Sunday, June 25, 2017

Grow Your Own Sweet Potato Slips

We always like to grow a few sweet potatoes.  They are so nutritious and good for you. They contain more fiber, as well as vitamins A, C and B6, than normal potatoes.  You may be tempted to think that sweet potatoes and potatoes are the same vegetable, just different in color.  However, they are in different plant families and are not related.  Sweet potatoes are in the morning glory family.  Potatoes are in the nightshade family, which also contains tomatoes and eggplants.

Sweet potatoes are grown from "slips" which are sprouts that grow from mature sweet potatoes.  In past years, we have bought slips, but this past spring we just didn't get around to it.  So, I was resigned to just buying sweet potatoes in the grocery store this year.  However, last month I noticed our last sweet potato from last year's harvest had a few small slips beginning to grow.  So, I set it in a cup of water and waited for them to get larger.

When they were 6 to 10 inches tall, I took it out of the cup and it had this many roots growing.

I broke the slips off and broke these into two or three separate plants.

 We planted some of them in our hoophouse. 

We roll the sides up on the hoophouse during the summer, but it still gets very hot in there.  However, sweet potatoes love hot weather and seem to thrive.  Another benefit of growing them in the hoophouse is they are safe from deer.  The deer will not go in there to get to them, even though sweet potato vines are one of their favorite foods.

I planted the rest of the slips in 3 of my cattle tubs.  

Maybe I'll harvest another 6 pounder this fall, like I did last year!

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