I know what you’re thinking…….it’s March so why are they blogging about sweet potatoes? Well this is the time to start your sweet potato slips if you plan to grow them this year.
A sweet potato slip is actually a shoot that you grow using an organic store bought sweet potato or one that you grew last year and saved. If using a store bought potato, the organic part is key because most conventionally grown potatoes are sprayed with a growth inhibitor. The process is fairly easy and takes anywhere from 4-6 weeks. Unlike a regular potato, where the whole potato is planted, this is how you start the process of growing fall sweet potatoes.
Before we knew better, we purchased organic and heirloom sweet potato plants. These were just slips that had been packaged and shipped to us. The problem with this was that it was very costly and sometimes the potatoes would be damaged during delivery. We even had ones that didn’t survive at all once planted. So we’re thankful and so very happy to grow our own slips now and share the process with all of you as well.
You want to start with a smaller sweet potato. You can either submerge the whole potato in water or cut it in half. We do the latter. You then inset 2-4 toothpicks into the potato in order to hold it in place. The sweet potato pictured above was submerged just 2 days ago and you can see that it has already began to grow. Place the sweet potato in a sunny location in your home. This one has been placed in a South facing window. Then you watch it grow. It’s amazing how fast it does! Happy planting!