How do I know sweet potatoes are ready to harvest?

Special to The Baltimore Sun

Question: I am ready to harvest my sweet potatoes, but when I dug I didn't hit upon any. How deep should I dig? Do I cut off the vines before I search dig?

Answer: Sweet potatoes require 90 to 120 days from planting to maturity and must be harvested before the first killing frost. The tubers will be in the top 4-10 inches of soil. You do not have to cut off vines before harvest. It is possible that your plants have not been in the ground long enough to form tubers or they are not getting enough sunlight. They also do not produce well if they are planted too close together. Space about 1-foot apart in rows 40-inches apart.

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