Allotment Gardening Advice Help Chat

Growing => Growing FAQs and other Information => Topic started by: Trillium on December 29, 2011, 15:40

Title: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on December 29, 2011, 15:40
For those wishing to try growing sweet potatoes, now is the time to get your potato and get it started for rooting.

Sweet potatoes don't grow like regular potatoes. You must first suspend the potato in some water, keep the unit in a sunny window, and wait for roots to form in the water. Once those roots start forming, then you'll find green top stems starting. The stems themselves are what you'll later pinch off and plant to get your crop.

So, purchase one, even two, potatoes now to ensure you get some green growth. Shop potatoes may or may not have growth suppressants but I've rarely found that with sweet potatoes  are sprayed as such.

Hold the potato up lengthwise and at the mid point, insert 3 toothpicks around the centre area. Suspend this in a cup/jar of water so that the base of the potato doesn't touch the container bottom. Top with water and check level frequently. Keep in a sunny, draft free window and wait for the magic to happen.  
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Auntiemogs on December 29, 2011, 15:44
Yay! Been waiting for this Trillium (sad bunny that I am) after reading some of the previous years posts! I have mine on the windowsill in a hyacyinth jar and I think something's starting to stir.  Happy days! :happy:
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: sunshineband on December 29, 2011, 15:55
You just post this to give me false hope, don't you Trillium  :unsure: :unsure:

I either have no shoots, no leaves or.... no sweet potatoes.

So this year I am going to look forward to the success of everyone else and give it a rest  :lol: :lol:

Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on December 29, 2011, 20:22
Mwa-haha! Of course I did, Sunny  8)

Actually, some sweet potatoes are VERY slow to sprout so starting them now should ensure reasonable success for seedlings. Its impossible to look at a potato and be able to tell if it will sprout quickly or slowly, so better to start early than too late.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: sunshineband on December 29, 2011, 20:45
Mwa-haha! Of course I did, Sunny  8)

Actually, some sweet potatoes are VERY slow to sprout so starting them now should ensure reasonable success for seedlings. Its impossible to look at a potato and be able to tell if it will sprout quickly or slowly, so better to start early than too late.

You know how to grow these mythical veg, so I hope people take your advice  :D :D
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: VegGirl7 on December 30, 2011, 17:20
going to have to give this a go - just found a sweet potato we forgot to use on Christmas day in the veg draw so it seems like it's meant to be!  :)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: seedman on December 31, 2011, 15:37
never tried these before so if i sound thick i am sorry  :D when you say pinch of the green stems what about the roots. what are slips that you buy on my lottie the lads say dont bother to hard to grow Thanks for not   :lol: but then again you might be my web cams not working  :)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on December 31, 2011, 15:55
Hi Seedman. A few periods in your sentences would make things a bit easier to understand  :happy:

Sweet potatoes are actually very easy to grow. Only catch is that they do need about 4 months of warm weather. In the UK this can be done with row cloches, cold frames or greenhouses. Sweet potatoes have almost no pests or diseases to bother them and are self mulching. You just need to water them regularly if rain is short.

From the potato tuber itself, your aim is to get green shoots growing. Once they're at least 3" tall, you simply twist the whole green bit off the tuber itself and plant the shoot. There are no roots but once you plant the shoot into moist compost, it will quickly send out its own roots which then become the tubers.

So, if you have 3 shoot growing out of the tuber, you'll have 3 plants in the end. I left my potato from last year to keep growing and I have some tall shoots now that I've nipped for fuller growth. 
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: tallulah on December 31, 2011, 17:41
How many/what size sweet pots can you expect from one shoot?  How far apart do they need to be planted?  I have limited space in the garden but would love to try them!
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: seedman on December 31, 2011, 18:03
Thanks Trillium thats made things  clearer now, Thanks again  :)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on December 31, 2011, 18:50
How many/what size sweet pots can you expect from one shoot?  How far apart do they need to be planted?  I have limited space in the garden but would love to try them!

That's really hard to say, but each white rootlet that forms from the shoot is a future potato tuber. To guesstimate, you could expect about 10, maybe more, tubers per shoot. Spacing of plants should be about 2-3 ft apart as the tubers will spread out wide but shallow, plus, the top growth is much like ivy - lots of branching that spreads and basically makes its own 'mulch' cover. You don't want to crowd either of those points. If you're short on space you could try squeezing it into your flower garden area; just add lots of compost, a touch of lime and lots of rotted manure to a loosened hole before planting. Keep the plant lightly watered the whole season (unless you get lots of rain). Cloches will really help them get started.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: tallulah on January 01, 2012, 17:36
Thanks Trillium - sounds like they like a bit of space  :unsure: will have to consider where they can go.  Maybe the unused spot behind the greenhouse would be good  :)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: dig4victory on January 03, 2012, 10:34
Due to the disappointment last year of having 3 big tubs with healthy leaf growth and then finding no spuds underground, we are buying the slips this year and having another go this way.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on January 03, 2012, 19:09
Either way works, dig4victory. For some, getting hold of slips isn't easy so they start their own.

Frankly, if you had great growth on top and lack of growth below, I doubt that purchasing slips will solve the problem. Most likely the tubs didn't get enough heat for the requisite 4 month period. I can't stress enough that they really do need very warm weather for a full 4 months if you hope to get a reasonable crop.

I wonder if next time you grow them in tubs, if wrapping the tub base in some sort of insulation would help keep the soil warm? Wooden tubs might hold heat better but plastic tubs won't.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Geordie on January 03, 2012, 20:18
I'm going to give it a go this year - 'nothing ventured nothing gained' as the saying goes.

I found this link which gives some nice pictures of the process:

http://www.food-skills-for-self-sufficiency.com/sweet-potato-slips.html (http://www.food-skills-for-self-sufficiency.com/sweet-potato-slips.html)

Anyone tried growing them in a polytunnel?

