Sweet sweet potatoes!

June 28, 2011 in Gardening

Shane started planting our sweet potatoes last week, and I am told they will be ready to pick in October or November. I love that we are going to be able to have fresh veggies year round with just a little planning!

So lets see what’s going on here….


Hola healthy food enthuiasts and blog stalkers, Shane here with the details on my “totally experimental” sweet potato growing techniques.

After hours of internet searching and a long phone conversation with my best hunting buddy and fellow Okie Jared, I have discovered there are many “perfect” ways to start and grow sweet potatoes from slips.

The shear volume of growing tips and techniques on the internet suggest that there are millions of experts on the subject…

Or it’s so easy even an idiot can’t screw it up.  Guess we’ll just have to see about that!


I started by purchasing organic sweet potatoes from For the Health of It.

I learned that conventional potatoes are sometimes sprayed with a chemical that prevents the future growth of shoots or “slips”.

Yum… deadly chemicals.

So start with organic!


Insert toothpicks in the center of the SP and place them “pointed side down” (internet tip), in  a clear glass of water.  Place them in the window sill and and change the water regularly so it dosen’t get cloudy and stinky.


Within a couple of weeks I had “slips” with roots popping out of most of my starter potatoes.  Pretty cool huh?!

When they get to be about this big just pinch the “slip” off and it’s ready to plant.

I I have to admit that I am totally guessing on the size.

Jared said the non-organic “slips” that he bought were about 18 inches.

I read somewhere that 6 inches or so was a good size to start.

Pray about it, channel your inner farmer, or just go for it.

I’m sure you will come up with your own perfect starter size.

Time to get dirty!

Potatoes should be planted in mounds.  This everyone seems to agree on.  (mounds of what is a broader subject it seems)

I turned up an entire row in the garden, 33 feet, and added some organic cow manure.  I planted my new “slip” in the top of the mounded up row and will continue to space them about 2 feet apart until the row is full.  I burried them deep.  About half way up the slip (per everyones specs), and plan to water them heavily for the first week to make sure they get off to a good start.

I have already planted 6, and should have another 6 or so ready to go by the weekend.  They appear to be healthy and enjoying their new home.

I have placed organic straw between the rows in my garden.  I am hoping this will help control weeds, hold moisture, and keep things a bit cooler during this hot weather.  Marla will keep you posted on their progress.


I found out tonight that you can eat the leaves of the sweet potatoes also!

They are supposed to be delicious and very nutritious!  Yep, you guessed it… internet.


7 Responses to “Sweet sweet potatoes!”
  1. Ceri says:

    I’ve been planning to grow sweet pots – hope it’s not too late. sure wish I had your super awesome garden! My aluminum trash can will have to do:)

  2. Michelle says:

    Marla and Shane, Your garden is amazing!! And I love all of your yummy paleo recipes! You’ve inspired me to revisit Kat’s diet. We were gf/cf for years, but took a break. Think we might go paleo, scd for a bit now! Thanks!,

  3. shane says:

    Hey Ceri. Good news… It’s not too late! In fact, many of the commercial organic slip growers are just now sending out their slip orders. However, I could not find a grower that was still taking orders. Thats why I started my own slips. It really has been easy, and they look pretty cool in the kitchen windows.
    The growing season will last until at least the first frost. Plenty of time to produce a crop of SP’s as well as some great SP greens!

    Go for it!

  4. Danna says:

    oh how I wished I lived somewhere that was warm all year long, instead of here, where we have winter for what seems like 8 months of the year!

  5. awesome! can’t wait to see if they grow well!

  6. Irene says:

    I live on the Sunshine Coast Qld Australia. I have a lot of sweet potato slips still shooting profusely. Too late to plant out now, does anyone know a way to hold them over till after winter? Would wrapping them in damp paper keep the alive for several months?

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