I remember reading around and trying the various techniques last year, without much success. Finally I just put them in the ground, also no success. This year I just had an idea, I took the large funnel that I use to pour rice (hole is about 3/4 inch wide) and placed it inside a cup. I filled the cup with water until just halfway up the funnel nipple. Then I put the sweet potato in root side down so it was just getting it's feet wet. Well it sprouted with a vengeance. I just wanted to share this technique as it worked for me where others didn't. Another common one is skewer the potatoe with toothpicks or somesuch to hold it out of the water, but when I did that it rotted, I'm assuming due to foreign pests invading it through the holes I punched in it. So, if previous techniques have proven hard for you, give this one a try!