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The two common types of potatoes in Nigeria; you know them? They are called Irish and Sweet potatoes. But sweet potato will be the focus in this article because, by nature, it can be produced anywhere in the country, unlike the Irish potato whose production is quite low due to lack of quality seeds and improper management of diseases.

Sweet potatoes are highly nutritious, and packed with vitamins, fibre and minerals. They can be fried, boiled or any other way. So, let’s go into the simple steps to grow sweet potatoes.

1. Prepare a space in your compound

The first thing to do is to find a place you can use to grow your potatoes at home. It is not a large production; the phrase would have been “get a land”. Prepare this space of yours very well, with this in mind — potato thrives very well in sandy and loamy soil, and it is very rich in organic matter. A tuber crop requires a soil high in fertility that would help it with excessive vegetative growth.

Note: In between preparing a space, get your potato slips from a reliable source. In Nigeria, the slips are well-managed and packaged by farmers. At least, for a start, you can adopt this style; subsequently, you can derive from the stem.

2. Planting

The spot you’ve chosen to plant your potatoes should be a place that always has direct sunlight. If you want your potatoes to grow on time, the soil has to be loosed and well drained. Airspace in the soil will allow the roots to go deep into the ground. Your slips should be used as soon as you purchase them. Position the slips very well in such a way that the bottom half will be covered while the top half will be above the ground. This would enable the potato plants to spread quickly. You should ensure there is enough space between your slips before planting.

3. Watering

Regular watering is key to the growth of your sweet potatoes. The slips constantly need to be soaked in a lot of water; just make sure the surroundings are wet. Rainy days can also help you reduce the task of watering rigorously, but you don’t have to depend on it because the potatoes won’t be productive. Above all, water them all the time.

4. Pests and Weeds Control

The growth of your potatoes also depends on how you protect them from weeds; because they compete for water. Weeds are unwanted plants; so you shouldn’t spare them. Immediately you spot any, remove them instantly. To control pests from damaging your crops, remove unharvested roots. You can also apply insecticides if it is severe, but most times, farmers just concentrate on removing the infested plants.

5. Harvest

Most times, potatoes take between three to four months to mature, that is 90 to 120 days. You can use your hand to pull them out; shaking off the dirt at the same time. Please be careful when doing this, so that the potatoes will not be damaged either by piercing or bruising.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you should also read How to Grow Onions at Home in 5 Simple Steps and How to Grow Tomatoes at Home in 6 simple steps