The Ancient
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How do I grow sweet potatoes?

I've already searched. I cannot find detailed info on how I grow sweet potatoes from start to finish. My local nurseries do not sell slips.

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BrianSkilton
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You plant sweet potatoes the same way as regular potatoes. You generally purchase some sweet potatoes and let them sit in your pantry until they sprout the little eyes. You can than cut around these eyes and plant them. Buying organic sweet potatoes improves the chances they will sprout. Let them sit in the pantry and when they begin to sprout, immerse the opposite end in a jar of water. The sprouts, called slips, are what will be planted. If you want them to sprout faster, cover with a soil-less mix, and keep moist, and provide bottom heat, with a heating pad. Never have tried that method, but I am sure it works.
Why buy produce when you can grow it?
-Nick

The Ancient
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Okay, so basically I get them to sprout. Then I cut them out of the tuber and plant them in soil?

cynthia_h
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Here's an article written in a nice, down-to-earth style by the University of Illinois Extension Service. (Note that the varieties of sweet potato they list do *not* include my personal favorite, Garnets.)

https://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/sweetpotato1.html

Hope this helps!

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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BrianSkilton
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The Ancient wrote:Okay, so basically I get them to sprout. Then I cut them out of the tuber and plant them in soil?
Yup, that is what I have done with potatoes and it works great. The only thing is they sometimes take a while to sprout. Some people also get them to sprout the eyes, and then take them and put them in a cup of water and let them grow roots, or you can just plant them directly into some soil. If anyone else as a different way of doing it, let us know.
Why buy produce when you can grow it?
-Nick

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!potatoes!
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the only thing i can add is that they want more heat than regular potatoes to produce 'slips', the little growths-from-eyes. i've seen sustained temps of 80 fahrenheit suggested. the one i've got up in our hot little attic, just noticed i've got a few coming yesterday.

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applestar
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I noticed that too. I put 3 sw. potatoes I'd saved from last Thanksgiving in water on March 15, same time as when I started sprouting regular potatoes. Obviously, the reg. potatoes sprouted right away and were planted at the end of March. The sw. potatoes took forever to even show a bit of root (they were in the kitchen -- around mid-60's~70ºF -- by a sunny window) I had them laying on their sides in a tub because I couldn't tell which was the sprouting end and which was the rooting end. Once the little roots started to grow (beginning of April) I stood them on their ends in water.

One variety called Hannah went in a large pickle jar, then, because it happened to fit, inside a quart size black plastic pot. The other one called Garnet was too fat and had to be put in a squat jar (no black pot sleeve). 3rd one called Jewel was a dud. NEVER rooted, never sprouted. Thinking they needed more warmth, I put the sprouting potatoes by a sunny window sill upstairs where the temp is usually 4~8º warmer and where I have a Seed Starting Area set up with holiday lights 24/7.

Hannah took off right away. The instructions I have said to plant the slips when about 6" long -- well Hanna started growing wild during the few days of 90º heat wave we had (I refused to turn on the AC so it was at least mid 80's upstairs during the day and mid 70's at night) and sucking up all the water -- 1-1/2~2" every day. I started pulling off the slips and putting them in a separate jar of water and I now have at least 1/2 dozen slips growing roots and more sprouts growing! (I'll be lucky if I have room to plant 6 slips TOTAL) Garnet is still taking its own sweet time. Sprouts are about 2" long now. But I have at least 2 more weeks before it's warm enough for planting sw. potatoes.

I might try wrapping Garnet's jar with something black too. Otherwise, we're going to end up with mostly Hannah's, which is fine with me since that's my favorite, but the kids' fave was Jewel, with Garnet close second, so I'd better grow some Garnet too! :wink:

2cents
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The vines are as prolific as anything. They like alot of space.

57ChevyChick
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Sweet Potatoes

I planted some sweet potato plants this summer..middle of July....The plants have grown so fast and I can't believe how fast they are spreading...Just beautiful plants......My question is....I noticed they've been blooming recently....How do you know when to harvest the potatoes ? Thanks for any help !

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gixxerific
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The article that Cynthia put up is a good read, check it out if you haven't.

I put it about 8 only one is madly, madly growing. It has gone crazy the others not so much, to the point I don't think they will produce anything. But the one I'm hoping for some great harvest, we shall see.

Good luck

57ChevyChick
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Thanks

Thanks for pointing me in the direction of Cynthia's posting.....some great info there...and thank you Cynthia for giving us that website ! This is the first time I've grown sweet potatoes ...I put in 6 plants that I bought at a local vegetable stand.....They have just gone crazy....I'm having problem of keeping the vines inside my garden....I mowed yesterday and had to move some vines that had grown into my back yard before I could mow !! I had no idea they could get this big and the purple blooms are just beautiful......I'll post when I harvest and let you know how my crop was.....thanks again...this forum is wonderful...57ChevyChick

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