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Information and discussion for successfully cultivating potatoes, the world's fourth largest crop.

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #1
D.J. Wolf
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Default Sweet Potatoes

Ok, I've grown potatoes for years, ever since I was a little kid, but never have grown sweet potatoes. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that you can't just cut up a sweet potato and plant it like you can a regular potato, but other than reading that somewhere I'm lost! Not sure if I'll have room or time to do any this year, but would greatly appreciate any information I could get so I'm ready to try some next year.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #2
PhilaGardener
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I stand the sweet potato in a container, covering about the lower half with water, and place it in a well lit window. It should sprout like crazy (although some store-bought tubers are treated with an inhibitor and those can be difficult - if you can find one in the display that is already sprouting a little, get that one!) Many of the sprouts will grow roots and you just pull them off and plant in your garden. Couldn't be easier! Be aware the vines tend to get long and sprawling, so give them room and stand back!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
GoDawgs
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I've not had a lot of success with the potato in a jar of water so last year I planted three small (5" x 1.5") sprouting sweets in a window box. 2" of soil in the bottom, potatoes laid lengthwise and then covered to the container top with potting soil. Lots of good slips! So I've done it again this year.

This is this year's:



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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #4
D.J. Wolf
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Thanks!

So once I get good sprouts started on the sweet tater, could I just cute the eye out leaving a bit of the potato attached to the roots that are forming and plant that? I ask because I'm extremely nervous about trying to carefully dig the roots off the potato to plant lol.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #5
GoDawgs
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Here's a great video from Deep South Homestead on growing sweet potato slips and planting them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST-uuhuzf9s

All you have to do is to pull the slip right out of the soil, trim any side leaves off and put them in a glass of water. The slip should have roots. When it comes time, I'm just going to pull back the soil in the window box down to the potatoes, break the slips I need off of the potatoes and then cover them back up. It worked great last year. They'll keep putting out more which is nice in case I need a few more or some for friends. In fact, I have some that are too long already and I'll just pull those out because there are plenty of others available. I'll also follow Danny's tip about cutting off the 1/2" where the slip attached to the potato to eliminate any chance of disease.

Danny's right about sweet potatoes being tough as nails. Just pull your slips. No need to dig up the potato.

Last edited by GoDawgs; 2 Weeks Ago at 06:06 PM.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #6
D.J. Wolf
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GoDawgs,

Thank you so much for sending that video link. I understand a lot better now what I need to do lol. I'm probably going to wait until next year to try any, getting late to be making changes to the layout for this year now. But I do greatly appreciate the information you and PhilaGardener provided!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #7
SQWIBB
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Start Slips
I usually look in my Last Harvest Cache of Sweet Potatoes and look for some growth then put in water. I have better luck with the toothpick trick instead of soil.
I then just place on the windowsill in the basement bathroom and change the water every 3 days or so. Once I get a decent slip with leaves and roots I pull off the slip and place in a jar of water.
I originally started from a Store bought Sweet Potato. I also Wintered over a couple cuttings from 2019 season to plant in the 2020 season for a few of the slips but I wouldn't do that again, not worth the extra effort.














Once they're big enough I transplant in potting mix.









This is my First ever sweet potato harvest.














My 2nd year at Sweet Potatoes.
I grew a lot of these under my Tomato pants.





Almost as big as my Fat Head!






I'll look and see if I have any pics from this year.

Last edited by SQWIBB; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:59 AM.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #8
GoDawgs
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The problem I have with growing slips with the jar of water thing is that I can't get enough slips ready at once to do anything with. I need about 15 for the row.

This year I'm going to put a big trellis down the middle of that row and train the vines up and along it. That will release a lot of otherwise vine-covered square footage for growing something else... like watermelon or running squash that will cover it with vines.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #9
D.J. Wolf
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Thanks for all the advice and help everyone! This is going to be my "new" thing to try for next year. I always try to find 1 new crop to try out each year. Last year was popcorn, this year is hopefully a successful crop of broccoli and cauliflower. Next year, sweet taters.
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