 


Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Lady Rosemary on January 03, 2012, 21:05
I was thinking the same thing Geordie.  Never tried them before but it's sooooooo tempting.  I have a spot in the tunnel which is free so will use this space for sweet potatoes me thinks. :D
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: plot53b on January 03, 2012, 22:21
With the great description here and the step by step in pictures, I'm also going to give Sweet Potatoes a go this year. But can I ask, in the UK climate, do they need to be covered?

I had also read that they were very thirsty plants and planting an empty plant pot next to the plant to get the water into the roots also helped.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Herb on January 03, 2012, 22:46
Day one - I think I've got this right??

Sat on the kitchen windowsill - will see how it goes!
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: JayG on January 04, 2012, 09:52
Yup!  :)

(Mine romped away last year (roots within a fortnight) having soaked it in a bucket of cold water overnight before "planting" in water, but I have no way of knowing whether that removed any sprouting inhibitors or whether I was just lucky.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: mumofstig on January 04, 2012, 10:41
Will you be trying again Jay? did you think they were worth growing  :unsure:
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: JayG on January 05, 2012, 12:25
Will you be trying again Jay? did you think they were worth growing  :unsure:

Still got most of last year's "crop" in a plastic bag in the bottom of my "glory hole" cupboard, although they look to be in remarkably good condition.

That probably says a lot about how much I enjoy (skinny) sweet potatoes, but then again I wouldn't have to buy another one to start again...........

Grew them in a couple of bags of old compost (with added PCM and Growmore) last year so might just try 1 bag this year to see if I can get them to a bigger size.  :unsure:
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: dig4victory on January 06, 2012, 20:55
That's interesting Trillium.  We did grow in plastic pots but they were in the polytunnel which had extremely high temps at times, maybe not constantly perhaps.  May try wrapping bubblewrap around the pots too this year.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: scottish_lass on January 09, 2012, 16:11
I really fancy trying these and will follow your advice.
thanks
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Plot 6B on January 09, 2012, 18:40
I have put three into water tonight following your instructions to the letter.
Fingers and toes are crossed!
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on January 09, 2012, 19:34
They will sprout, Nige, but I can't tell you how soon. Just be patient and keep the water topped up.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: plot53b on January 10, 2012, 12:31
So I took the plunge and had a go - note the bargain pint glasses - 7p for four from Sainsbury's!

I put them on the downstairs bathroom windowsill, which is a warm sunny and draft free room. Just not sure they will remain their once my wife gets home and sees them!   :unsure:
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on January 10, 2012, 21:34
Tell her it's modern, freeform art  :lol:
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Auntiemogs on January 10, 2012, 21:40
Tell her it's modern, freeform art  :lol:
...which is tailored to her likes/dislikes...a little goatee here, a little hat there...how can she resist the humour in that?  :D
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trikidiki on January 11, 2012, 22:22
Mine took weeks to shoot last year which made them too late to produce anything worthwhile.

I have kept 2 of them going and have several short shoots and one which is about 6 inches long.  I am going to try dividing the long shoot into several pieces and hopefully get a plant from each piece.

I few years back I tried ordering slips from T&M but most of what arrived died before they produced roos. Got a refund though.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Sue33 on January 12, 2012, 10:30


quite fancy having a go at growing these, will definitely be done this weekend  :)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Gesar on January 15, 2012, 12:44
Aye after reading this post i am going to give it try with one anyway this year and see how it goes ...... Sweet Potatoe and Chorizo soup yum yum
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: like diggingk on January 15, 2012, 19:09
i'm going to give it a go  :D
love sweet potatos  :)
going to try them in a large cloche
will lit you know how i get on   :unsure:
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on January 15, 2012, 20:34
A large cloche is a great idea as sweet potatoes need lots of heat.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: stepha85 on January 17, 2012, 22:22
I was thinking of growing them with one of those water dispenser bottles over the top as these are quite a good size. Would this be suitable?

Steph :)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Yorkie on January 17, 2012, 22:23
They are a good size but check before you use them - they usually have a deposit attached to them to prevent people just acquiring them  :wub:
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: stepha85 on January 17, 2012, 22:30
Haha.. I like the "aquiring" them bit... I think I may have found a legitimate source  :)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: pipnpants on January 18, 2012, 20:52
been in water for about a fortnight now, seems too be plenty of roots appearing but no shoots anyone tell me the how long before any appear. thanks ::)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on January 19, 2012, 03:28
Depends on the potato. Just be patient, one day soon you'll find the first nubbins on top. Shouldn't be long now.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Lady Rosemary on January 21, 2012, 15:43
Mine have been in water for over two weeks and no sign of roots let alone shoots. I'm sure I have them the right way up too. Any suggestions? Try a different potato perhaps?   :wub:

Thanks in advance.

Mandy
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: jonewer on January 21, 2012, 16:03
Brilliant! I'm setting mine up now!

Fingers crossed.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: plot53b on January 21, 2012, 16:58
I received the Mr Fothergill's catalogue today and notice they are selling 10 slips for 10.95. So it seems you can save a fair amount by growing your own.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Sue33 on January 21, 2012, 17:52

yay - finally got round to doing mine - only a week late  ;)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on January 21, 2012, 19:02
Mine have been in water for over two weeks and no sign of roots let alone shoots. I'm sure I have them the right way up too. Any suggestions? Try a different potato perhaps?   :wub:

Thanks in advance.

Mandy

They'll root only when they're ready. Nothing will speed them up. Mine from last year took 2 months to start its first roots, which is why I suggest people start them now to be ready for planting time. Its possible the potato was sprayed with a sprouting deterrent and simply needs more time.

