Gardening · GYO · Houseplants

Well, FINALLY!

For more than a year I have been, unsuccessfully, attempting to grow a sweet potato.

I wanted slips for the last growing season, but the damn thing did NOTHING beyond growing one, tiny root. All through last year I changed the water once a week with hopes of it doing something… Nothing. It clearly wasn’t dead as the one tiny root it had was still white and doing fine.

So cut to today and OMG! I was changing the water as usual and… What just happened? O.o

As you can see there is now one HUGE root and a bunch of smaller roots.

Bear in mind that this is all new growth, pushed in the last week. Nothing else has changed. Not the water, not the room. Not even the position on the window!

I can only think that this is the time of year where it does grow roots so that slips will come along later on and then I can cut the slips and maybe get some sweet potatoes!

There has also been a small change in the skin of the potato too. You can see small nodules on the pic to the right. I’m guessing those are nodes where the slips are likely to grow from?

With luck I will start to see something growing soon. The problem I see is that, from what I have read, it only takes 6 weeks to grow a slip once the roots start.

From there you have to wait 6 – 8 weeks for the stems to get to about 6 to 12″ long and then you can plant them outdoors. So at around 14 weeks we should be at the end of March… I hope that won’t be too soon to put outdoors.
Having said that I suppose I could maybe start them under plastic?

One good thing about what to do if it’s really all too early. Apparently you can eat the slips as a salad leaf! From what I have been told you can treat them exactly the same as spinach! B-)

So with luck I should get a couple of slips out of it. Another good thing is that you can reuse the same seed potato year after year to produce slips, although you will have to replace it after about 3. And considering that each potato can produce up to 50 slips*… That’s quite the economy driver!

* – YMMV, don’t quote me. B-)

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12 thoughts on “Well, FINALLY!

  1. Congrats Kal…FYI your house is warmer in winter…have you tried putting plastic over it/them? An empty liter soda bottle(clear,) works great. Or tent them with plastic wrap. We are normally very dry here so plastic covetrcovetrs are used A LOT!😁

    1. Do you mean indoors too?
      I know about using them as cloches outdoor. I actually have 2 VERY large water bottles that you see on old office coolers, to use for outside.

      1. also inside is good. The point is to make it as hot and moist as possible – stimulates root growth. We start our seeds here in the end of Jan. or first of Feb – sub-zero weather outside. The porch and greenhouse are a balmy 40 ish degrees so we put extra plastic covers, sheets, toppers on the seed plots to promote growth – works every time. We have even started using plastic bags on any new seeds. place the seeds – evenly spaced apart on a warm damp paper towel. fold or place another wet one on top then shove that into a plastic zip bag – we do not close the bag tight, but leave a tiny gap open for air…then it sweats a bit and within days you should see sprouts on your viable seeds…use those for planting and toss the others. Give it a try!

          1. yep it does – we have also just cut one in half. Stick the open side into the ground and only leave about 1/2 inch sticking up out of the ground…just enough to get some sun. Worked great for us here in Colorado (I so love root crops!! Gotta try all kinds of ways to keep them growing! yum!!)

  2. Oooo – one last helpful tidbit…put a bit of sugar and Epsom salts in the soil then put the potato on top – a great booster for lots of root crops. also works on things like tomatoes and peppers. also around strawberries to keep out the slugs.

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