I have a couple of sweet potatoes or yams that have sprouted. Can I just put the whole thing in the ground?
I know it may not be the best way to plant them but I am just curious.
My mother used to put a sweet potato in a few mason jars of water, then let the sprouts get maybe 8 - 12" and broke them off and stuck them in another mason jar of water until they grew roots, and then planted each sprout,
If she had enough sprouts, she'd just let the rest grow for a bit of greenery during late winter. They would get pretty long and cascade down the whole window. (This was in Ohio.)
Yes you can just put them in the yard. They will do great especially in the heat. You could landscape a whole area with a sack of sweet potatoes.
Ok, I am going to give it a try. Hopefully, they don't take over my garden :)
Actually the best way to do it is to remove the sprouts from the sweet potato and put them in soil. Keep them warm and moist at first, and they will root easily in a week or two. After that, it's stand back and watch them go!
Eat the greens, which are called "yam leaves" in many parts of the world. IMHO it's a waste not to as they are rich in many nutrients and can be cooked like spinach. Just waiting for tubers when you could be feasting on vines...
The sweet potatoes are doing pretty good. I decided to plant them two ways. Two are planted just sticking the whole potatoes with the sprouts in the ground and two are planted by removing the sprouts and putting them in the soil.
mingtea, I have never heard of that. That is awesome. I love the dual purpose plants. I wonder if I can eat the leaves raw as well as cooked?
I planted 3 slips of the sprouts last year. Just a small slice of potato beneath the sprouts right in the ground. I got 27 sweet potatoes and the biggest one weighed about 2 lbs.
I think if you Google "sweet potato leaves" there should be plenty of good info and recipes, and I think at least one discussion of raw. Also try looking for "yam leaves" as that's what we call them in Asia... But as to the imprecision of common names, note that it's the leaves of sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) that are edible. Other tubers that are called yams (Dioscorea spp.) produce inedible leaves.
Another plant that is wholly edible in this same way is chayote squash. The seeds need to germinate in the fruit (they're viviparous) but the plant is otherwise vigorous and easy... If a bit thirstier than sweet potatoes.
Hmmm. I'm waiting on shipment of sweet potato slips from Burpee. @Ming, do you think the greens could be used in a green smoothie in place of spinach?
P.S. For anyone interested, I probably have too many slips to plant in the area I dedicated. I'm willing to share.