If you're still worried, it doesn't hurt to purchase another potato from a different place and start it as well.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Lady Rosemary on January 21, 2012, 21:45

They'll root only when they're ready. Nothing will speed them up. Mine from last year took 2 months to start its first roots, which is why I suggest people start them now to be ready for planting time. Its possible the potato was sprayed with a sprouting deterrent and simply needs more time.

If you're still worried, it doesn't hurt to purchase another potato from a different place and start it as well.

Thanks Trillium. May buy another potato elsewhere and keep the ones I have going on anyway to see if they take.  Will keep you posted!  :)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: plot53b on January 23, 2012, 13:53
Mine seem to have a taken a turn for the worse - one of my potatoes has definately developed a very small patch of mould, under the water level.

Is this normal?
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: JayG on January 23, 2012, 14:52
Mine seem to have a taken a turn for the worse - one of my potatoes has definately developed a very small patch of mould, under the water level.

Is this normal?

If it really is only surface mould wash it off and change the water - if the flesh has actually started to rot you could be in trouble (but not as much as the potato!)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on January 23, 2012, 15:41
Like Jay says, its most likely just a water mold. I neglected to mention that the container water needs regular changing to avoid problems like this. I'd recommend water changing every 2 weeks.

A gentle rinse under the tap over the potato, wash out the container, add fresh water, and you should be good to go.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Plot 6B on January 23, 2012, 18:01
Mine had gone the same way and I have rinsed the Potatoes down so not to damage the roots that have appeared. They are now sitting pretty in nice fresh water and clean cups.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: RobertSongs on January 26, 2012, 13:44
just started mine today.. a bit late i know but they will be going in a bed in my polytunnel. will they tolerate any shade..?
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on January 26, 2012, 21:06
Sweet potatoes really do need as much sun as you can give them. They'll tolerate a bit of shade, but only a couple of hours.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: RobertSongs on January 26, 2012, 22:04
Oh right thanks sounds like im gonna have to move the bed over to the south side of the tunnel..and grow me toms and such like in the aquapots on the other side..Right this is the last time im moving it and thats that.. :mad:
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: plot53b on January 29, 2012, 20:42
Thanks to the advice, I have been gently running my Sweet Potatoes under water about every week and changing the water, which seems to have stopped the mould.

I am please to report that during tonight's water change, two out of three of them have roots appearing - one of them was even the one I had convinced myself was upside down! :lol:
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Sue33 on January 30, 2012, 10:50
 :lol: :lol: i think one of mine may be upside down - time will tell  :lol:
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: stompy on January 30, 2012, 15:03
Is it too late to start one off?
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on January 30, 2012, 20:30
No. Get one soon as you can and pop it in water.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: RobertSongs on January 30, 2012, 22:20
Nothing happening yet, ive changed the water once
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: stompy on January 31, 2012, 08:37
Popped one in last night, 3 coctail sticks and a jar of tepid water  :happy:
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Janeymiddlewife on February 01, 2012, 20:48
We have a ROOT yay :D
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on February 02, 2012, 01:32
See, told ya  :D
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: RobertSongs on February 02, 2012, 10:55
 :)  Mine have started rooting too....its all very exciting!! im slowly taking over the kitchen surfaces...
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: allotment south wales on February 02, 2012, 20:15
remember to use slug pellets or nemaslug control on planting   :(   

last year due to my own fault    trying to keep everything organic above the ground the plant was great in the polytunnel -  upon digging them up i had 20% of the crop the slugs had the rest...
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: VegGirl7 on February 02, 2012, 20:22
I have a few wispy bits of root and what looks like the start of more robust ones below the water line...
and above it there are a few, very small (1-2mm), purplish bumpy bits emerging, kinda like the beginnings of 'eye sprouts' on a normal potato... could these be shoots starting  :unsure: I hope so :D
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on February 02, 2012, 22:42
Sounds like eye sprouts; these are what you really want because when they're large enough, you'll twist them off and pot them up, then plant them out.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Emmie on February 03, 2012, 11:49
I am a little confused about my sweet potatoe as I started it off int he middle of December and have had no roots appear however I have a dozen purple sprouts from the top. Over the last few weeks they do not seem to be getting any bigger however they still look healthy, I have changed the water each week and was wondering if adding some liquid plant food to the water (like miracle gro) may help. 
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on February 03, 2012, 16:37
No, don't add any fertilizers. The potato itself is the plant's food source.

Sometimes the top sprouts come out first, though not usually. Consider yourself lucky and be patient. You can't speed this up as the tuber is bypassing the base root portion and needs time to compensate. Three's still plenty of time for the top growth.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: JayG on February 13, 2012, 12:18
Still got most of last year's "crop" in a plastic bag in the bottom of my "glory hole" cupboard, although they look to be in remarkably good condition.

That probably says a lot about how much I enjoy (skinny) sweet potatoes, but then again I wouldn't have to buy another one to start again...........

Grew them in a couple of bags of old compost (with added PCM and Growmore) last year so might just try 1 bag this year to see if I can get them to a bigger size.  :unsure:

Decided to have another go with one of last year's tubers and although it only seems to have produced two shoots they have romped away and are nearly a foot long now!  :ohmy:

This is way too early given that I wouldn't even consider putting them in the greenhouse for another 2 months - will have to pot them up soon and if all goes well will try to give away the spare in the Swap Shop (will obviously have to be someone in my area who can collect.)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: brianthomas on February 13, 2012, 12:44
hello folks
  this is my first time on the blog as I am new to the forum
have been reading last years ancers to the task of growing sweet potatoes
I have had a garden /allotment for 20 years + but never tried sweet pots.
I am in the vale of york is there anybody around here that has had any successwith growing them any advice would be welcome  thanks bt
 ::)                                                                               
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on February 13, 2012, 20:22
I don't live in the UK so can't help you there, but I do know that in the UK you'll need a warm sheltered spot with 4 months of heat to do well with sweet potatoes. They're a bit slow and are almost a tropical plant.

I highly recommend dedicating a small hooped area or covered cold frame not in use to grow them in. They need lots of heat units to grow as well as enriched soil and some regular watering if under a shelter. A greenhouse will work nicely but few people have the space to spare for the S.P. which spreads a thick mat of vine-like tops.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Geordie on February 13, 2012, 20:48
I think we have lift off.....  :)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: brianthomas on February 13, 2012, 22:02
thanks trillian , what are your thoughts on making a hot pit/trench full of rubbish.
 Idid this a few years ago with cellery , that will warm the soil and a closh polly tunnel on top ---suckcess? or the dreams of an aging gardener  bt
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on February 13, 2012, 22:06
A hot pit would be ideal, especially if you can cover it most of the time to contain the heat. Sweet potatoes love heat in the 90's and 100's F.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Auntiemogs on February 14, 2012, 22:10
I had to have words with mine today...nearly two months on a south-facing windowsill and nowt.  >:(  I've given it two weeks and then it's in the oven!  :tongue2:
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on February 15, 2012, 16:02
 :lol: :lol:

They can be very slow, auntiemogs. My new potato last year took almost 3 months to sprout, probably from growth inhibiting stuff.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: RobertSongs on February 17, 2012, 09:17
I started two one has lots of roots coming through and the other one is doing next to nothing..both were from the same packet bought from morrisons..
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Lady Rosemary on February 20, 2012, 12:35
YAY!  I have roots on two of the three I started off .... need to change the water however as I think that may help them along a little better.  One of the three (the one that isn't doing anything at all) has a water beard at the base .... lol.  Guess I need to give that little chap a shower when I get home!

'Tis very very exciting indeed!  :D
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: chrissie B on February 24, 2012, 15:56
i just ate my first sweet potato the other day made some wedgies with it and it was so nice even hubby loved it .
chrissie b
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Plot 6B on February 25, 2012, 20:53
I think we have lift off.....  :)

Two of the three I am doing now look like your photograph. I am now changing the water daily to be on the safe side!
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Thephoenix572 on February 28, 2012, 20:36
Ordered some sweet potato plants today, they worked excellently in my greenhouse last year
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Herb on March 07, 2012, 13:31
Finally - roots are developing on both spuds!
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: VegGirl7 on March 11, 2012, 14:05
mine seems to have rotted from the inside out  :(

I have been changing the water regularly (most days) and all seemed to be going ok, there were 3 small 'eyes' on them and a few roots but I noticed today that the lower half, that's in the water, has gone soggy and it smells a bit.  It's quite rotten on the inside and this has just started to come to the surface. 

One of the eyes has gone black but the other 2 still seem healthy (for now), they are still very small - only 1-2mm, if I cut the eyes out and plant them does anyone know if they'll grow??  don't want to just bin them if there's a chance, it's taken ages to get them this far...  :unsure:
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: fiano60 on March 11, 2012, 14:48
not sure i have mine right way up time will tell bought organic
ones as i thought they wouldnt have growth inhibitors on or maybe
to impatient might go and get another see if i can get it to sprout  :unsure:
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on March 11, 2012, 15:04
veggirl, yes, do carefully twist off the growth at the two remaining eyes, right against the potato surface, and plant each into a pot of moist potting mix.  Press the buds only enough so they stay upright in the pot, not buried in it.

Keep in a bright but not directly sunny area and watch that the soil stays uniformly moist, not soggy. Very soon they should put out their own roots. Once they're rooted, they can start to move into a sunnier area.  When they reach about 6" tall, pinch off the growing tip so they'll bush out more.

Sometimes interior rotting happens, nothing you can do about it.

Fiano, if you're worried about it, definitely try another potato asap. Not sure why some sprout so quickly and others drag their feet. Sometimes it's sprouting inhibitors, sometimes it's not.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: VegGirl7 on March 11, 2012, 15:13
excellent news thanks Trillium!

I'll give it a go and fingers crossed I can save them - going to set another potato going as plan b (knew I should have done more than 1 to start with)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: jjlittle on March 12, 2012, 20:18
would starting a sweet potato off now be too late?
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Auntiemogs on March 12, 2012, 20:24
Still nothing from mine, I'm afraid.  Obviously threats were not enough for Norbert and I couldn't bare to eat him after all this time (and general chit-chat) so he has been consigned to the compost heap...rip Norbert.  :( ::) :lol:
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on March 13, 2012, 00:53
I had to wait almost 3 months with my last potato before it put out sprouts, so I suspect you gave Norbert a premature burial, Auntimogs.

Jj - you could try sprouting one now but I wouldn't guarantee it would be ready for planting time. Jay managed to get fast sprouts last year from the potato he used, so you never know until you try.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: jjlittle on March 13, 2012, 23:04
ill look out for one that is being chucked out at work.... nothing lost then :)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: plot53b on March 18, 2012, 11:29
As I was changing the water on mine, I noticed a shoot on one of them - but at the bottom :wub:, so as suspected I had two of mine upside down! I was surprised it had shooted under water though. I have turned them over, they still seem ok, so hopefully I might get something now. :)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on March 18, 2012, 15:02
It's really hard to tell the bottom from the top on sweet potatoes, but they'll sort themselves out now.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: troy on March 18, 2012, 17:04
Do you need to change the water that they are in whilst waiting for them to shoot, i've no sign of any thing happening and it's 5 weeks!!! am i being inpatient.
Never grown these before , very excited when i saw  this topic.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.  :)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: plot53b on March 18, 2012, 19:02
I change my water about once every week. When I first started, there was some surface mould forming, but since I have changed the water, things have been ok. I use tepid water, rather than straight from the cold tap.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Plot 6B on March 18, 2012, 20:39
As I was changing the water on mine, I noticed a shoot on one of them - but at the bottom :wub:, so as suspected I had two of mine upside down! I was surprised it had shooted under water though. I have turned them over, they still seem ok, so hopefully I might get something now. :)

