A few months ago her experiment was a success and she harvested over 3 kg of the vegetable.
“It is a very simple process, and can be grown in the garden, terrace, balcony, or in any place that receives ample sunlight,” says Swati, in an interview with The Better India.
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of fibre and contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, Vitamin B and C. One of the key nutritional benefits is the presence of an antioxidant known as beta-carotene which can prevent Vitamin A deficiency. Apart from this, sweet potatoes are low on the glycemic index and can be consumed, in moderation, by those with diabetes.
Here’s how you can grow this in 10 simple steps at home.
Things you’ll need:
- Store-bought sweet potatoes
- Potting mix
- Container or terracotta pots
Step 1: Cut a store-bought sweet potato into half.
Step 2: Fill a bowl halfway with water and place the sweet potato in it. Do not immerse it fully.
Step 3: Replace the water every alternate day, and within 10 days you will notice a growth of small leaves and roots.
Step 4: Allow the sweet potato to grow in the same bowl for up to 30 days.
Step 5: After there is a good growth of foliage (leaves) and stems, carefully remove the separate shoots growing on the sweet potato.
Step 6: For best results, place these shoots into a separate bowl with water, for a few days, to germinate the roots.
Step 7: Take a wide container, fill it with organic potting mix.
Step 8: Create one-inch holes in the soil and place each shoot equally spaced out from each other.
Watch how to germinate and plant the sweet potatoes here:
Step 9: Place the plant under sunlight and water regularly.
Step 10: Within six or seven months, once you notice the plant starts to turn yellow or dull and produce flowers the sweet potatoes are ready to harvest.
Swati says, “It is important to choose a wide container to grow the sweet potatoes as they spread in a horizontal direction. Also, do not place more than two shoots in one container.”
Watch how to harvest sweet potatoes here: