Saturday 9 April 2016

Sweet Potatoes: Day 34

If you read my previous post on growing sweet potatoes, you will know that this was not my original plan.  Mostly because they seem very fussy to me.  But maybe not so much ... I've spent several hours earlier today transplanting tomatoes, peppers and such into pots (to be shared in another post) and for the second stage of these sweet potatoes, well, I kinda just popped the slips into another jar. 

Quite a bit less fussy than other plants now that I think about.  IF I've done this right, that is.  I'm relying on youtube videos, etc. to figure out what to do here as it is not very intuitive to me.

The roots of the sweet potatoes (or at least that middle one) were root-bound. 

Maybe I should have used larger jars but the sweet potatoes themselves were so small, I just went with the smaller ones (250 ml).  And they were constantly needing more water - it seems the roots were very thirsty! 

So even though the slips were not as large as some I've seen in the tutorials I've watched, I felt it was time to move to the next stage - which means the "slips" or sprouts are to be plucked from the potato and placed themselves into a jar of water (or wet soil) so they will themselves begin to grow roots.  It is these rooted slips that eventually get planted outside in the garden.  This is the part I was unsure of ... did I pick them at the right spot?  It seemed to me they were all attached to the potato from the same spot, so I really only ended up with one slip per potato - not sure that is the way it works?

Here they are after placing the slips into their own jars.  I have kept the sweet potatoes in water (most of them put into larger jars to accommodate the growing roots) in the hopes more slips will grow - but depending on how long it takes, I'm not sure there will be sufficient time to grow more large enough for planting in June.

These last ones have purple leaves while the first two are predominantly green.  I was told they were either Georgia Jet or some offshoot so I don't anticipate the potatoes themselves to be any different. 

It's a bit late to ask for advice on this stage, but if anyone has thoughts on something I might not be doing correctly, please let me know in the comments ... I've come this far, so I want to be sure I am doing it right!

The 6 jars of potatoes and slips back in their window spot


  1. Holy cow, look at those roots! Your sweets are so much further along than mine are - it will be a while yet until I can take the slips off as mine look more like your potatoes AFTER you took the big ones off! I wish I could give you some advice on the slips - you definitely can't go wrong with how you are rooting the slips, but whether or not you can separate the individual large slips into multiples, I have no idea.

    1. I know, crazy roots right?! They were a bit frightening, to be honest, as I thought I had done something terribly wrong. But that was the potato that had the largest shoots - so guess it was OK?

  2. Looks to me like you have several 'growing points' on some of those slips. If so, each growing point can be its own slip. Also, if a slip grows too long you can cut it in half and make two slips. That is one way to multiply the number of slips.

    My potatoes usually make several slips, but it really depends on the potato. I do like you did and take them off the potato and root in water. Then I usually pot them up into individual 3.5" or 4" pots and grow in soil for a couple of weeks before I plant them.

    1. Thanks Dave, great advice! I will see if I can split off some of those "growing points" for a few more slips.