Two of mine did that too, I have planted them on and the six that I have done seem well as yet.
Fingers and Toes crossed!
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on March 19, 2012, 16:42
Troy, keep the potato and water in a sunny window, and as said, do change the water often to avoid mold problems. Some potatoes are just real slowpokes.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Sue33 on March 21, 2012, 09:18

well, only 1 out of the 3 i tried has rooted, i think i must have had the other two upside down  ::)  but still no sign of the "slips"  lots of roots though....
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on March 21, 2012, 13:32
Lots of roots is a good sign; the slips/sprouts should start any time. Keep the jar in a sunny window and that should help.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: brianthomas on March 21, 2012, 21:45
thanks trillian , what are your thoughts on making a hot pit/trench full of rubbish.
 Idid this a few years ago with cellery , that will warm the soil and a closh polly tunnel on top ---suckcess? or the dreams of an aging gardener  bt

brianthomas I have got a root on each of my tubers but nothing else this is after six w

eeks they seam very slow hope I get them going before summer ? has gone
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on March 22, 2012, 02:01
Re the trench idea: yes, that should work. Sweet potatoes are quite tropical and the more heat they get, the happier they are.

If you've not got any top sprouts yet, it might be getting a bit late. There are some suppliers of 'slips', aka sprouts that will mail them to you in time for planting.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Lady Rosemary on March 25, 2012, 09:18
If you've not got any top sprouts yet, it might be getting a bit late. There are some suppliers of 'slips', aka sprouts that will mail them to you in time for planting.

I may have to resort to this as I started off with three potatoes and am down to one as the others went rotten.  >:(. The last one has taken almost three months to start any sprouts but they haven't moved one bit for weeks so looks like I'll be binning that too. Oh well, guess I'll have to resort to getting some slips this year and save some of the potatoes at the end of the season for starting off next year! :-)

Mandy
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Emmie on April 01, 2012, 14:58
Started my sweet potato off mid december and sprouts have been developing nicely however I have only now started to notice roots growing from the base. Sprouts are about an inch in size now so Im keeping fingers crossed that they wil be ready to remove shortly.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on April 01, 2012, 15:52
You don't actually need the bottom white roots as long as you have the top sprouts.

For those who have sprouts, in a few more weeks it will be time to twist them off and pot them up.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: strawberryshortcake on April 02, 2012, 11:20
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/290693014236?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: brianthomas on April 09, 2012, 22:05
hi I now have 4 purple sprouts on 1 tuba loads of roots on the other
the 2nd tuba is tuning the water green with lots of bubles I keep changing the water and cleen the slime off.
 there does not seem to be any eyes on the top but from the water line down plenty of roots ? anybody any ancers b.t
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on April 10, 2012, 14:51
Not sure why your tuber is greening so much despite changing. Could possibly be your water itself.  Can you try a different water source, perhaps bottled water and see if that helps at all? First rinse off the tuber well and gently finger rub off as much slime as possible before putting into a different container with the water. Keep the tuber near a sunny window and see what happens. The roots indicate there'll be top shoots very soon.

You don't always need the white bottom roots to get top shoots.  When the shoots you have reach about 2" or more, you can carefully twist them off at the base and pot them into dampened compost. Don't bury the shoot, just nudge the base into the compost so it will sit in place, and place in a sunny, draft-free window. The shoots themselves will now start to root and those roots will become the actual sweet potatoes you'll eat later.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: brianthomas on April 16, 2012, 19:55
Hi i have 2 rain butts at the bottom of the garden will use that water and see if makes
 a differance thanks bt
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Lady Rosemary on April 18, 2012, 11:22
Just a very quick question (with a very simple answer I hope)!  When would I plant sweet potato plants in my polytunnel - going straight into the ground, not bags or such.

Many thanks in advance for your replies. :-)

Mandy
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: JayG on April 18, 2012, 11:47
I think the "10C minimum" rule applies here, and I suspect ideally a good deal warmer than that - my sweet potato triffid will continue to live on the kitchen windowsill (threatening to strangle me every time I do the washing up!) until at least this current cold, wet spell is over.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Lady Rosemary on April 18, 2012, 12:12
I think the "10C minimum" rule applies here, and I suspect ideally a good deal warmer than that - my sweet potato triffid will continue to live on the kitchen windowsill (threatening to strangle me every time I do the washing up!) until at least this current cold, wet spell is over.
Thanks JayG!  I currently have some 1st earlies growing in the space in the tunnel that I want to put sweet potato plants in when they're harvested so hope they'll be out in time.  I planted those about three weeks ago. :-)

Mandy
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on April 18, 2012, 15:17
If you remember the key timing: 4 months for growth in the hottest weather, then you can calculate when to plant them.

For others wondering when, a good idea is to warm the intended planting area by placing black plastic over the area for a few days to heat up the soil. Plant the sweet potatoes, and immediately cloche the plant until it either outgrows the cloche or the weather is hot enough to remove the cloche. Mind, the planting still needs to be done in late May rather than now.

For those with good sprouts, now is the time to carefully twist off the sprout from the main potato (don't need to remove any potato with it) and either plant the sprout in some damp compost in a pot for each, or put the sprouts in a clean jar of water for a week or two and then pot in compost.

I know it seems very odd, but this is how it's done.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Lady Rosemary on April 19, 2012, 12:20
If you remember the key timing: 4 months for growth in the hottest weather, then you can calculate when to plant them.

