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Hyacinth Plant

Q.Growing potatoes in containers

Zone Orlando Florida. | burghgrl added on February 27, 2014 | Answered

I’m apparently not doing something RIGHT. I’ve started organic sweet potatoes in large pots, using mushroom compost, as I was told to do, from my own potato starts. A great deal of greenery appeared, so I was encouraged. Waited till the greenery yellowed (three months at least it seemed) and NOTHING. No potatoes whatsoever. Only the starts. What did I do wrong? A friend suggested that I may have too much nitrogen and need a better ratio of phosphorous and potassium. Now I’m REALLY confused. Where do I GET that? How much to apply, and when? I didn’t know this was going to be so difficult. So appreciate your help.Thank you!!

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on March 2, 2014

Sweet potatoes are not started in the same way regular potatoes are started. They need to be started from slips. Here is more information on that:

If you did start from slips, then your friend is right in that it was likely a nutrient imbalance. Nitrogen is great for leaf growth but too much can actually keep roots (and the tubers we like to eat) from growing. You need phosphorous to have healthy root and tuber growth. Next time, you can use the mushroom compost, but add in a healthy amount of something phosphorous rich, such as bone meal.

Bone meal and other phosphorous rich fertilizers are sold in most gardening stores. Follow the directions on the package and add it in right at the beginning.

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