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  #1  
Old 01/01/04, 08:54 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9
Sweet potatoes

I need some guidance in growing sweet potatoes next summer. Can I grow them from store bought spuds, by just cutting pieces w/eyes out and planting them? They are pretty pricey in the only seed catalog that I can find them in, so I was hoping this method would work. Has anyone tried this?
Any help you can offer is appreciated, I'm already checking my seed inventory and making up my seed orders, so I hope to find the answer to this question soon.
Thanks,
Sam

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  #2  
Old 01/01/04, 09:10 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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I'm in zone 6-forgot to tell you!

I'm not sure if the zone makes any difference in whether or not I can do this, but thought I should post it.

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  #3  
Old 01/01/04, 09:26 AM
We're gettin' there!
 
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Location: NW TN
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I'm not real sure about sweet potatoes, but I tried this last year with regular potatoes just to see if it would work and the yield was pitiful. Someone on here said that was because the potatoes weren't "seed" potatoes and that there is a difference. I would recommend buying the sweet potatoe slips. Do you have a nursery, greenhouse, dept store that sells them close to you? I'm also in Zone 6 and will be planting them this year. I have a nursery that sells the slips for about $4 a bundle, but don't know if that is expensive or not because I'm still waiting on my seed catalogs to arrive :waa: .
Heather

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  #4  
Old 01/01/04, 01:32 PM
 
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Location: New York
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Most store-bought potatoes have been treated with something to prevent them from sprouting. I've had good luck using potatoes purchased at the healthfood store. Sweet potatoes are close to $2 lb. there, so I don't think I'd chance it. I've seen sweet potatoe slips in several catalogs. If you haven't see the catalog from Sand Hill Preservation Center, check it out. They have around 50 different types!! Their # is (319) 246-2299, or write to SHPC, Heirloom Seeds & Poultry, Calamus, IA, 52729.

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  #5  
Old 01/02/04, 11:02 AM
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I would say first part of March for Zone 5.

big rockpile

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  #6  
Old 01/02/04, 12:00 PM
Baroness of TisaWee Farm
 
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Location: flatlands of Ohio - sigh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big rockpile
I buy 3 Sweet Potatoes at the store put them in Wide Mouth Canning Jars,fill them 2/3 full of water,when the slips sprout,let them get a few inches long break them off,put them in another Jar of water,let them make roots,plant them when it gets warm enough.
Do you cover the whole potato with water when it is in the mason jar?

When you break off the sprouts.... they still grow? Could you cut them out with a small chunk of potato, or would that not work (the potato rot or something?)

Thanks!
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  #7  
Old 01/02/04, 12:50 PM
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Location: South Central Michigan
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"Do you cover the whole potato with water when it is in the mason jar?

When you break off the sprouts.... they still grow? Could you cut them out with a small chunk of potato, or would that not work (the potato rot or something?)"

When I start mine I leave about 1/3 to 1/2 above the water.
Yes, when you break off the sprouts you immediately put them into water to root them. I am in zone 5 and start mine now as it takes a bit of time to get them sprouting and then into a good root system.

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  #8  
Old 01/02/04, 01:04 PM
Baroness of TisaWee Farm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diane
I am in zone 5 and start mine now as it takes a bit of time to get them sprouting and then into a good root system.
I'm not sure what zone I'm in (that's nothing new!!!) I'm in northwest Ohio. Should I be starting them now, too? How soon so you put them out in the spring.... not as early as seed potatoes, I'd bet!

Thanks again!
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  #9  
Old 01/02/04, 03:36 PM
 
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We live in northern Indiana (zone 5) For the last 30 years, we have started them in April, and set them out in June. Ones we started earlier than April got too long and the leaves get slimmy and stink unless they are potted in mud before setting them out in JUne. We've had poor luck with store boughten potatoes.. We have good luck useing a half gallon milk ctn or jug with one side cut out.. We lay the potato
down in the carton and fill about two thirds way up the sides with muddy water. Mostly water.. If you don't need over a dozen plants you can leave them there until time to put in the garden.. If you want more than that, you can break them off and stick them right back in the carton beside their mama..
In the garden take your hoe or shovel, and make a ridge about 10 inches high a couple weeks ahead of planting time so it will be settled at planting time.. Put them a foot to 18 inches apart on the ridge. Scoop out a hole about 6 inches deep. Stick the slip in the hole and backfill the hole and soak the ground around the plant with water..
If you save milk jugs you can cut out the bottoms and place one over each plant. Push it into the ground about an inch so it don't blow away.. Throw the cap away. It will help keep the plant from drying out, and protect it from the wind.. You can pour a little water as needed down through the hole. Don't move the milk jug until the plant starts coming out the top of the jug.. Plants in jugs will grow twice as fast as ones left out in the open.