For others wondering when, a good idea is to warm the intended planting area by placing black plastic over the area for a few days to heat up the soil. Plant the sweet potatoes, and immediately cloche the plant until it either outgrows the cloche or the weather is hot enough to remove the cloche. Mind, the planting still needs to be done in late May rather than now.

For those with good sprouts, now is the time to carefully twist off the sprout from the main potato (don't need to remove any potato with it) and either plant the sprout in some damp compost in a pot for each, or put the sprouts in a clean jar of water for a week or two and then pot in compost.

I know it seems very odd, but this is how it's done.

Thanks Trillium! :-)
I plan on buying the plants (not slips) in from a reputable source (yet to find) and plant immediately as soon as the plants arrive.  I will take on board the advice on putting a cloch over the plants to maintain heat, and let you know how I get on (with pictures hopefully)! :-)

All the best.

Mandy
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: jonewer on April 21, 2012, 15:36
Finally have some sprouts going!

It took a long old time, but I think this is because I place the tuber in the coldest room in the house - the utility room.

Next year I'll put it in an upstairs bedroom.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Plot 6B on April 25, 2012, 17:36
Just an update really;
I have now potted on Twelve plants using this method having lost only four :)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: brianthomas on April 27, 2012, 19:51
hi everyboddy, just an update the cleaned rainwater seems to have worked.
 no more bubbles or slime and plenty of roots hope to get some shoots soon
  as time marching on , not been able to work the patch last 10 days every thing is refusing to grow except the rhubarb lovely with yogurt.  bt
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: brianthomas on May 04, 2012, 21:15
failed! yesterday when I was changing the water on my sweet/pots the roots fell into the sink,the bottom of the tuber was rotten.
the other one is still ok plenty of roots but no top growth yet .I started with two tubers one large one medium its the large one thats rotted anyone any ideas as i think this year is no no.  BT
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on May 05, 2012, 15:08
It's really hard to say why one potato rotted while the other didn't. My guess would be how it was grown and how much fertilizer it had versus manure. Fertilizers tend to make softer growth in my opinion and the large one might have had that problem.

If you have no sprouts yet on the other one, then sadly you won't get a crop this year. However, keep water on it and it will keep growing into next year and you'll be ready then.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: LorraineWB on May 08, 2012, 13:15
I have just taken delivery of some plug plants which have now been potted and are bathing in the warmth of my greenhouse ready for when the time is right for planting out.  I have read all the comments and advice with interest as this is the first time I've tried growing sweet potatoes.  Fingers crossed and wish me luck!!!!
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Thephoenix572 on May 11, 2012, 20:59
My Ebay potato plants have arrived today also and are now in pots in the bedroom window ready for the end of the month to be planted in the greenhouse
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: brianthomas on June 01, 2012, 21:24
news at last? the tuber that was rotten has produced new roots above the rotten bit.
   I havethree purple sprouts growiing,they look like young beetroot leaves.
   Q,can I keep these going and pot on over winter or just take them off and await new growth.many thanks bt
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Plot 6B on June 03, 2012, 09:19
I now have eight plants which I will start to harden off soon.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on June 03, 2012, 15:07
brian - you're best to try to grow those shoots this year as they will be hard to overwinter in UK weather, even indoors. The main potato tuber, in good shape, will easily overwinter indoors but not pulled shoots.

Good work, Nige. When you plant them out, cover them with a bottle cloche or something to retain as much heat as possible.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Plot 6B on June 03, 2012, 17:48
Thanks for the tip Trillium ;)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Thephoenix572 on June 06, 2012, 20:46
I planted mine sweet potato plant in the greenhouse today
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: troy on June 09, 2012, 21:05
Hi Trillium, after seeing your post i started my sweet potatoes (18.2.12) and waited very patiently for some signs of shoots which much to my delight  2 of them have started to sprout, this week  so my question is
1,Do i trim the roots that are in the water?
2. How do i keep them going since there is no way they will get 4 months of warm weather this year
3. At what point do i put  them in potting compost , so that they are plants for next year?, and will the plants need to be kept in a warm place.
Many thanks for your help  this is new to me and i dont know any one who grows them, i am told it's easier to buy from the super market  but i'm very keen for this to work, it's good to have a challenge :)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on June 09, 2012, 22:30
The top shoots are hard to keep over winter but you can try. When they get about 5" tall, pinch out the growing tip and always keep the water topped up and it should last until next spring.

Never trim out the bottom white shoots in the water.

The top shoots can be gently twisted off at the potato surface and immediately potted up in moist potting mix. Some folk prefer to put the shoots into a smaller glass of water and that works too, but don't forget about it. When it has a few shoots it must then get potted up. I'm lazy and just pot it up in the first place.

And yes, sweet potatoes are tropical plants and need all the sun you have plus warmth and no drafts.

When planting out in the UK, I'd recommend a greenhouse, coldframe or large cloche to keep warmth in. They're a mounding type plant sort of like regular potatoes. All the individual white roots on the sprout are your future sweet potatoes. They'll first grow into longer finger-like shapes, then start to fill out. One fellow I know grows them in row cloches all summer long to give them the heat they need.

The trick after growing them is to 'season' them for storage and the conditions are very specific and hard to come by, so I mostly bottle mine for winter, or they can be dehydrated in slices. 
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Countryman_uk on June 25, 2012, 12:25

Have 12 buckets in the polytunnel with sweet potato's in , first time i have given them ago , so hopefully should get a few in sept
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Sean. on July 10, 2012, 09:46
I'm looking forward to mine. They've been in since mid-may. I have them growing outside in a black plastic, er....mound of compost filled earth. Always a worry at first, when the stalks wilt.

