Sweet potatoes are more popular now than ever before. Not only do they have a lot of vitamins and fiber, but they also have less sugar than regular white potatoes.
And as they’ve become more popular, people have become more interested in growing them in their own backyard gardens.
And why not? Besides being good for your health, sweet potatoes are easy to plant, grow, and pick. Even better, because they are roots, they can be stored and used well into winter.
Here’s how to grow your own sweet potatoes, including how to make sweet potato slips, which can be used as “seeds.”
1. How To Grow Sweet Potato Slips – And Sweet Potatoes!
The way you plant sweet potatoes is different from how you plant regular potatoes. Usually, potatoes grow from “seed” taken from an already-grown potato.
The seeds of regular potatoes are actually a part of the tuber that has at least one “eye” or bud. When the eye is put in the ground, it grows stems and leaves.
But you can’t grow sweet potatoes from an eye or bud. You use the roots that grow from a sweet potato instead of any part of the potato.
These roots, called slips, are easy to grow from a sweet potato that is already growing. In fact, it’s so easy that you can do it all on the windowsill in your kitchen or dining room.
Learn how to grow your own slips
Slips can be grown from an existing sweet potato in a number of tried and true ways. But for us, nothing is easier than the old trick with a toothpick, water, and a Mason jar.
First, start with a good organic sweet potato that is healthy. Why organic? Since sweet potatoes that aren’t organic are often treated with chemicals that stop them from sprouting.
You can leave the sweet potato whole, but we use bigger sweet potatoes and cut them in half to make two separate slip growing jars. We’ve tried both ways, but we always find that cutting the ends helps the sprouts grow faster.
Next, stick a few toothpicks into the sweet potato just below the halfway point near the bottom. Set the toothpicks up in a line around the potato’s edge.
Finish by filling a mason jar with tap water (water that hasn’t been treated), then placing the sweet potato in the jar on toothpicks. Make sure that a little more than half of the potato is out of the water for the best results.
Now, put your jar in a warm, sunny window and wait for the magic to happen!