Harvest when your potatoes reach the recommended growing time for your variety, usually around 110 days after planting. Try to harvest on a sunny day when the soil is not too wet. Pull aside the vines so that you can see where you are digging!
I use a flat-tined fork, digging 12”-18” away from the plant to avoid damaging the sweet potatoes. Go straight down about 6”, then angle toward the center of the plant and gently lift the potatoes out of the ground. Separate the sweet potatoes and allow them to dry in the sun for no more than one hour. Handle freshly dug sweet potatoes gently to avoid bruising.
Curing sweet potatoes allows for healing of any scratches or damage to the skin, develops their sweetness and improves storage quality. Immediately after harvesting, let the sweet potatoes dry fully, brush any dirt off, but do not wash! Keep at 90% relative humidity for 7-10 days to cure them.
For long-term storage after curing, store in a cool (55 degrees), dry, well-ventilated area. Do not refrigerate sweet potatoes unless they are cooked. Properly stored, sweet potatoes can store for 5-8 months unrefrigerated.