Does anyone know where to buy sweet potato slips in DFW?

marti8aMarch 21, 2011

I'd rather not order them, but will do that if no one carries the slips. There is a place in Pooleville for mail order. Anywhere else if I have to go that route?

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wally_1936(8b)

Taken from the Web just from a quick lookie;

Getting your sweet potato ready to grow slips is about as simple a project as you can imagine � this is why I think this particular project could be a lot of fun for children. It actually reminds me a lot of the way my dad taught me to grow an avacado plant (using the pit) when I was a kid � perhaps another reason I was tempted to try it out.

Essentially, all you need to do is 1) cut off a chunk of sweet potato (an end section works best), 2) position it over a jar filled with water (using several toothpicks), leaving part of the potato immersed, and 3) place the jar in a warm, brightly lit room.
That�s it! Before you know it, you�ll find little white roots growing from the sweet potato down into the water, followed by little green sprouts springing up from the zone sitting above the water-line.

According to Ed Smith (author of the aforementioned �bible�), if you are planning to use the slips in the garden, you will want to wait until they are 4-6 inches long � at which time you gently twist them off and immerse them in water as well. Once the roots on each slip is an inch or two they are ready to be transplanted into a loose, rich soil bed in an area that receives a lot of sun.

So there you have it! If you are looking for a fun little plant-growing project for your kids (or your own inner child), and/or you live in a region that�s warm enough to still plant sweet potatoes (within the next month or so), I highly recommend testing out this simple technique.
8)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 9:48AM
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marti8a

Thank you for that. I'll try it, have nothing to lose, or not much. I always heard that pototoes from the produce section have something sprayed on them to keep them from sprouting. My white potatoes sprout like crazy, but I've never had a sweet potato sprout. Still, I have to go to the store today, so I'll get some and see.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 1:24PM
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chena(z8 Texas)

They sprout very easy.. I grow them every yr just as ground cover.. Ya know the one I bought and didn't eat..LOL The foliage is Beautiful and helps shade the soil..

Kylie

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 7:05PM
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marti8a

I should have asked this before, but maybe it's not too late. After cutting the end of the potato, do you stick the cut end into the water or the pointy end?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 4:50PM
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chena(z8 Texas)

Preparation:

Cut potatoes into small pieces (1-1/2 to 2 ounces) about the size of a walnut or large ice cube with two or three "eyes" per piece. Dust with sulfur and let set several days before planting to allow the potato to "heal" or "cure". The cured pieces will retain their moisture and the sulfur helps to prevent rotting. Garden sulfur (4, 5 or 50 lb. bags) bags are available in most lawn & garden centers or farm supply stores. Potatoes planted later when the soil is warmer and drier are less likely to rot and can be planted immediately after being cut.

Planting:

Potatoes like to be in the ground deep. It is most ideal to dig trenches 4" wide, 4" deep and place rows 30-36" apart. Place seed potatoes or whole small potatoes 12" apart in the trench and cover with 4" soil. I usually plant 5 lbs. of potatoes--just enough for spring eating. I take my 5 lb. bag of sulfur and dust my cut potatoes. Then I dust the top of my covered potatoes with the remainder of the sulfur. I also side dress with 1 lb. of Triple Superphosphate (0-46-0) and 1 lb. of 5-10-10 per 25' row.

Potatoes need extra phosphate for root growth and then do not like too much nitrogen or you will get all plant and no potatoes.

"Old timers" who plant by the moon, plant root crops on new moon (Good Friday) and above grounds crops on full moon. This is the first year (2002) that I have tried it and I have the best stand that I have ever had and they came up much faster. So we will see what the harvest is like!

Care:

Be patient, it takes potatoes a little while to come up. After the potatoes have emerged from the ground several inches, hill the soil up around the plants. You may need to repeat the process one more time. This protects the potatoes growing deep in the soil from sunlight which can turn the tender new potatoes green and bitter. I also like to mulch with straw or horse manure with shavings to help with weed control. We have a near-by stable and the daily pickings from the stalls make excellent mulch. I have found the manure tends to be "hot" so be careful not to burn the plants.

Harvest:

You can harvest new potatoes in 10 weeks. For larger potatoes, wait until the vines have died. The potatoes will have developed tougher skins. Dig, wash potatoes and let dry under a tree for several days. Pick out any potatoes with rotten spots or that cut during digging. The potatoes are then ready to storage in a fruit cellar or dry, dark, cool room. You do not want the potatoes to freeze as the insides will turn dark when fried.

The hungry Colorado Potato Beetle will be your biggest challenge. So be prepared to spray or dust regularly. They can strip the leaves before you know what happened so keep regular watch over you potatoes!!!
Compliments of � Hertzler Farm and Feed Inc...

Kylie

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 7:45PM
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marti8a

Thank Kylie, but it's too late for that on the potatoes I already bought. I cut them into 3 pieces, stuck toothpicks in them and set them on top of a glass of water, cut side into the water. After doing that I wondered if it should be the other end in the water.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 4:19PM
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marti8a

When I cut them, I put them all cut side into the water. Today there are a few sprouts, so I guess this is the way.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 2:40PM
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