Has anybody tried growing sweet potatoes in zone 24?
If you've had success with them, did you cut up store-bought sweet potatoes or use slips from a nursery/mail order, or ??
California has restrictions on importing sweet potatoes, so it's hard to find places approved to ship here. Farmer's Markets are the best places to find seed stock, because it's locally grown.
Carla in Sac
California does not allow import of most plant material from east of the Rockies. But, fortunately, we do have at least one source:
MeriClone Labs, 3144 North G Street, Suite 125 P.M.B. #254, Merced, CA 95340, (209) 489-6176 or (209) 658-4713, firstname.lastname@example.org (e-mail). MeriClone provides clean, meristemmed and virus-tested plant and seed stock. Varieties (available from mid April through August, 08) include: Beauregard, Diane, O'Henry, Golden Sweet, 8633 and Koto Buki. The Oriental Violet and Purple Okinawa are available from late June through August (08). No minimum order. Web site at http://www.mericlonelabs.com.
Last year was my first time to grow SP. Started my own slips from grocery story tuber. Planted in sunny front yard. Beautiful vines much admired by passers-by. Harvest about 30 tubers from 2 plants. I took cuttings from those vines and have planted about 8 plants in various parts of my yard. The cool spring held them back, but are now growing well. I found them easy and non-demanding. I'm inland San Diego county - warm temps, but yard has much shade.
OK, I must know more borderbarb! I am in Lake Elsinore. I need to know: Do they need sharp drainage? Will they grow in full hot sun? When did you plant them? How did you root the cuttings? I love sweet potatoes but the ones from the store go bad so fast . . .
Gee, my kids drive up the 15 to see inlaws pretty often [I'm in Escondido] I have about 6 rooted cuttings in pots ... think they are OK.
Re: Sharp drainage? My front yard has good drainage. Soil is heavily ammended clay-based. Will they grow in full hot sun? The ones I had success with last year were in the only full sun space in my yard ... gets pertty hot here .. I think you have more heat than we do. One of my garden books says they like sun, but appreciate afternoon shade. One of my garden books says that SP like hot dry weather. I'm testing the 'dry' part this year, as one place I've planted is hard to reach with the hose ... it is not in full sun, though. When did I plant them? I THINK it was in March ... but was too early and rainy cold weather held them back. They are just now starting to get some size. How did I root the cuttings? The first ones last year were rooted in a jar with water. My garden book says to do it in sand. The ones from this year are from the vines from last year's plants. I put them in water on my bedroom desk and they sprouted and got lots of roots. I think they need growing season of 4 months .... when is your first frost?
If you google key words "growing sweet potatoes" you will get lots of hits. hope this helps ....
Here is a link that might be useful: SP Videos
MeriClone Labs is open again after a hiatus. Please visit our website to see our available varieties. Unfortunately we will not be able to ship to California until Spring 2015 after we get phytosanitary certification.
Here is a link that might be useful: MeriClone Labs Sweet Potato Plants