Saturday, May 18, 2013

So, now what?

In a weak-willed moment at the local nursery, I put a pack of these in my basket:

We love sweet potatoes.  Last year when they were on like super-sale (like 30 cents a pound or something), I bought a bunch of them and canned them.  They normally run around 88 cents per pound, and I'm too cheap to buy them when they are that high.

So when I saw the slips, I figured I should buy them - screw the grocery store!  Can you say "Impulse Shopper"?

But anyhow.  Now that I have them, what do I do with them?  Having only attempted growing normal potatoes once in my life and miserably failing at that, I cannot say that I have any idea what to do with white potatoes let alone sweet potatoes.  I'm pretty sure they kinda-sorta grow the same way, but I'm also pretty sure that there are differences in them.  The first being that you just don't throw a teeny-tiny sweet potato seed in the ground, you start with a slip.  But that's the extent of my sweet 'tater knowledge.

I'm off to do some internet searching on it, but since I'm always more prone to listen to those I actually know and might have some real experience, I'm hoping that you'll give me some pointers on how you grow yours.

Edited:  I must point out that we have NO soil so to speak.  We have rocks, clay and more rocks.  The garden beds that DO contain soil have been spoken for already so I'm hoping that maybe I can plant them in a bunch of wasted hay or "kind'a dirt" like regular potatoes.


  1. Sweet potatoes are actually pretty easy. Plant them, keep the weeds away, water if really dry, dig up before frost. They don't need a lot since you want root growth not leaf growth. Here's my post on our sweet potatoes they year I was pregnant and not a very good gardener....

    We still got a lot of sweet potatoes :)

  2. I have the same type soil as you, it's horrible. I planted sweet potatoes last year and they did fine. They were just deformed from growing against rocks and hard dirt, but we didn't care they tasted great ☺ I'm not sure about growing them in hay. Let us know what info you dig up!

  3. No help from this area! We can grow white and red potatoes either in the soil or under straw/hay mulch without much trouble but we don't have the heat required for growing sweet potatoes. Such a shame, too, 'cause they contain lots of nutrients and we like them. We have to pay almost a buck a pound for them up here. So you know we don't have them often!

  4. I planted a slip in a 5 gallon bucket with drain holes at bottom and it worked pretty good. I'd like to know how Mama Pea grows taders under mulch.

  5. This is the 1st year I've grown my own slips. I've only planted them one time previously and I was at a place where I had deep, soft soil. I bet a raised bed would work well for them also. The vines cover a lot of territory. I had a time finding the potatoes under all the vines.

  6. No help here, I haven't had any luck with any kind of potatoes. I hope you get them going successfully! We pay almost a dollar a pound for them here too, even at Wally World.

  7. They are not related to potatoes and other than being a root crop, they don't grow like potatoes. They send out vines and wherever the vine with a set of leaves touches the ground, it should root to create more sweet potatoes. So give them space to spread. I have alot of clay in my yard, and in some places not even an inch below the surface, and I've grown them successfully. Good luck!