Getting Ready for the Sweet Potato Season
Sweet potatoes are a superfood that are loaded with Vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. They are easy to grow and ecologically friendly. They are known as a crop that can be grown in poor quality soil. This is a real benefit if you are a new gardener or if you are developing a new part of your garden or just love sweet potatoes. They are a fun, rewarding and nutritious. crop to grow.
Sweet potatoes are not started from seed. Instead they are grown from slips ( sprouts that grow out of the potato tuber). Slips can be purchased or with a little extra effort and a head start, you can start your own and save some money. Sweet potatoes love hot weather and have a long growing season (110 days), so it is important to decide soon if you want to start your own slips.
Starting slips in your home
Any sweet potato can be used to grow new sweet potatoes plants. First, fill a jar or vase with water and place the end of the potato that is more tapered into the water. Within a week or so there should be roots growing down into the water. Sprouts will begin growing within a week or so, and will continue to grow as long as you keep water in the jar.
When the sprouts are 5 to 6 inches long, remove them from the potato. Place all of the sprouts in another glass jar full of water, and leave them in a sunny place.
In a very few days you will begin to see little white roots begin to form and grow from the sprouts. These roots will grow very quickly, and soon fill the jar with roots. After about two weeks, your sweet potato slips will have developed enough roots that they are ready to plant. The rooted slips can be ‘potted up’ into small pots to help the plants grow stronger before they are planted into the garden. However, there are some gardeners that plant them straight into the garden soil. Be sure to plant them after the last frost date to keep these heat loving plants from getting nipped by the frost.