Sweet potato slips

How to grow your own sweet potato slips.

I am experimenting with growing sweet potatoes this year and I put a photo of them in my gallery:


I bought the slips from Van Meuwen – a bit expensive at £12.99 for 6 Sweet Potato ‘Carolina Ruby’. Beanstew mentioned growing your own slips and in fact I have been doing this since March in my unheated greenhouse. Those of you with heat might get earlier slips so that you’ll have the longest possible growing season. This is what I did.
1. Take one sweet potato. Choose one with an obvious ‘pointy’ end as this is the end that goes in the water:


2. Put in a jar with water covering the pointy bit and be very very patient. Eventually you will get little shoots which are the slips.  You can also see the roots:

3. I still have the jar of slips in the g/h. I would have followed this site to plant them up but maybe next year:

I’m not that confident of getting any sweet potatoes this year but I’ll have to wait and see!


8 Responses

  1. Beanstew says:

    Thanks for putting this on Jane, as I would like to try my hand at these. I actually use quite a lot of sweet potatoes in cooking, and I like them because they keep in my larder without deterioration for such a while. I had heard that buying slips was expensive – so if I can produce them myself, they become a better proposition. Think I would tend to sit them in their jar in my heated propagator when I start my earliest seeds off to try and get them ready for planting sooner – although they couldn’t go into open ground until after the last frost. How do the size of the slips you bought commercially, compare with the size of these? And were the bought slips rooted into pots when you bought them?
    Up here I’d have to grow them through black polythene with seeper hose to raise the soil temperature, but I saw Chris Beardshaw using another trick tonight with melons, which he was planting through black polythene – but also surrounding the immediate plant with a square of white polythene to reflect light/heat back onto the underside of the plant.

  2. NorthernTeacher says:

    The biggest slip in the jar is as big as what was sent to me. The bought ones had been rooted in coir plugs and needed watering when they arrived. Once they started appearing in the jar, they got on with it!
    I like that idea of reflecting light underneath.
    I remember CradleyMike grows them – http://gardenclickers.co.uk/2013/10/06/sweet-potato/ and it might be a good idea to message him for tips. Not sure where he is to compare weather etc.
    I read a site last year that said you didn’t need to root the slips after taking them off – just plant them. I’ll try and find it again.
    I use lots of sweet pots myself and it would be fab to have even small ones :yes:

  3. Allan says:

    Hi,Jane, Mickyp put an article on a while back on growing them,Photos as well ,I didn’t realise they were a vine until I saw it, Al, :yes:

  4. gertie says:

    This looks very interesting Jane…love sweet potatoes and may well do this as a first new thing when I get a GH up and running.Thank you :rose:

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