|Sweet Potato Slip|
Sweet potatoes are similar to regular potatoes nutritionally. They offer up a more Vitamin A and slightly more Vitamin C. 7 Ounces of each offer about 200-220 calories each. So they are a good staple vegetable and grow easily. They grown in the heat of summer and are pretty resilient to drought and love high temps. They are either bushy or vinney. We see them planted all over the place down here as just ornamentals.
Sweet potatoes are not planted like regular potatoes. They are planted from slips, slips are
|The Texas Sweet Potato, covered in new slips.|
I started out with three sweet potatoes from the grocery store. One local Texas potato, one "organic" Garnet, and one Okinawan which is a purple fleshed sweet potato. I have heard that store bought sweet potatoes even "organic" ones are often treated to avoid sprouting. This is a real problem if you are trying to start your own slips.
|Garnet, Texas & Okinawan|
To start slips you take tooth picks and insert them into the tuber in the middle. Place it in a jar of water, keeping the bottom 1/3-1/2 submerged. After a few weeks you should see roots start to form and the top should start to sprout. The water should be changed at least once a week to keep it from getting nasty. I placed mine in a south facing window until the temperatures got hot enough for them to sit outside on the window sill. I waited until the night time temps were in the 60's.
|The root system is like 4' long!|
Once your slips have grown and are a 3-6 inches you simply break them off at the base. Set them in water for a few days to a week.
|Freshly broken off slip|
|Slips in a cup of water|
Take all of your slips and place them in water, after a few days you will start to see little roots form.
|Planted slip. Looks a little anemic it sat a few days to long in water.|
Take these out and plant them in your garden or flower beds. Sweet potatoes are a really nice looking ground cover in flower beds.
I ended up with 7 slips off my first batch. Set them in water and one week later they are ready to plant. The sweet potato looks to still have life in it so I will keep it watered and hope to get more slips off of it.
I am currently trying a different method. I am hoping to still have luck with another Okinawan. I will keep you updated on the progress.