This is by no means new information but I’ve recently propagated a bazillion sweet potatoes and was blown away by how quickly and easily I was able to get a ton of slips ready for the garden.
I’ve been giving my dog, Sasha, rather elaborate homemade meals for her hip dysplasia. Anything that’s healthy and a natural anti-inflammatory goes into this powerful meal. Fresh catfish nuggets oozing with Omega-3 fish oils, sweet potatoes, phytoplankton (puts the Omega-3s into those fatty fish), glucosamine , and CBD oil to name a few.
As you can imagine, this can all be a bit on the pricey side so I was looking for any way to ease up the pocket book pains a bit. That meant finding a way to get good organic sweet potatoes by growing them at home. So I started with one solitary store-bought organic sweet potato.
I’ve read that you can use a sweet potato cut into half or thirds if you want to stretch the potato budget a bit. I opted on an “all in” scenario cuz I’m crazy bold like that.
After a couple of weeks you’ll start seeing roots and then slips will begin popping up. Once this starts, it picks up speed quickly. I added a little bit of nitrogen to the water via blood meal to help boost slip growth, but just water works fine.
When the slips get to be about 4-5″ you can begin cutting them for rooting. There will likely already be root nodes forming near the base of the slip so I try to cut as flush to the sweet potato as I can.
Here are those nodes I was mentioning above. These will become your new roots.
I tried out the little glass test tubes shown below as I never have glasses that are narrow enough for rooting smaller clippings like these slips. The flat-bottomed ones will stand on their own which is helpful. Only gripe I had was that they are poorly packaged and some of them were damaged. The glass is rather thin so you can’t be heavy-handed with these guys. Also, the blood meal I get is below. A great natural way to boost nitrogen with a lessened risk of root burn and no nasty chemicals getting into the groundwater or drains etc. Blood meal and bone meal are great and often used around the Mind Your Dirt Luxury Estates.
I digress. The slips can root in just water. I place mine near my kitchen window which has great indirect light. So now all those stored sugars are trapped in the slip and they will use some of those sugars to push roots out of those nodes
It doesn’t take long for these roots to form and it will need refilling often if you’re using a smaller container like I use. I check on them every other day or so and refill as needed. Once the roots have filled in nicely, your slips are ready for planting.
In my little garden plot I dig a giant mounded row and staggered the plants within it. I’ve read that you want a good size mound with nice loose soil and good drainage. Any compacted soil or rocky soil will cause issues with your sweet potatoes during their long development. They take from 90-170 days until you can harvest.
The beauty of this, like many other veggies, is I can keep this one single organic sweet potato growing again and again until the end of time! Infinitato!! Although it should be noted that you never want to plant root veggies in the same bed twice! Always rotate your crops to avoid depleting the soil and hosting potential diseases. But still, Infinitato!!!