Best Fertilizers For Sweet Potatoes (What They Need & Like)
Sweet potatoes appreciate a small dose of feeding throughout. The plant feed for sweet potatoes should be higher in phosphorus and potassium as compared to nitrogen. So, pick wisely!
When feeding sweet potatoes, choosing suitable plant food is critical to accentuate its growth and yield. Sweet potatoes are root vegetables. They greatly benefit from plant food with high potassium and phosphate levels than nitrogen.
So, the best fertilizer for sweet potatoes will be the one with a high phosphate and potassium content, such as 5-10-10 or 8-24-24, for optimal sweet potato growth. These formulations stimulate robust root development for growth underneath the soil.
You can start feeding the sweet potatoes two weeks after transplanting and repeat the process every four to six weeks during the growing season. To avoid potential damage, opt for water-soluble fertilizers, especially as the plants grow and spread out.
You can conveniently mix them with water and apply them during regular watering routines to save effort and time.
A water-soluble, Lily Miller Morcrop is one of the best options you have here. Apart from that, to address specific soil needs, add compost, bone meal, or kelp to the planting site after a soil assesment. They provide the soil with vital nutrients for your sweet potatoes to thrive.
Sweet Potatoes Benefit from Plant Food Such As:
Stop feeding for two weeks before harvesting the sweet potatoes. By picking the correct plant food and following a consistent feeding schedule, you can foster the optimal growth of the sweet potatoes and ensure a bountiful harvest.
Do Sweet Potatoes Need Fertilizer?
Yes, sweet potato varieties benefit from regular feeding. Fertilizers provide sweet potatoes with vital nutrients that promote healthy growth and boost yield.
While sweet potatoes are typically hardy, applying a suitable plant food ensures they receive an apt supply of nutrients, especially phosphate, and potassium, for robust root growth.
Feeding can significantly accentuate sweet potatoes’ productivity, vigor, and development.
Fertilizer Requirements For Sweet Potatoes
When it comes to feeding sweet potatoes, you must consider the NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphate, and Potassium) levels and other vital nutrients that contribute to their overall productivity and health.
Typically, sweet potatoes cherish high potassium and phosphorous levels than nitrogen. It helps with robust root development, which is particularly crucial for underground root vegetable growth.
Beyond NPK, sweet potatoes also need other crucial nutrients. These comprise micronutrients, such as sulfur, magnesium, and calcium, which support the plant’s overall development and health.
Calcium helps with cell formation and solidifies the plant’s structure. Magnesium has a critical role in chlorophyll production. Sulfur boosts enzyme activity and aids in protein formation.
To ensure your sweet potatoes achieves a well-rounded supply of nutrients, look for the best fertilizer for sweet potato, exquisitely formulated for root vegetable or crops.
Such plant foods have a balanced blend of NPK with micronutrients vital for sweet potato growth. Ideally, a water-soluble fertilizer can be a good alternative. You can apply it during regular watering routines, ensuring the plant gets a consistent nutrient supply.
Do Sweet Potatoes Need A Lot Of Nitrogen?
No, sweet potatoes do not need high nitrogen levels. While nitrogen helps with foliage growth, sweet potatoes typically cherish high phosphate and potassium levels for root development. Excessive nitrogen may result in excessive foliage growth at the expense of tuber formation.
Best Organic Fertilizer For Sweet Potatoes
Amongst organic plant foods for sweet potatoes, you must opt for the best alternatives to accentuate their growth and yield. Some options to consider or avoid are discussed below:
A. Compost with low nitrogen
Compost with low nitrogen is a good pick for sweet potatoes. Compost provides sweet potatoes with different nutrients that boost soil structure and help with robust root development.
Opting for compost with low nitrogen level avoid excess foliage growth, allowing the plant to focus its energy on the tuber formation.
You can add the compost before planting the sweet potato slips. Use it as a top dressing during the growing season. Incorporating compost into the soil boosts moisture retention and accentuates nutrient availability. It maximizes yield and supports plant health.
B. Is chicken manure good for sweet potatoes?
Yes, chicken manure can be a good selection for sweet potatoes. Chicken manure is an excellent source of phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium. These are three vital nutrients for plant growth.
But please use composted chicken manure to avoid the risk of foliage or root burn. Moreover, too much chicken manure may also introduce harmful pathogens into the soil.
Incorporating composted chicken manure into the soil as a top dressing during the growing season or before planting promotes healthy growth and boosts the yield of sweet potatoes.
C. Can you use kelp meal for sweet potatoes?
Yes, a kelp meal can be an excellent pick for sweet potatoes. Kelp meal comes from seaweed and contains essential nitrogen, potassium, and trace minerals. These nutrients help plants grow, boost stress tolerance, and help with root development.
Adding Kelp meal into the soil boost soil structure stimulates microbial activity, and amplifies nutrient availability. It also helps with sweet potatoes’ productivity ad growth.
Applying the kelp meal before planting or as a top dressing during the growing season can be beneficial. Its organic nature makes it an excellent alternative for those seeking a natural and sustainable choice for sweet potatoes.
D. Is bone meal good for sweet potatoes?
Yes, a bone meal is good for the sweet potatoes. Bone Meal contains phosphorous that helps with plant health and aids in root development. Adding bone meal into the soil before planting provides a slow-release phosphorous source across the growing season.
