How do I harvest and store sweet potatoes?
Harvest sweet potatoes immediately before or after a vine killing frost. When harvesting sweet potatoes, dig carefully to avoid cutting or bruising the roots. After harvest, cure the sweet potatoes for 1 week at a temperature of 80 to 85°F and relative humidity of 90 to 95 percent. Curing promotes healing of minor cuts and bruises, prolonging the storage life of the sweet potatoes. Curing also improves the flavor of sweet potatoes as starches are converted to sugars during the curing process. After curing, store sweet potatoes at a temperature of 55 to 60°F and relative humidity of 85 to 90 percent. Storage temperatures above 60°F may stimulate sprouting. Sweet potatoes may develop an off-flavor and the flesh may become discolored when stored at temperatures below 55°F. If properly cured and stored, sweet potatoes can be stored for 4 to 6 months.