Friday, June 27, 2014

Easy Way To Start and Grow Sweet Potatoes

 






For the past 3 years, we have grown sweet potatoes. It has been fun and easy..... and delicious. Another perk is that the leaves and vines are beautiful.




This was one of ours from the last couple of years.






 The first thing to do is to buy a sweet potato at the grocery store - an organic one is the best, but the one you see here came from the regular produce. I have found it best to choose a smaller one instead of a large one.

Cut it in half, or even smaller if you had to get a large one. Set it in water and keep it wet. They take a while to start sprouting, but once they do, they REALLY give lots of sprouts.

What fun that these grow so easily - I'm so glad that God made them this way!
 I leave it on the counter near the window so it gets some light. Mine never get any direct sunlight and I don't know if it would be a problem or not.... I just have them in a north facing window.

The one bowl has lots of new sprouts on the sweet potato, as you can see. The other bowl has the sprouts I have removed - they are in water to allow roots to grow.
 You can tell that they are a pretty plant, even just to grow for the greenery. :)

I enjoy plants and have some that are simply "pretty", but I especially love it when a plant can be both pretty and useful. I continue to be amazed by the variety of God's creation.
 The sweet potato itself will also develop roots. When I am ready to be done with the sprouting, I will also plant the sweet potato.


 Here are the roots growing in the  water.














When the sprouts get large enough, it is time to break them off and allow them to get roots. Sometimes they will develop roots while on the sweet potato also, but I have been pushing it to keep giving me more sprouts, so I am doing it
this way.

This one is big enough - time to remove it.







 This is the sprout I just removed from the sweet potato,
 Just put it into the bowl of water and leave it for several days or a week or two.... it will root.

Here it is in the bowl - to form roots.













 These are the other sprouts in the bowl. Most have already rooted, but I will leave them for a few more days until I am ready to plant them.... having extra time to develop more roots will give them a better chance to grow well when they get out into the bed.
 More waiting.... All they have to do is stay on the counter near the window. Check the water levels every few days and fill when necessary. You don't want them to dry out.
Here are the plants that are already growing in the bed. I planted these 2-3 weeks ago. These plants came off of the same sweet potato you have seen in the pictures above.

I will add the new plants, when they are ready, in between these and maybe in another bed.... IF I can find somewhere to put them. :) I have already shared that we have a city garden and are a bit limited on our space.



 The plants are growing nicely, but they would grow much better and faster if they had more sun.
 Another view.... when they start growing taller, they will look nice on a trellis.

 These are the 2 sweet potato beds from last year..... still not a lot of sun, but they grew. The top of the plant looks nice, but what is happening underground is a mystery until we dig in the soil to see.
 Here you can see some of the sweet potatoes in the ground.  Sometimes we have dug up a couple of the sweet potatoes and carefully removed them from the plant.... and then left the plants to keep growing.

Pretty amazing to see the swollen parts underground - that will taste so good!
 This is one of them - one of the average sized sweet potatoes.....

Two years ago, we had one sweet potato that was 14" long. One of our sons was pretty pleased with it.....and we all enjoyed eating it.... that one sweet potato was enough for all of us. :)

This is so good for the kids to see that food doesn't come from the grocery store, but that God provides what the plants need and they grow. He provides for us - whether we grow it ourselves, or we buy what someone else has grown. 
Here is part of our harvest from another year.

Two years ago, we had lots of sweet potatoes and they were quite large. Last year's crop was quite "twisty" and small.... they tasted good, but we liked the crop from the year before better.  What will this year's crop be like? We'll find out in several weeks/months.

If you haven't tried to grow sweet potatoes, it really is easy.... would be a great homeschool project even if you only end up with a houseplant to enjoy.  My family loves eating sweet potatoes and these had extra good flavor. The inside color was more intense than the outside color. Lots of good nutrition here.

One of our favorite ways to eat sweet potatoes is to just scrub them and bake them....like regular potatoes. When they are baked and tender, we cut them open and put butter and cinnamon on them. Yum. :) 

Thank you for visiting my blog..... I hope you will give this a try. Have a great week. :)

Shared on:



Art of Homemaking Monday
Modest Mom Monday
 Weekend Potluck












55 comments:

  1. I want to do this!
    Chris
    somuchathome.blogspot.com

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    1. I hope you do it.... it is quite rewarding- on more than one level. :) Thank you for visiting!

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  2. I just had to come over and visit with you.. I love sweet potatoes. I especially love the ornamental sweet potato vines.. I always use them in my pots.. I have grown the vine in the water but never taken the next steps to pull them and allow the leaf to root and then plant in the ground for sweet potatoes..Cool! I am so glad you are following along with me..I am following you too. Looking forward to many great visits.. Blessings!

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    1. So glad to have you visit! I have never grown the ornamental sweet potato vines, but I have seen them and noticed their beauty. These take it a step further..... enjoy the looks.... and the taste! :) Thank you for coming over.