But please note that while it is one of the best organic fertilizers for sweet potatoes, you must use it in moderation, as too much phosphorous hinders nutrient availability.
So consider the soil’s nutrient levels before using it. Keep in mind that it won’t provide the needed potassium as most bone meal fertilizers do not contain it. Check the package for exact information about the contents.
E. Is Epsom salt good for sweet potatoes?
No, Epsom salt is not a good alternative for sweet potatoes. Though Epsom salt works as a fertilizer supplement for many plants, sweet potatoes do not have some specific magnesium requirements that would warrant the employment of Epsom salt.
Maintaining proper soil nutrition and offering sweet potatoes balanced feed will cater to its nutrition requirements.
F. Is seaweed good for sweet potatoes?
Liquid Seaweed for Plants (32 oz) Quart | Concentrated Liquid Kelp Supplement | Makes UP to 470 GALLONS | for All Plants & Gardens | Blue Planet Nutrients
Neptune’s Harvest Seaweed Fertilizer 0-0-1 (36 Ounce)
Yes, seaweed can be a beneficial organic option for sweet potatoes. Seaweed contains microorganisms and growth-promoting hormones and is rich in trace materials.
As a plant food, seaweed boosts soil fertility, improves plant resilience, amplifies productivity and growth, and helps with root development. You can apply composted seaweed or seaweed extracts to the soil or use them as a foliar spray.
The bioactive compounds and nutrients in seaweed support the sweet potatoes’ nutrient needs and help with their overall yield and health. Hence, employing seaweed as organic plant food is a valuable addition to sweet potato cultivation.
G. Is urea fertilizer good for sweet potatoes?
No, urea is not the best pick for sweet potatoes. Urea is a nitrogen-based plant food that promotes foliage growth, which may result in excessive vegetative development. You do not want that. This can hamper the growth of tubers or result in small unhealthy sweet potato tuber altogether.
What Fertilizer Do Sweet Potatoes Need – (Packed Store-Bought Options)
Below are some examples of packed store-bought fertilizer options suitable for sweet potatoes.
1. Big A Root Vegetable Fertilizers
|Check price on Amazon|
NPK – 1-9-3
The Big A plant food is a 100% organic fertilizer that can nurture your vegetables sans any compromise on safety. It is a unique, patent-pending blend that amalgamates magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, nitrogen, and other vital nutrients.
Further, it contains kelp, which helps achieve bountiful yields and optimal growth. You get it in a highly soluble powder formula that helps in convenient application and rapid absorption.
So, using this fertilizer can give your lawn or yard the required nourishment it deserves and get rewarded with tasty, nutrient-rich produce.
2. Lilly Miller Morcrop Vegetable Fertilizer
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Boost the yield in your vegetable garden with this Lilly Miller Morcrop Vegetable Food. It is exquisitely crafted to provide your plants with optimal flavor. It is a 5-10-10 plant food that amplifies growth.
Enriched with essential plant minerals, it has a fortified formula that offers vital nutrients to support robust plant growth and maximize yields. It is a USA-made product and guarantees top quality and effectiveness.
Homemade fertilizer for sweet potatoes
Here is a list of the two best homemade fertilizer options for sweet potatoes that you can prepare at home easily.
A. Do sweet potato plants like eggshells?
U.S.A. Eggshell Fertilizer Powder, 4 Ounce, for Tomato Plants, Orchids, Calcium Magnesium Phosphorus Powder for Indoor and Outdoor Flowers and Plants
Sweet potatoes benefit from the regular addition of eggshells in the soil. Crushed eggshells are an excellent calcium source that aids in root development. It also helps prevent nutrient deficiencies. Here is a quick DIY method to make and use this homemade fertilizer:
- Rinse and save some eggshells.
- Let them dry.
- After they dry, crush them into small pieces.
- Mix the crushed eggshells in the soil around the sweet potato plants, ensuring they are well incorporated.
The eggshells will release calcium gradually and promote healthy growth to boost yield in sweet potatoes.
B. Do sweet potato plants like Banana peels?
Banana peels can also be beneficial for sweet potatoes. They have potassium that promotes root development and helps with overall plant health. Here is a quick DIY method to make and use this homemade fertilizer:
- Save peels from ripe bananas.
- Let them dry.
- Once dried, cut the peels into small pieces.
- Blend them into a paste.
- Dig small holes around the sweet potatoes and bury the banana peel into the soil.
The banana peels will decompose and release potassium into the soil, enriching it and supporting the growth of healthy sweet potato plants.
How and When To Fertilize Sweet Potatoes?
Use the best fertilizer for sweet potatoes strategically and at specific durations to promote optimal growth. You can feed them two weeks after transplanting the potato slips into the garden.
Use it every four to six weeks during the growing season. You can employ granular plant food when the plants are small.
However, as they spread out and grow a water-soluble fertilizer can be a better alternative, as you can mix it into the water seamlessly.
Do not allow direct contact between the plants and the fertilizer, as it may burn the roots. Stop feeding three weeks before harvesting to let the sweet potatoes establish. Following this feeding schedule helps achieve healthy growth and nutritious yield.
How Often To Fertilize Sweet Potatoes?
You can feed the sweet potatoes once after planting them and then wait for bout 3 weeks before feeding them again. Then again feed them after 4 weeks and avoid adding any late season fertilizers. This frequency helps give the plants a consistent nutrient supply sans overfeeding them.