I have never grown my own sprouts to plant though. I think I'll try that next time. What do you do to grow the sprouts ?
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: JayG on July 10, 2012, 10:01
I have never grown my own sprouts to plant though. I think I'll try that next time. What do you do to grow the sprouts ?

You brew a nice cup of tea, make yourself comfortable, then start reading this thread from the first page!  ;)


If that's not enough info, there was a similar thread run last year too:

http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=69949.0
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Sean. on July 10, 2012, 10:43
Kettle's on :)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: brianthomas on July 16, 2012, 22:23
hello not been on for a while heres an update ? have totaly given  up the patch for now
if youve been watching the news about east yorks goole has flooded again due to youkshire waters pumps breaking down again.
17 of the 21 plots at our patch under 2ft water still very bad after 2wks spuds ruined
brasicas turning yellow onions rotten, all that hard work winter digging mucking to retain moister??? well I can only hope and pray fore a better august given up on sweet pots will start again in jan 2013 hope yours are a suckcess bt.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on July 20, 2012, 22:52
It's really hot here, averaging 33C each day and the sweet potatoes are loving it. However, it's dry as a stick here so despite the heat they're struggling a bit without occasional water.

Sadly, a lot of UKrs are also struggling with their new rice paddies and there's nothing to be done except plan for next year and fingers and toes crossed that it will be drier.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: khelashi on August 21, 2012, 10:18
I'm curious - did anyone have a harvest of sweet potatoes yet?
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: mumofstig on August 21, 2012, 14:40
It's not time to harvest them yet  ;)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: symonep on August 23, 2012, 21:57
When can you harvest them?
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on August 24, 2012, 13:38
Harvest time would be late Sept to early October depending on your weather and the plant's growth. At that time you can furtle a bit to see how things are developing. Young potatoes will resemble long skinny fingers until they fill out, which hopefully has happened by then.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Annen on September 26, 2012, 23:48
I've got 3 bags out in the greenhouse.  Loads of top growth not showing any signs of dying back yet.  Is it too soon to have a quick furtle?
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: bazial on October 03, 2012, 08:43
Emptied my 2ftx2ft tub of sweet potatoes yesterday ,leaves were turning yellow ,the crop was very good indeed ,14 potatoes 6 to 8ins long x1 1/2 ins dia and one 6ins long x3ins dia .
Had some roasted for our supper last night and very nice they were indeed.
That tub was in the greenhous ,I have two more up the allotment under clotches that are planted in the ground they  still have good fresh leaves so I shall leave them to get bigger ,(I hope)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: sunshineband on October 03, 2012, 19:06
Good news bazial

Hope the rest are as good  :D

Did you buy in slips or plants?
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Annen on October 03, 2012, 20:10
My instructions say to cure the potatoes for a week in a warm place.  Does anybody do this? or is it one of those things you are supposed to do but mostly don't?
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: bazial on October 05, 2012, 07:57
Good news bazial

Hope the rest are as good  :D

Did you buy in slips or plants?

I bought them as plants in 4ins pots fron Dobies
Good news bazial

Hope the rest are as good  :D

Did you buy in slips or plants?
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on October 06, 2012, 14:18
My instructions say to cure the potatoes for a week in a warm place.  Does anybody do this? or is it one of those things you are supposed to do but mostly don't?

You really should try to do it so the skins toughen up for storage, otherwise you'll find they're spoiling fast.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Annen on October 06, 2012, 19:14

You really should try to do it so the skins toughen up for storage, otherwise you'll find they're spoiling fast.
[/quote]
Okay I'll do it, thanks. Not that they have died back yet, but presumably the colder nights will bring that on.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Annen on October 18, 2012, 14:49
My sweet potatoes, far from dying back are still putting on new leaves.  They are in the corner of my greenhouse and growing out into every nook and cranny.  I would like to take them out now, is it too soon? Will I spoil the crop?
 I haven't had a furtle to see if I have any yet.  The year I've had in the garden, I wouldn't be surprised if there were none!
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on October 18, 2012, 14:56
They do take a long time to fatten tubers so it's worth a careful furtle to see what you have. If they're a size you're content with, then dig them up and dry them.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Annen on October 20, 2012, 14:33
They do take a long time to fatten tubers so it's worth a careful furtle to see what you have. If they're a size you're content with, then dig them up and dry them.
Well, I had a careful furtle and didn't find anything! So I rummaged around a bit more and came up with these.
Presumably they need a bit longer  :( Too late to put them back, I think.  Still that was just one bag, I have two more unrummaged. :blush:
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on October 20, 2012, 14:34
Yes, they definitely need longer and warmth if you have somewhere for the other pots.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Annen on October 20, 2012, 14:39
Yes, they definitely need longer and warmth if you have somewhere for the other pots.
No I don't have anywhere warmer to keep them, they are too messy for the house.  The best I can do is maybe lift them off the cold floor and insulate them a bit.  But it is only going to get colder now.  Not looking encouraging.  Oh well, it'll just complete a bum year in the garden. :(
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: sunshineband on October 21, 2012, 20:14
Good news bazial

Hope the rest are as good  :D

Did you buy in slips or plants?

I bought them as plants in 4ins pots fron Dobies
Good news bazial

Hope the rest are as good  :D

Did you buy in slips or plants?

So getting them off to a quick start seems crucial - buying them in already growing well has helped loads.

