It is useless to attempt to grow the Sweet Potato on anything but a light and dry. soil. On clayey soils the plant not only grows poorly, but the potatoes raised upon such soil are watery, and poorly flavored. The plants are raised by laying the roots on their aides on a hot-bed or bench of a greenhouse, and covering them over with Band, about the first week in May; by keeping up an average temperature of 75° or 80°, fine plants will be produced by June 1st, at which time they should be planted in this vicinity. The plants are set in hills three feet apart each way, or on ridges four feet apart, and 12 or 15 inches between the plants, drawing the earth up to them as they grow, until the top of the ridge or hill is four or six inches above the level. The soil under the ridges should be highly manured, and as the vines grow they should be kept clear of weeds; when late in the season they show a disposition to root at the joints, they must be moved every week or so; this is easily done by running a rake handle or other stick under the vines and lifting them sufficiently to draw out the small roots upon the stem. As is the case with many other vegetables of which the plants or sets are raised in large quantities for sale, it is better and cheaper when Sweet Potato plants are procurable, to purchase them, than to attempt to raise the small number required in a private garden. A hundred plants not costing more than a dollar, are all that most families would require. The Nansemond is the favorite variety.
Fig. 101. - Sweet Potato.