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Monday, February 13, 2012

Suh-weet spudly sprouts

You might remember I didn't eat the 3 sweet potatoes I bought in November for Thanksgiving.  Instead I cooked them up at the end of the year when I discovered one of them had developed teeny tiny sprouts.

I saved the sprout end and it's been sitting in a hyacinth jar on the kitchen counter under the fluorescent lights since them.  The sprouts didn't get any bigger for the longest time.  Recently, though,  I noticed they were hefting up.

I've never grown sweet potatoes from a tuber before.  The only ones I've ever grown were decorative vines that were already potted up from the nursery.


I was wondering when/if this thing would ever root.  And where would the roots come from?

I imagined they would sprout along the edge of the tuber where it met the water.  I have watched for weeks, but to no avail.

I've been lifting the spud out of the jar every couple of days and checking the bottom.  Nuthin'.  But today, oh boy!  Lo and behold.

A first rootlet!  And from the middle of the cut end.

This is terrific.  I'm looking forward to growing sweet potatoes this year in the garden.   I've decided to plant the tuber in a container, allow these sprouts to get 12-15" long, then cut off the slips and let THEM root right in the garden.  That way I'll have more than just one plant and (hopefully) get a few spuds to harvest/save for NEXT Thanksgiving.

I love not having to buy stuff for the garden, just encourage what's already in the kitchen to propagate itself.  Sure wish I could get my wallet to sprout!  LOL

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5 comments:

  1. Must try sweet potato one year but think they need a longer/warmer growing season than they are likely to get here . . . note to self, go and do some research.

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  2. The easiest way is to just insert toothpicks all around the middle of the potato and then place it in a jar of water...just leave in a worm bright place and roots will form all over the bottom. When the shoots get several inches tall, break them off and put in a clean jar of water until planting time. You have to change the water regularly to keep it fresh.

    Or, you can lay the potato on its side half buried in wet sand or potting soil, kept moist and let it grow. I still pull of the shoots and let them form more roots in water.

    I want to grow some this year too.

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  3. Bilbo - I understand they DO need longer growing than white potatoes. So do some other things I grow. Hence starting slips and/or seeds early in the basement. Sometimes it pans out, sometimes not, but it's alway fun to try.

    Glenda - thank for the tip about rooting slips in a jar. I'm definitely going to try that. :-D

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  4. Kris, if you put the potato deeper in the water, each sprout that is touching the water will make roots pretty fast. Then you can break off the shoot with it;s roots and plant it in a pot of soil. Set these out after danger of frost is past.

    I grow sweet potatoes every year. Last summer was so dry, I didn't get much except "seed potatoes". I got a lot of long, fat little roots, though, and I put them in a big flowerpot between layers of soil and put them in the garage. I dump a little water on them from time to time, just enough to keep them alive is all they need. Last winter when I did this, by spring I had one really FAT sweet potato and lots of starts, which I gave to my neighbors and they just spread them on the ground and covered them up with soil. OMG, they got a huge crop, better than what I got that summer for sure from my carefully rooted plants!

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  5. Ilene! Hey, thanks for visiting. That little knub of potato is barely more than 1.5" tall, so I'd have to totally submerge it for the tippy top sprouts to touch water. But I'll keep that trick in mind (and your root storage advice) for next year if I get some grown out this year.

    Gotta love sweet potatoes! :-D

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Looking forward to hearing from you. :-D

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