Saturday, June 1, 2013

How to Start Sweet Potato Slips


This year I am planting sweet potatoes in my summer vegetable garden. As always I am looking for the least expensive way to do it, so I decided to start my own slips instead of buying transplants. The process is SO easy, I just had to share. Here are the 4 simple steps:

1) Buy a sweet potato from the grocery store. If you want organic plants, then buy an organic sweet potato. Cut the potato in half and use toothpicks to suspend the cut end into a cup of water. 


2)  Place the cup in a warm sunny place. In a few weeks you will begin to see sprouts growing from the potato as you can see in the picture above. If the potato isn't sprouting, it isn't warm enough. Give it more heat and more time, and it will sprout.


After a few weeks you will see significant growth on your potato. Each potato can make 15-20 shoots and each of these will become a plant that yields 1-2 pounds of sweet potatoes!


3) Once the shoots are a few inches tall, twist each one off of the potato- this is your potato slip. Put all of your slips into a glass with their tips in water. Over the next week the slips will grow roots.


 4) Once your slip has a pretty good amount of roots, simply plant it in the ground once the weather is warm. I ended up with more slips that I had room for in the garden, but have heard that they grow great in pots, so now I have lots of container plants growing as well. 


Within just a week or two of planting, you will see the vines beginning to take over the garden!


The way I see it, you can't have too many sweet potatoes! I hope this helps you successfully grow a crop of your own. Do you have a different way of starting sweet potatoes? Please share!