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Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Sweet Potatoes

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Post  Mellen 11/26/2016, 3:51 pm

Yep. I'm right there with you...March 2nd.  Got it:  Buy 2 potatoes for Christmas, cut them in half, put them in water to start slips.  Plant out mid-March or so.

My mother's birthday was March 13th.  One year she asked me to plant her tomatoes (not SFG) that day.  One plant.  We had tomatoes coming out our ears.  That's my go-to plant date now.  I think Mom and my sister-in-law Sue are waving their halo's over my gardening attempts.  For the first year I didn't do too bad.  Only lost 1/4 of my plantings, instead of all of them.   Razz
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Post  sanderson 11/26/2016, 5:24 pm

That is such a sweet thought. I love you

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Post  Ginger Blue 12/27/2016, 7:44 pm

Mellen wrote:Yep. I'm right there with you...March 2nd.  Got it:  Buy 2 potatoes for Christmas, cut them in half, put them in water to start slips.  Plant out mid-March or so.

Earlier today I realized there are two sweet potatoes in the basket on my kitchen counter, and I remembered Sanderson's suggestion about "starting" the slips at Christmas time for planting in the spring.

After I post this reply, I'm going to the kitchen to cut those yams and put 'em in water... What a Face

Anyone else?
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Post  Roseinarosecity 12/27/2016, 8:35 pm

No need to cut them up.  This is what I have now.
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I guess I started too early.  They get greater than six inches, so I snip them and put that in water and roots start all over again.
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Post  Mellen 12/27/2016, 10:46 pm

sanderson wrote: I hope Audrey chimes in, but I think Christmas is plenty of time to get the slips to a nice planting size.  I think our last frost date is around March 7.  Check for your area.
 Whoops....Christmas is past & my sweet potatoes are still in the bag on the counter.  I went crazy at the Farmer's Market a couple of Saturday's ago.  I bought two each of Covington Yam (orange), Japanese (red), Bonita (white), and purple (that's what the man said...the name of his SP is 'Purple'.)  I think I went a little overboard.    tongue
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Post  sanderson 12/28/2016, 4:54 am

Razz No panic. Anytime now, if Audrey says so.

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Post  sanderson 12/28/2016, 4:58 am

Ginger Blue, I don't know when you should start them in your area. Rose, your glasses of SP look so pretty. Thank you for the tip that you can snip and the piece will grow roots. Reminds me of the 60's along with avocado seeds. afro

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Post  Mellen 12/28/2016, 8:47 am

sanderson wrote:Razz   No panic.  Anytime now, if Audrey says so.
Audrey isn't speaking right now it seems.  I think she is overloaded with orders, which is a double-edged sword.  Great for business (now she can buy MORE seeds & plants!), but keeps her busy.   hyper 

I'll get them going.  If I need to pot the slips I will (hopefully not...it just seems like double the work.)  If Sanderson says so that's good enough for me!   salute
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Post  trolleydriver 12/28/2016, 9:27 am

sanderson wrote:...  Reminds me of the 60's  along with avocado seeds. afro
Hey ... we have a couple of those avocado seeds that Mrs TD started last year. The plants are now over 2 feet high.  Does this mean Mrs TD is a flower child?

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Post  trolleydriver 12/28/2016, 3:25 pm

I would like to try growing sweet potatoes. In my climate I will need a short season variety,  Although I could produce slips from store bought sweet potatoes which are most likely imported from the south, I doubt that they will succeed in the garden. That means I have to purchase slips and that appears to be a relatively expensive option up here in Canada. And by now y'all know that I am a cheapskate.
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Post  walshevak 12/28/2016, 8:36 pm

trolleydriver wrote:I would like to try growing sweet potatoes. In my climate I will need a short season variety,  Although I could produce slips from store bought sweet potatoes which are most likely imported from the south, I doubt that they will succeed in the garden. That means I have to purchase slips and that appears to be a relatively expensive option up here in Canada. And by now y'all know that I am a cheapskaste
I bought my first set of plants but now I just save a few tubers and set them in water to produce the slips needed.   On my third year from the original plants.  The first year I didn't get many to eat as I save the best for slips, but this year I got about 40 lbs. Those original plants get cheaper per the lb produced each year.

Kay

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Post  sanderson 2/3/2017, 5:52 am

Little slips are coming along, slowly but surely. sweet potatoes - Sweet Potatoes - Page 5 Sweet_13

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Post  yolos 2/3/2017, 11:34 am

For some reason I have not been very lucky at starting my sweet potatoes in water.  This year I am trying a different method.  Laying them down in seed starting mix.  Three out of five of them have sprouted.  So we shall see how it works.  You can't see any in this picture because the sprouts are so small.

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Remember this huge sweet potato I harvested last year.  I didn't know what to do with it so it just sat on my counter since it was harvested.
sweet potatoes - Sweet Potatoes - Page 5 Sweet_11

Well, the stem is sprouting so I may cut that portion off and plant it to see what happens.
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Post  sanderson 2/3/2017, 1:48 pm

Yolos, Do I understand correctly that this is the method you are trying for growing slips? Not actually planting the potato in site? Once there are slips, you will put them in water to grow the roots? I had bad experience planting the fingerlings from the prior fall. The potatoes that grew from them were weird. The weird potatoes can be seen 2/3 of the way down Page 3.

