Author Topic: Starting Sweet Potato Slips  (Read 2300 times)

EarthBoxAdmin

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Starting Sweet Potato Slips
« on: June 19, 2017, 09:15:18 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Active Member, Irv Wiseguy. This was originally posted on February 1, 2015.

Copying my post from a thread in the Over the Garden Fence forum, with an update at the end.


This is my first year growing slips so I'm by far no expert, but here's what I have read about the process and what I'm trying.

From what I have read, the general consensus is it's best to buy an organic sweet potato.  While people have successfully grown slips from a regular grocery store potato, they may have been sprayed with a chemical to inhibit growth of sprouts (so they last longer on the store shelves, I presume).

Cut the potato in half, put some toothpicks around the potato near the part you cut and put it in a cup of water.  I'm using filtered water and will be changing it every few days.  Keep it in a warm location.  This next part is my own thought, but I'm keeping my potatoes out of direct sunlight and will put them under grow lights after I see sprouts.

Slips should sprout all over the potato.  When they get several inches long break them free from the base of the potato and plant in potting mix.  When it gets warm in your area transplant into the garden.  Some people time the slips so they can direct transplant them.


I started my slip growing process January 24 by using the method outlined above.  After 4 days noticed some roots growing near bottom of the potatoes below the water.  As of today the roots have gotten longer and the number of them has increased.  Haven't seen any growth above the water line yet.

Irv

EarthBoxAdmin

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Re: Starting Sweet Potato Slips
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2017, 09:16:40 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, movrshakr. This user is located in Zone 10a - near Cape Canaveral. This was originally posted on February 1, 2015.

What is the purpose of the toothpicks, and I do not understand their placement. 
Do you mean to stick them into the cut surface or into the skin surface?

And when cut in half, is that across the short direction or cut lengthwise?

EarthBoxAdmin

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Re: Starting Sweet Potato Slips
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2017, 09:18:13 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, mjb8743. This user is located in Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State. This was originally posted on February 1, 2015.

This is a great how-to for starting & rooting sweet potato slips... with pics.

http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-plant-and-grow-sweet-potatoes/index.html

It made a good point about using store-bought potatoes: Are they bush or vining types? If growing in containers or limited space, that's a need-to-know bit of info.

I ordered slips this year. I plan on using all my potato grow bags for them. If successful, I'll try to save some for slip-starting next winter.

Good luck,
Mickie

EarthBoxAdmin

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Re: Starting Sweet Potato Slips
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2017, 09:19:49 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, LinFL. This user is located in Zone 8b/9a border, NW FL. This was originally posted on February 3, 2015.

Another way to start sweet potato slips is to place the sweet potato on its side in a tray, bury it halfway in moist (not soggy) potting mix, and put it in a warm, well-lit spot. You can put several potatoes in a large tray if you want to make a lot of slips. Keep the potting mix consistently moist to get optimal slip production. My experience has been that the potting mix causes each sweet potato to produce more and faster slips than the water method. (YMMV.)

When the slips are at least 4" long, gently twist them off the sweet potato. You can place each slip in a large seed starting cell or small individual pot filled with moist potting mix. Place the slips in a shady warm spot and keep consistently moist - do not let the mix ever dry out - for a few days. Transition them back to higher light and grow on in the cells or pots until ready to transplant outside. The reason I like to root the slips in potting mix is so I can transplant them with an intact root ball instead of loose roots - they seem to suffer less shock that way. Just don't let them get root bound before planting.

If you are not experienced at starting plants indoors, please be aware that you need to gradually acclimate your plants to outside conditions, especially direct sunlight. Direct sunlight has much more UV than grow lights or light coming in through a window. You can literally sunburn the leaves of your plants and set back or even kill them if you transition them to full sun too fast. Place them in dappled shade or just a little early morning or late afternoon sun at first, then gradually increase sun exposure over several days to a week.

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Re: Starting Sweet Potato Slips
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2017, 09:21:18 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, baileyj. This user is located in Zone 7A --- Annapolis, Maryland. This was originally posted on February 10, 2015.

I started this process, for the first time on 1/25...I used organic sweet potatoes I grew last season...

I initially used this process but did not cut the bottom off each potato...I corrected that a few days later.
I have roots growing on each but have nothing happening with sprouts, anything green on top --when does the growth occur on the top of the potato?

Thanks, Judi