Glad you had a decent crop bazial  :D
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Annen on October 22, 2012, 14:51
Yes, they definitely need longer and warmth if you have somewhere for the other pots.
I've lifted the bags of sweet potatoes off the cold concrete up onto the bench, given them a foam camping mat to sit on, tucked them up with bubble wrap and short of giving them a dummy I can't think of anything else to keep them comfy. :)
I had to lose a few snaky stalks as they had wound them selves around all the uprights and into every corner, but I hope there are enough left to keep the plants going.
They are just going to have to tough it out now. There's no way I can heat the greenhouse, it would just be like trying to heat the back garden. :(
Thanks for the advice trillium.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on October 23, 2012, 21:38
That should help a lot and the remaining leaves look good.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: sunshineband on October 24, 2012, 18:42
OK

You've convinced me -- I'll give 'em a go next year  ::)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: rowan57 on October 27, 2012, 09:00
I used to grow the most awesome Sweet Potatoes when I lived in Kenya! The bed middle left:


(http://i243.photobucket.com/albums/ff221/Aunt__Sally/sweetpots.jpg)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Eblana on October 27, 2012, 12:47
I am just looking through this thread and was thinking that I would love to try these next year.  When is the best time to start the tubers into growth in the water to get the little buds for planting on?
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on October 27, 2012, 15:26
The sweet potato plants 'slips' can take a long time to appear so I suggest you find a nice sweet potato and get it started around December/January, no later. Some people are lucky and the slips begin to sprout immediately, others find it takes a few months for something to show up.  Once they do show up and they're at least 3" tall, you carefully twist them off the tuber and pot them up so they start their own roots which become your tuber harvest. I'd even recommend you get 2 or 3 potatoes started in case 2 are real slowpokes. The cost is minimal and the results will be more positive.

If the potted slips show up early, then all the better because a rotted plant needs at least 4 months of WARM weather. In the UK, you could add an extra month or two for growing time.

You can also figure out how to shelter your growing plant in summer with some sort of closed coldframe to retain heat, a mini greenhouse/cloche, etc. They also don't like drowning so you have time to figure where your best growing spot for them is.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on October 27, 2012, 15:28
I used to grow the most awesome Sweet Potatoes when I lived in Kenya! The bed middle left:

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3568/3463470486_b247dc175c.jpg)

 :D Bet you wish for some of that warm weather in the UK. Gorgeous sweet potatoes.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: symonep on October 28, 2012, 14:31
This was our first year of trying and really didnt have much luck. the slips we ordered didnt arrive until mid june.
They plants grew well but the potatoes only grew to the thickness of a finger if that.

May give them another go next year
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Eblana on October 28, 2012, 21:22
The sweet potato plants 'slips' can take a long time to appear so I suggest you find a nice sweet potato and get it started around December/January, no later. Some people are lucky and the slips begin to sprout immediately, others find it takes a few months for something to show up.  Once they do show up and they're at least 3" tall, you carefully twist them off the tuber and pot them up so they start their own roots which become your tuber harvest. I'd even recommend you get 2 or 3 potatoes started in case 2 are real slowpokes. The cost is minimal and the results will be more positive.

If the potted slips show up early, then all the better because a rotted plant needs at least 4 months of WARM weather. In the UK, you could add an extra month or two for growing time.

You can also figure out how to shelter your growing plant in summer with some sort of closed coldframe to retain heat, a mini greenhouse/cloche, etc. They also don't like drowning so you have time to figure where your best growing spot for them is.

Thanks Trillium - I have used this method of propagation for Dahlias in the past.  I will start them going in the next month or so and I will keep them in the Polytunnel next year.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: bigfatwallet on October 30, 2012, 12:10
Interesting read and learnt a few things so thanks.

Not a big fan myself but the wife loves them. Might have to give them a go if I have enough room on the lotty.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: sunshineband on November 07, 2012, 07:27
Love the photo from Kenya, Trillium  :D

Thank you
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on November 07, 2012, 14:57
The photo is actually from rowan57, Sunny  ;)
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: sunshineband on November 07, 2012, 19:15
The photo is actually from rowan57, Sunny  ;)

Daft me, or what  :wacko:

Sorry, rowan57  :)

I did think it odd as you'd never before mentioned a sojourn in Kenya, Trillium  :lol:

No excuses, except not properly awake at the time I guess  :blink:

Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Annen on November 12, 2012, 18:20
The best I can do is maybe lift them off the cold floor and insulate them a bit.  But it is only going to get colder now.  Not looking encouraging.  Oh well, it'll just complete a bum year in the garden. :(
The top growth has well and truly died back now, so I chanced another look and one of the remaining bags, but no, as I thought, there are no roots bigger than my little finger and most smaller.  It just hasn't been warm enough, poor things.
In a warmer year they might have made it but not this year.
Don't think I'll bother next year.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on November 15, 2012, 01:40
For those interested in trying sweet potatoes here are a couple of videos on it:

 LINK (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow3C5UbxnFs&feature=relmfu)


2nd LINK (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtsC7SglFxs)

UK weather might be a bit cool and wet for sweet potatoes so cold frames or greenhouses are highly recommended.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: rowan57 on November 15, 2012, 18:13
The photo is actually from rowan57, Sunny  ;)

Daft me, or what  :wacko:

Sorry, rowan57  :)

I did think it odd as you'd never before mentioned a sojourn in Kenya, Trillium  :lol:

No excuses, except not properly awake at the time I guess  :blink:



No problem  :D I have sojourned in Kenya a number of times, in fact I was just there for a week with work, what a beautiful country.
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: bazial on November 18, 2012, 21:10
Dug up the last Sweet Potato up today from the allotment ,as you can see they look very good, and they tasted very good to .the biggest was 7ins x 4ins
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Annen on November 19, 2012, 10:04
Dug up the last Sweet Potato up today from the allotment ,as you can see they look very good, and they tasted very good to .the biggest was 7ins x 4ins
I'm quite envious! :wub:
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: Trillium on November 19, 2012, 20:32
Very nice haul. How did you keep them warm during growing time?
Title: Re: Sweet Potato Time 2012
Post by: bazial on November 20, 2012, 09:09
I kept they under a cloche on the allotment ,which is 206 meters above sea level,on a slope facing south east .