Updated: Sep 15
For years, gardeners have been using sweet potatoes to create a natural barrier in their gardens. There are many benefits of planting a row of sweet potatoes around the perimeter of your garden, including:
The plants grow quickly and provide an excellent ground cover for bare soil. Sweet potatoes can be grown from slips taken from the vine or by adopting some other type of rootstock such as wild vines that are found growing near water.
Sweet potato plants produce large leaves which shade out weeds while providing shelter for beneficial insects and also help suppress weed growth by blocking sunlight.
Sweet potato plants form long roots along the surface which pull up nutrients and moisture that would otherwise be inaccessible to other crops because they don't need tilling.
In the year 2020, scientists and farmers continued to explore more sustainable food sources. The sweet potato- a root vegetable native to South America- was considered an important option for its high nutritional content. This decision was largely due to concerns about climate change resulting in extreme drought conditions and crop failure from other crops like corn. In addition, because of the increasing population, demand for staple foods such as rice and wheat could not be met without significant changes in farming practices or land use.
The crop is grown locally by using controlled methods that restrict the growth of weeds as well as reducing soil erosion by keeping it covered with mulch at all times during growth seasons.
How to Propagate Sweet Potato Vines
Propagating sweet potato vines is quite easily done. Cut four inches from the end of the vine. After you remove your four-inch piece of the vine, cut all the leaves off except two. You want to remove the leaves, so the cutting will focus on the growth of the roots. Now that the leaves have been removed, place the stem of the cutting into water and put it in an indirect sunlight location and wait a few days, and you'll have a new sweet potato vine ready for planting.
In about five days I had roots on this cutting.