Sweet potato-Harvest and storage
Sweet potatoes are harvested 3.5 to 4 months after planting. The ends of the vines starts turning yellow at maturity. Another method is to cut a tuber and see the gum colour.
If the initial white gum colour remains white, then they are ready for harvest. On the other hand, if the white gum colour turns blackish or green, then tubers are immature.
The primary crown of the plant is first identified. The soil around the primary crown is then loosened and the vines are pulled up. Harvest before frost as cool temperatures reduces tuber quality.
Sweet potatoes are not very sweet at the time of harvest. They need a period to sit and “cure” to bring out their sweetness.
Shake off soil, and then lay the unwashed sweet potatoes in a warm (80°F to 90°F), well-ventilated place for about 10 days.
As the sweet potatoes cure, any scratches in the skins will heal, and the flesh inside will become sweeter and more nutritious.
Cured sweet potatoes will keep for up to 6 months when stored at around 27 degree Celsius with high humidity.