Friday, April 19, 2013
Internet, blogs, gardening articles, youtube videos - you name it - each and every one of those sources mentioned that when I hang a sweet potato in water, it will take a maximum of five to six weeks to shoot out slips. Well, here is mine. Guess how may weeks it took?
It took about four month (about 16 or more weeks)!! Those who can make them sprout in 5 weeks must be master gardener (even if they don't know). But, in the process I learned two important things. First, keep on changing the water at least once a week; the potato gets all the nutrients, it requires, from the water. If water is not changed on regular basis, the potato will not have any more nutrients to absorb from the water. Secondly, put the potato in a semi-dark room (a north-facing room which has all the curtains closed all the time throughout the day) so that the room is airy but with very muted (light) lights. If you put your sweet potato under a grow light, it is never going to sprout; you can take my words on it as my sweet potato did nothing for the first 5-6 weeks when it was under grow light. One of you (either Organic Garden Dreamsor HolleyGarden) told me to put it away in a darker place. I did so and voila within couple of weeks it first shoot out a long root. Now all these.
Pretty soon I will be planting it out. But now I am in a dilemma - plant it in container or in garden. Many you-tube videos show how sweet potatoes can be grown in containers. But, then I have come across an article which says that sweet potato needs to be planted in soil and its vines should be allowed to lie along the soil; apparently, the vines latches on to the soil by sending out roots; and wherever it does that it produces sweet potatoes. If that's the case and I have 13 sweet potatoes (I ordered 12 more from Burpee!!) to grow, then I think I can supply all of you with sweet potatoes assuming I am successful :-) as one potato produces huge number of potatoes. If cured properly, sweet potatoes can be stored (at around 50 degree Fahrenheit) for at least a year. Wow! in that case sweet potato can indeed become a staple diet during winter months when not many vegetables grow.
Anyone has any experience growing sweet potato? Please let me know about your experience.