Farming

Growing Sweet Potato Slips

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This year I grew my own sweet potato slips. They are glorious to behold and look much healthier then the ones I ordered. I ordered some because I had heard the slips could be hard to grow and I wasn’t sure how my experiment would turn out.

First we put toothpicks around the middle of the sweet potato’s and set them into jars filled with water.

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Some of the toothpicks are broken on this sweet potato as we have been at this for awhile now.

The sweet potatoes start to grow roots, if they didn’t in a week or so, I turned them around and most of them grew roots, there were a couple of duds like the one above.

I read This Organic Life By Joan Dye Gussow earlier this spring. She said that she had tried to make her own slips for a couple years with little success. One year, when they hadn’t started growing after a week or so, she just turned them around and what do you know, they started growing roots!

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After the roots grew, little green leaves started growing. Most of the potato grew leaves out of the top, but there were a few rebels that grew leaves on the same end as the roots.

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Roots in the jar, leaves on top, a conformist.

Break off the leaves at the sweet potato and stick them in a jar of water. Roots will start to form and then they will be ready to plant when the soil is warm enough.

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You can see the roots growing in the jar, almost ready to plant!

Our harvests have been best when we have not used black plastic on the beds. This was recommended last time I ordered slips. So we laid down irrigation and put the black plastic on top. It did help with weeds, but initially many of our plants did not make it.

This year I will not be using plastic, just weeding and water if we have to. I will be trying to mulch it quite well to keep the soil moist.

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I have made a video about this, I will post it here as a link to our Facebook page until I can figure out how to post it here directly.Sweet Potato Video

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