How To Grow Vegetables

Sweet Potato Pests And Diseases

Sweet potatoes are often mistakenly thought to be the same as Yams but they are from a totally different plant and they do not have the same problem, it is also unrelated to the common potato. In most places they are relatively free of disease and will keep that way with good crop rotation. The main problems that can occur are: -

Sweet Potato weevil, which occurs mainly in the tropics and other hot regions and the problems, can be a major source in destruction of the tubers. The weevil adults can feed on any part of the plant but the larvae drill tunnels in the tubers and the destruction of a crop can occur. It is very prevalent in Africa and other parts of the world. In some places like in some USA states there are quarantine rules in infested areas.

The cure is to destroy the infected plants and start again in a different area. Insecticides can be used to help destroy the weevils, one cure is to flood the area for a short period after the crop has been lifted, as the weevils will drown.

Crop rotation is most important and there should be at least a full 2 year gap between planting. Care should be taken with the seed potato and infected stock must not be used, there are some resistant strains being developed and if in doubt spray the plants with insecticide in the early days after planting. Fusarium can occur where the soil is damp and cold and early harvesting is recommended in this case.

The aim is to get good seed stock and run a good planting regime. Find out How To Grow Sweet Potatoes

By Richard Allen -

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