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Post  yolos 2/3/2017, 6:42 pm

sanderson wrote:Yolos,  Do I understand correctly that this is the method you are trying for growing slips?  Not actually planting the potato in site?  Once there are slips, you will put them in water to grow the roots?  I had bad experience planting the fingerlings from the prior fall.  The potatoes that grew from them were weird.  The weird potatoes can be seen 2/3 of the way down Page 3.  
Yes I do understand but thank you for your consideration.  My understanding, this is another way to get slips.  Bury the sweet potato partially in soft soil, let it sprout, then break off slips just as you would do if you were using water to start the slips.

Here is a comparison of the water and soil method.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6hCyAFlDz4

Here is another video showing the soil method.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgKCyMvuiLY
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Post  sanderson 2/4/2017, 2:51 am

Yolos, You are our sweet potato expert! Wink

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Post  countrynaturals 8/8/2017, 11:27 am

yolos wrote:
johnp wrote:Yesterday was tomato day, made tomato juice to freeze and made tomato soup for last night's dinner. Today will make cilantro, lime salsa with tomatoes and that will reduce the pile to manageable. Still have kale and chard to deal with in the next few days. Big anticipation appearing in the greenhouse. Ground (MM) is heaving at the base of all (6) sweet potatoes. Going to dig one up this weekend, can't wait.

Don't forget after you harvest the sweet potato it has to cure before you eat it for the best flavor.
Good to know. Thanks, Yolos. Mine are ready to be planted. I have a big wood box that used to be a horse feeder. My plan is to fill it with oak leaves, pack them down, then plant the sweet potatoes in a nest of compost -- including the mama plant just as she is. The box is huge and the oak leaves are the only light growing medium I have in large quantities, so that's my best idea. (I'm out of compost.) The alternative is hauling $100 worth of store-bought dirt -- not an option. Any other ideas or suggestions?

sweet potatoes - Sweet Potatoes - Page 5 Sweet-13
Didn't notice the cat face until after I took the pic. LOL! Also, in the back left corner of pic is a potted plant -- behind another cat Rolling Eyes -- I have to brag about that one. It's a plumeria, grown from one of those packaged twigs from the airport gift shop in Hawaii. It's 2 years old now, and 4' tall. We bring it inside every winter. Cool
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Post  countrynaturals 8/16/2017, 1:33 pm

countrynaturals wrote:
yolos wrote:
johnp wrote:Yesterday was tomato day, made tomato juice to freeze and made tomato soup for last night's dinner. Today will make cilantro, lime salsa with tomatoes and that will reduce the pile to manageable. Still have kale and chard to deal with in the next few days. Big anticipation appearing in the greenhouse. Ground (MM) is heaving at the base of all (6) sweet potatoes. Going to dig one up this weekend, can't wait.

Don't forget after you harvest the sweet potato it has to cure before you eat it for the best flavor.
Good to know. Thanks, Yolos. Mine are ready to be planted. I have a big wood box that used to be a horse feeder. My plan is to fill it with oak leaves, pack them down, then plant the sweet potatoes in a nest of compost -- including the mama plant just as she is. The box is huge and the oak leaves are the only light growing medium I have in large quantities, so that's my best idea. (I'm out of compost.) The alternative is hauling $100 worth of store-bought dirt -- not an option. Any other ideas or suggestions?

sweet potatoes - Sweet Potatoes - Page 5 Sweet-13
Didn't notice the cat face until after I took the pic. LOL! Also, in the back left corner of pic is a potted plant -- behind another cat Rolling Eyes -- I have to brag about that one. It's a plumeria, grown from one of those packaged twigs from the airport gift shop in Hawaii. It's 2 years old now, and 4' tall. We bring it inside every winter. Cool
Here are my sweet potatoes, planted in their permanent box, and happy to be there. Very Happy
sweet potatoes - Sweet Potatoes - Page 5 Sweet-16
I think Browndog was asking about sweet potatoes, but I can't find the post. Hopefully he will see this. They seem to be almost indestructible. Wink
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Post  sanderson 8/17/2017, 1:04 pm

Very Happy

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Post  countrynaturals 8/27/2017, 1:28 pm

YIKES! They're taking over the world! I can't believe all this came from one store-bought sweet potato -- and there were 3 more starts that got adopted out last month. Rolling Eyes The vine in the back is from the mother plant. It grew down a few inches before starting up again, so that vine is already over 6' long. The one in the bottom right is taking over a lawn chair. (The box is about 3x3.)
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I just checked my previous post and discovered it's only been 12 days. WOW! I wish these guys could teach this trick to the rest of my plants. geek
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Post  sanderson 8/27/2017, 3:58 pm

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Post  newbeone 8/28/2017, 1:59 pm

sweet potatoes - Sweet Potatoes - Page 5 Img_2615
 Back in April I though I would try sweet potatoes, so I got one from my pantry, stuck it in a glass of water, I remember my grandmother doing that and it would grow all around her kitchen window. Well I finally started getting some shoots growing out, by now it's pushing May and it's getting Hot so I wasn't expecting much but I planted the whole potato sprouts and all in one of them rope totes that I drilled holes in the bottom and filled with MM then I placed a tall tomato cage on top here's the results so far, My biggest mistake was using a tomato cage, the rope tote doesn't have a big enough base and the wind wants to blow it over especially with Harvey in the neighborhood I had to tie it down.
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Post  CapeCoddess 8/28/2017, 4:28 pm

Newbeone, Are you saying there's a tomato cage under that tower of leaves? Shocked
That's wonderful!
Hope you are all safe and dry.
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Post  sanderson 8/29/2017, 12:57 am

Newbie, Thank you for sharing the idea of a tomato cage. They should work perfectly in my 2 totes.

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Post  MrBooker 10/29/2017, 5:30 pm

Here's my sweet Taters. Dug'em yesterday. Got just over 18 lbs from two 18 gallon totes

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