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  #10  
Old 01/02/04, 04:43 PM
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Being at the northern edge of zone 5, if I don't get mine started really well...I don't get anything :haha: Well......pretty vines. I do put mine in pots of dirt after I get a really good root on them and then put them out in June when the ground is finally decently warm. Some years I still don't get a crop to speak of....depends on the weather.

Uncle Will.....are you saying you don't even start sprouting your potatoes until April?? I must be doing something wrong because it takes me a while to even get a sprout.......then there is the rooting.

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  #11  
Old 01/03/04, 12:46 PM
 
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Hi Diane; We try to put the potato in the little pan of wet mud by the first of april.. We use our own potatoes for this. They usually have eyes that are starting to sprout when we put them in the water\mud.. Where do you store your sweet potatoes.. They should be stored above 55 and not above 60 to keep well. We keep ours under the sink most years. Its a little above 60 there. They will start sprouting in March.. We pick out a nice potato that has several sprouts starting on it.. If your potatoes are not stored where is mildly warm it may hurt their sprouting ability. We have Porto Rico potatoes that we've started with about 30 years ago.. They don't have the 20 foot vines that some have and can be planted a little closer together than some long vine varities. The ridge is important to keep the plant from getting to wet in rainy weather.. It also causes the ground to be warmer which sweet potatoes prefer. A milk jug cover also really helps..
A problem I've read about with using store potatoes, is the store potatoes are long season varieties and won't produce well in the upper states.. So Diane, be sure your potatoes are not in a really cool place now.

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  #12  
Old 01/03/04, 01:02 PM
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Thanks uncle Will......I can see I have been wrong on several things. I started with store ones, which really do require a long season.......didn't even know there were some with shorter season. Store them too cool....I guess I have been lucky to get any :haha: :haha: This year I have none in storage so I need to start over. Maybe I should order some sets that are of the shorter season requirement?

I have been a fairly successful gardener for over 50 years, but sweet potatoes have been a failure frequently.

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  #13  
Old 01/03/04, 01:32 PM
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My first year, I ordered slips and from then on, I have saved potatoes and started my own. The store bought ones do seem to take a bunch longer and I am beginning to think that they may be treated to slow down or prevent sprouting.
Tana Mc

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  #14  
Old 01/03/04, 01:46 PM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Kitsap Co, WA
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I'm going to try growing sweet potatoes in my greenhouse this summer. I'm in the maritime NW zone 8. Most of the usual catalogues just list Georgia Jet for northern climes. But I went to the Sandhill Preservation Center website and they have SCADS of cultivars and info -- and the prices are better than the local seed companies. We usually don't get consistently sunny weather until July 5th, but I am hoping the July, Aug & Sept in a greenhouse will give them enough light and warmth to produce.

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  #15  
Old 01/04/04, 06:29 PM
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As a kid we planted sweet potatoes from slips from existing patchs, patches that returned from cold weather damage. Cut at about 18 inches in length they would be lain over the raised mound, a second person would have a stick with a smooth notch carved in its end would then push the slips into the soil with both ends left out. There were no roots at the time of planting and the extra set of leaves assisted the plant to thrive.

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  #16  
Old 01/06/04, 12:37 PM
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I just wanted to thank everyone that replied to this thread. I am convinced that I too, can become a super sweet 'tater grower!
I'll let ya'll know how it all turns out next summer.
Sam

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  #17  
Old 01/06/04, 08:47 PM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Western WI
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I am in zone 4, and have previously pruchased sweet potatoes from the following business. They always did well even up north here in Wisconsin.
I grew then many years, and except in drought years, when I could not water then economically, they did exceptionally well. I would reccommend them to anyone.


STEELE PLANT COMPANY PO Box 191, Gleason, TN 38229 (731) 648-5476 ...


Hope it helps.

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