Tuesday, February 17, 2015


After our semi-successful sweet potato project last year, we decided to do it again.  It takes a while for them to start rooting and then develop the slips that you pluck off and plant, but we figured we might as well start now.

Organic Sweet Potatoes
Be sure you ALWAYS start with organic sweet potatoes.  This goes for any potato or plant that you are trying to start/root from store bought.  The reason is that regular produce (non-organic) is often treated with with a chemical that inhibits sprouting, for obvious reasons.  Organic will of course be chemical free.  

We just slice them in half...

Sweet Potatoes in a Glass of Water
...and then do the time honored "three toothpicks and a glass of water" method.  Last year we tried another method but we found that even though this is perhaps a bit more work, they seemed to sprout faster this way.  

Rooting Sweet Potatoes in Water
I just lined them up on top of the fridge where they can get natural light and we can see when the water needs to be added/changed.  2nd Man looks up on top and sighs...I'm cluttering up the top of the fridge...but he knows the end result is worth a few weeks of rooting sweet potatoes in this way!

Time to get the gardening started, somehow!


  1. I can't remember, did you get any sweet potatoes from your slips? I tried them this year too but started my slips too late. I don't think I will get any sweet potatoes out of them as a result. I tried the same two methods with a slight difference, I put soil in the tray. I only half covered the sweet potatoes. I found this faster than the toothpick method. I was also told by a horticulturalist friend that bacteria can form in the holes made by the toothpicks. Seeing as you have just started your experiment perhaps a third tray might be worth experimenting with. Sorry 2nd man!

  2. I've started some of my slips already (some varieties take longer than others to break dormancy), but I always use whole sweet potatoes. I've never seen anyone cut them in half to root them before. Learn something new everyday.

  3. I have done this before but I have never cut my potatoes in half. I had bought the smallest sweet potatoes I could find (ones that would fit into a glass and went from there by inserting toothpicks so that they rest on the glass rim but the bottom of the potato not touching the bottom of the glass; adding water when needed.
    This process I believe will also work using russet potatoes.

    Found a link that may help some of you who would like to try this....................

    Also found this link as well.

  4. Yep, my fingers are itching to get into that Spring garden dirt, too.

  5. Will you be growing these in containers/raised beds, or in a more traditional garden?

  6. They look like my favourite type - the orange fleshed Jewel. You can also grow sweet potatoes from the "roots" they send out - just nip 'em off and place in soil.

  7. 1st Man,

    I haven't started my sweet potatoes in water. I just wait for the little eyes to start growing then cut the potatoes up. I may have to start them in water this year.

  8. When I was a kid we had one of those old piano with the tall back. Mother let us would start a sweet potato plant in a quart mason jar. We used one that would go about half into the jar. Left it whole and no toothpicks. I remember once we had one that had runners about 5 or 6 feet long. We placed it the middle of the piano and the runners would run across the top and down the sides. Long time ago but I have never forgotten.


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