I’m hot, stinky sweet…

From my leaf to my…root.  Ok, it needs a little work. 🙂

One tip that I did not share in my sweet potato growing blogs thus far is that you should definitely change the water that your sweet potatoes are sitting in more than once a month.  I did not do so and the water was so stinky and nasty.  Despite almost needing a gas mask, I did finally take the next step to potential sweet potato growing success!

I evaluated the sweet potatoes to see if I could directly transplant them or if I would have to get the slips to grow roots first.  My Jewel potato had some impressive slips, but unfortunately none of them had roots growing outside of the potato.

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So with kitchen shears I cut the slips off where they met the potato.  Here is the potato post haircut.

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I then needed to find small vessels where the stems would be emerged in water and the leaves could balance on top.  I sometimes like to indulge in adult beverages while gardening, and while doing so I came to the conclusion that these shot glasses would be a perfect fit for my slips and not look weird sitting on my windowsill at all.  My neighbors must think I’m such a lush and/or weird-o. 🙂

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The slips balanced perfectly in the shot glasses!  And only after a day, little roots started growing out of the bottom of the stems.

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My Japanese sweet potato had slips that had roots that formed on the outside of the potato.  Domo arigato Mr. Japanese Sweet Potato!  I actually took Japanese in college as an elective, but don’t be impressed, that’s the only phrase I remember.

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I decided I would pluck those off and try to keep the roots intact as much as possible and directly sow them into my planter.

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I bought a whiskey barrel (inspired) planter at Home Depot.  It has cedar in the wood, so it should resist rotting and last a very long time.  I filled it with a mixture of organic raised bed soil and compost.

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It will probably be a permanent piece of my back porch decor because after filling it with dirt it probably weighs more than me.  Here are the Japanese slips planted in the barrel.

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Since they are so small, I’m not sure if they are going to make it, but I thought it would be worth a shot to try and get a jump start on growing some taters.  I also don’t think they will appreciate the low temperature in the 40’s the next couple days here in Western PA.  I have not lost hope because Mr. Japanese Sweet Potato never ceases to amaze me.

BUT I’m thankful that I have shots (of jewel sweet potato slips) lined up!

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