Tips for Storing Sweet Potato Vine Tubers During Winter

Sweet potato vine is a popular ornamental plant that can enhance the beauty of any garden. It has beautiful, heart-shaped leaves and comes in various vibrant colors, including purple, green, and pink. Sweet potato vines are generally grown as annuals but can also be propagated through their tubers for replanting in the spring.

If you want to keep your sweet potato vine tubers over winter so that you can enjoy them again next year, here’s what you need to know:

When to dig up sweet potato vine tubers

The best time to dig up sweet potato vine tubers is after the first frost has killed off the foliage. This usually happens around early to mid-fall. When digging up sweet potato vines, use a spade or garden fork and carefully loosen the soil around the base of each plant before lifting it out of the ground.

Tips:

– Be gentle when handling sweet potato vines as they are delicate.
– Make sure to label each harvested tuber with its corresponding variety name.

How to prepare sweet potato vine tubers for storage

Before storing your sweet potato vine tubers over winter, it’s essential to take some measures to ensure they don’t rot or get infested by pests during this time. Here are some preparation steps you should follow:

1. Remove excess soil: Use a soft brush or damp cloth to remove any dirt from each harvested root gently.

2. Let them dry: After cleaning your roots, let them dry naturally at room temperature for at least 24 hours before storing them away.

3. Cure your roots: Curing helps heal minor cuts and bruises on roots while creating favorable conditions for sugar development which makes these vegetables sweeter! Place cured roots in trays or boxes covered in peat moss (or sand) at temperatures between 80-85 F (27-29 C) and humidity levels of 80% to help the healing process.

Tips:

– Avoid washing your sweet potato vine tubers as water can cause them to rot during storage.
– Don’t store sweet potatoes with other fruits or vegetables that release ethylene gas, such as apples and bananas. Ethylene accelerates the ripening process in these vegetables, causing them to become soft and spoil easily.

How to store sweet potato vine tubers

Sweet potato vine tubers need a cool, dry place with good ventilation for optimal storage. Here are some guidelines on how you can achieve this:

1. Choose an appropriate container: Select a container that provides enough space for your harvested roots while allowing proper air circulation around them. Cardboard boxes, wooden crates, or mesh bags work well for storing sweet potato vines.

2. Store in a cool place: Place the containers with your stored roots in a dark corner of your basement or garage where temperatures range from 50-60 F (10-15 C). This temperature range is ideal because it helps slow down sprouting without freezing off the root’s tender parts!

3. Check periodically: Check on your stored roots every few weeks throughout winter months manually removing any shriveled or rotten ones before they infect surrounding healthy plants!

Tips:

– Don’t stack containers of sweet potato vines too high as it may damage those at the bottom.
– Keep rodents away by placing mothballs near your storage containers – just make sure not to allow direct contact between pests and produce.

By following these simple steps, you can keep your sweet potato vine’s delicate beauty flourishing year after year!

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