I wanted to plant sweet potatoes in my garden this year. For one, they are one of my favorite superfoods, and for two, they like hot weather and I just happen to live where it is hot.
So I headed over to my local nursery and asked where the sweet potatoes slips were. I got funny looks. Apparently you generally can’t just buy sweet potato slips, you actually need to grow them. Yes, I am sure there are some places that have them, just the three places I tried were a failure. So I set out to grow them myself.
There are several ways to grow sweet potato slips, and I settled on the 4th grade science fair way. I figured if 4th graders could do it then so could I!
Here are the steps in case you want to start some yourself:1 Head to your local organic grocer and find some sweet potatoes (or yams) that are organic and preferably local (so you know it will grow by you). I picked out several nice-sized Jewel Sweet Potatoes.
Update (1/30/2014): I have also had good luck (maybe even better luck) by not cutting the potato in half and putting it in the water whole. It’s a little less work, and seems to discourage rotting.3 Stick toothpicks about the middle of the cut sweet potato. You may need quite a few.
–If you are growing sweet potatoes in Texas, some recommended varieties are Jewel, Beauregard, Centennial, TAMU Corder, and Vardaman/Vardamau (recommended for small gardens as this variety is bush-like).
–Some say you can get up to 50 slips off of a sweet potato. I didn’t, but you never know.
–I definitely recommend using more sweet potatoes than you think you will need as most likely you will lose some to rotting. I started with 8 jars and sadly ended up with 1. Although, in reality it produced all that my garden had room for so it was perfect.
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