Vanisle_BC wrote:KayJay, I just discovered your 'my garden' threads for 2015-2018 and read them end to end. Thank you for taking the trouble to post so much detailed, week-by-week information.
Oh, thank you so much! I do it mostly so I can go back and refresh my memory, but I'm happy if others get half-decent info from them, too.
I'm specially interested in the sweet potatoes. I intend to introduce them this year. I may try starting from grocery tubers aolthough I can mail order started plants - slips - online, from a grower who claims to have early varieties good for Canadian conditions. Trusting them to the mails may be a bit dodgy though ...
Yeah, I wasn't sure about mail order, either, and it just seems a bit late. My growing season is already borderline for doing them; I want to make sure they're good to go as early as possible.
Once you have roots and slips - baby plants - growing from your seed tuber, what next: Do you slice the tuber up into pieces that have both root and stem? Or can you detach the baby plants from the potato, each complete with some root? Sorry for my naiveté. Could one not simply bury whole or cut-up tubers as with regular potatoes?
It's a double-staged rooting process. After the slips are a few inches tall, you gently twist them off from the potato at the base, and then put them into another glass of water (I use little 4-oz glasses that I got from a beer festival, heh heh.
) Then, these will root and that's what gets planted. I don't remember why, and I don't remember why it won't work to just bury a potato. I think it would rot. I know I watched some youtube videos about it, but I didn't bookmark them and now I can't find them. Doh.
Here's the original potato plus the rooting slips:
I see you got a 2lb harvest from your tub last fall. Was that from 6 plants like you had in (I think) 2016? Do you think 6 is about the right number for one of those rubber tubs? Actually I'll probably grow mine in open ground. I wonder what the spacing should be.
I just did 4 this year. When I did 6, I suspect they were too close together, and the 'potatoes' were basically the size of pencils when I dug them up. I also think I started a bit too late, due to the potato being in a cooler room. I think even two weeks can make a difference. From what I've seen, it looks like folks put a foot or two of spacing when they put them in the ground. My other issue with the tub is that later in the season, the vines didn't get enough light. I'm going to trellis them and/or grow them up the fence this year.
Here are a few tips I learned the hard way:
- It's better to start them too early than too late. 6 weeks before last frost works.
- Make sure they're in the warmest area of your home. They still won't do their thing until it's good and warm in the house all the time. For me, that was mid-May.
- Organic is probably better, because they're less likely to be sprayed with a sprouting inhibitor, but I had a non-organic one start sprouting on me, so who knows?