Thursday, May 16, 2013

Starting Sweet Potatoes

One of the last crops that I start in the house are my sweet potato slips. Two potatoes stored from last year were placed in jars with wooden bamboo skewers stuck into the sides of the potatoes to hold them partially out of the water while roots form on the bottom of the potato in the water and sprouts form out the top of the potato. 

These potatoes had already started sprouting before I had even gotten them in the window sill.

Once the leaves start to form the sprouts can be broken off and planted or placed in another jar of water until roots form. Sweet potatoes are a hot weather crop and for us are one of the last summer crops to go in the garden, usually in mid June. That gives us a good month or more to prepare and root our sprouts.

Once the weather warms up good my sprouts are taken out of the water and placed into the soil. I put milk jugs with the bottom removed over the top of my sprouts to protect them from full sun for several days and to help hold moisture until they get established.  After about a week the jugs are ready to come off.

Here you can see the jugs have come off and the sprouts have started to run in last years garden.

Once your sweet potatoes really take off they will cover a very large area of your garden.

And if you are lucky at the end of the year this is what you get.

Last year I planted 13 sweet potato slips. This year I am limiting myself to 6 because I still have sweet potatoes to be dehydrated and it is May.  They just loved all that heat last year with that drought!

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. We plant a lot of sweet potatoes, because e love them so and they store so well. I haven't started my own slips in the past, because I had no idea it was so simple. It's a big deal around here to even be able to get have to wait and wait and then make sure you had your name on a list...
    I'll never do that again! lol Thanks for the info, and I do love your blog. I am in IL down across from St Louis...maybe a little warmer here than you..

  2. My grandmother always kept one in her kitchen window as a house plant... brings back memories.

  3. Thank you so much! I knew how to make them sprout off the potato, but not how to put them in water afterward for root development. I'm gonna get some growing!

  4. I just pulled out my store bought sweet potatoes today and see they have about 6 inch legs on them. Can I break them off and put in water to root. How long will it take for roots. I live in Florida, and it will be hot here till Oct. I think I can still plant them.


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