I’m hot, stinky sweet…

From my leaf to my…root. ¬†Ok, it needs a little work. ūüôā

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.

wpid-20150530_133148.jpg

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

wpid-20150530_140806.jpg

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. ūüôā

wpid-20150530_140040.jpg

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

wpid-20150530_140904.jpg

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.

wpid-20150530_141051.jpg

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.

wpid-20150530_185904.jpg

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.

wpid-20150530_133913.jpg

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.

wpid-20150530_190328.jpg

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!

Sweet Potato Slips Experiment Update

Doesn’t it always seem like once you completely start losing hope on something, it finally happens, like magic…

I honestly started questioning my judgement in conducting my sweet potato experiment and thought that my sweet potato chunks were going to soon start stanking up my kitchen and cause me to have a fruit fly problem.  This may certainly still happen, hehe, but NOW it will be worth it because I have slips to plant!

wpid-20150503_172948.jpg wpid-20150503_172156.jpg

I know, they look pretty funky (some may say gross), but I am totally pumped that the slips FINALLY starting popping out of the tops of the potatoes.  The roots formed first, probably within a week, and then as I suspected the slips started slowly growing out of the bumps on top of the potatoes.  The Jewel sweet potato has slips growing on both halves, but one half is certainly growing more vigorously than the other.  It is interesting because one half of my Japanese sweet potato (the longer slender one) is not really growing any roots or slips.  I think I may have read that cutting it a certain way may produce better results.  I think more research needs to be done on my part.  Oh well, you live and you learn.

wpid-20150503_172147.jpg

Below I tried to take a close up picture of the roots because they definitely look like some sort of nasty centipede…

wpid-20150503_172300.jpg

I am going to continue filling their pool with an inch of water and let the slips grow a bit bigger (and let the weather get warmer outside) before I figure out how to transplant them.  I am hoping to plant them in whiskey barrel planters.

In honor of May the 4th tomorrow, I have a new model to posing with my sweet potatoes:

wpid-20150503_172140.jpg

What did the sweet potato say to Luke Skywalker?

“Luke, I yam your father.”