Sweet Potatoes

starflakesFebruary 8, 2006

Having never had success with sweet potatoes and gleaning information from the internet pages, I wanted to share some refinements I was inspired to this year.

The growing of slips can be done by using even the chemical retarded potatoes from the grocery store as God basically put the thought in my mind, "If you wash fruits and vegetables...why not wash sweet potatoes?"

I did this with some liquid soap and have shoots starting to appear on the 2 potatoes I have in jars. (For those unfamiliar, you simply place the sweet potatoe half way into a jar of water (non chlorine worked faster), suspended by toothpicks stuck in the sides of the potatoe and in about a week roots will appear, followed by little sprouts breaking forth.)

Since I didn't want to go up and down to my cellar as the instructions were for placing them on a hot water heater, I put mine on my gas stove top by the pilot lights. That makes the difference in they need that kind of warmth to start. You simply then just keep adding water to the jar or old plastic cottage cheese container you have them suspended in.

It appears you can slow down "growth" once they are sprouted by having them in a more cool place, so that gives some leeway in not having run away vines sprawling all over.

My plan is to twist the slips off when they get 8 to 12 inches, place them into a potting soil like other houseplant vines to root and be ready for late May planting.

The Canadians have done refinement work on northern grown sweet potatoes and I will follow their lead in using black plastic. My experience last year with it was remarkable in the difference it made for plants. Instead of the "hills" that some say for sweet potatoes, the black plastic warms the ground and with the slightest depression the plastic acts as a funnel for rain and for watering in droughts to conserve water.

I hope some of those tips helps others as with the advent of all of these new methods and heirloom varieties rediscovered people can grow just about anything now with ease and enjoy the fruits of their labor. agtG

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geoforce(z7a SE PA)

Having come up here to YankeeLand after my youth down in Dixie where everyone grows these, I'll put in a few comments.

We didn't grow them in water, except for a vine in the window for greenery during winter. Put them in a box of damp (not wet) vermiculite or Sphagnum about 3" below the surface,place in a warm and sunny place, and dig them up to pick off the sprouts as they are about 6" above the surface. You can keep this up through several crops of sprouts. Rooted sprouts can be kept cool (refrigerator, but not freezer) for several weeks to preserve till planting.

Have seen sawdust and sand used also for this method.

George

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 2:03PM
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chickenjohn42

Down here in south carolina ,we put them in a cold frame in the first week in march .In about 3 week's you can pull sprout's.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 10:16PM
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mogardener(z5MO)

In spring of '05, I stuck a commercial sweet potato into a larger than tall container of potting mix. It produced all the sprouts I needed for last year's sweet potato crop. It put on more sprouts so I kept it as a house plant. Now, I notice that at each leaf, there is a node with a little bump on the underside. I'm going to break off a few in the next few weeks to see if the bumps will form roots for this year's sprouts. Any input that this will or won't work?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2006 at 8:27PM
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rjinga

Can anyone please clarify "PULLING SPROUTS" and how exactly this is done. Any visual aids would be appreciated and/or any descriptives on what they will look like when they are ready to be "pulled" would be very beneficial to me...(visual spacial kind of learner here)

And also, I have small tubers (under developed taters that were pulled up from this past season's crops...do I need to cut them into pieces? and then bury those pieces into the soil or medium used? they are on average about 3-4 inches long and about the same wide, some smaller even than that..I have a 5 gallon bucket full of these!!!! and I would like to grow them to sell or give away locally.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 8:34AM
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rjinga

bump...I'd still really like to know what pulling sprouts refers to and how to do it?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 10:15PM
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