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  3. I think a sweet potato vine is one of the prettiest ...they seem a little fragile ..at least out here in dry West Texas. Lots of water. I planted some in a window box once and had to water them every day...they are so pretty.

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    1. They do seem to take quite a bit of water, but I love the yield from the ones that aren't just ornamental. We have been dry, but y'all REALLY know what DRY is.... I hope you get some rain. :) Thank you for visiting.

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  4. What a fabulous way to propagate sweet potatoes in your own kitchen window! I love how pretty yours have turned out!! :)
    XoX, Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

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    1. Thank you.... so nice to have your visit and love your comment. :)

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  5. Wow! I have been so very inspired by this post - I am delighted I clicked on your link shared at Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth! We have always wanted to grow sweet potatoes and even have the wonderful blessing of plenty of space as we live on a farm, but we've just always been too scared:-). But now we are definitely going to try! Thank you for sharing! Blessings, Kellky-Anne

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    1. I am so glad! These really are worth doing... thank you for stopping by.... I hope your sweet potatoes will turn out great.......every year seems to be a bit different, but these are wonderful to grow. :)

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  6. Thank you for this information! I am going to try it.

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    1. Good! I hope it goes great for you! :) Thank you for visiting my blog.

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  7. What a fun post! I've never grown potatoes or sweet potatoes, but it looks easy to grow these. I'm pinning this!

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    1. It is easy.... glad you're pinning it.... hope it it helpful to you someday. :) Thank you for stopping by.

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  8. This is something we haven't grown yet! But, we did enjoy some sweet potato fries the other night. We are going to have to give this a go! Thanks for linking up with us :)

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    1. Sweet Potato fries are great... I guess I have forgotten about them for a while - time to make them again - thanks for the reminder.... and the link up. :)

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  9. Hi Gentle Joy! So nice to meet you and have you join us on Farmgirl Friday! I'm following you now, too! :) Happy beautiful homesteading, Deb

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    1. It is nice to meet you also..... I will enjoy seeing your future posts.... thanks for stopping by. :)

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  10. I have never tried doing this, but it sounds so easy and awesome! Your pictures and step-by-step directions are fantastic. I'd love to start this project soon with my younger children, and my 8-year old really loves plants so he'll be all over this project. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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    1. It is easy.... and fun... glad you want to try it.... and thank you for visiting. :)

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  11. We've grown sweet potatoes for years, but I've never lopped off the shoots before. We just plant the whole slip! It's one of the only things we can grow here in the hot summer. Enjoy your sweets!

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    1. That's a good idea, too..... I like getting so many slips from one potato, though... this year, I have probably gotten about 25 from one so far, and it is still producing them. :) Thank you for stopping by.

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  12. I bought a potato bag especially for growing a potato something. Couldn't get anything else to sprout, except a sweet potato slip. It's growing beautifully, though.

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  13. Thanks so much for this! Sweet potatoes are our favorite, but I have never grown them. We eat them in our breakfast scrambles and I make sweet potato fries at least once a week. I use olive oil and rosemary. Thanks, again!

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  14. Fantastic post!! I've grown my own sweet potatoes for decades but I always buy my slips - this is just wonderful - I'll be able to grow my own slips now!
    Thanks
    Angie
    PS - I also wanted to invite you to The Great Blog Train (blog hop) - we are travelling to Dallas Texas this month: http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/2014/07/the-great-blog-train-19-giveaway.html

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  15. My family loves sweet potatoes so I will have to try this. Thanks for the suggestion!

    http://faithalongtheway.com

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  16. This was great! I had no idea you could do this to get slips. Thanks for sharing at Green Thumb Thursday and we hope you'll link up this week! http://homesteadlady.com/green-thumb-thursday-71614/ Homestead Lady

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  17. Great idea and such clear photos. I like that.

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    1. Thank you... I wanted to give a good tutorial on how to do it. :) It is about time for me to start them again. :)

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  18. Thank you Joy for the inspiration to try and grow some sweet potatoes, we are in the dessert and not sure how well they will do, but I will try. They are so healthy for us in may ways.

    Thanks for sharing on the Oh My Heartsie Girls and the backlink as well.

    Wishing you a great week and have a Happy Easter!!!

    Karren
    xoxox

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    1. I don't know how they would do in the desert either, but if I were there, I would probably try them to see. :) I hope they work well for you. Thank you for visiting. :)

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  19. My Mom has done her sweet potatoes the same way you do since I was a child and now I have decided this year I am going to try some of my own instead of using all hers. Thanks for the great information. Pinned & twitted. Visiting from Wildcrafting Wednesdays. Have a healthy happy blessed Easter.

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    1. I love how easy they are... and the flavor is wonderful. Thank you for visiting... and pinning and tweeting. So nice to have you. :)

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  20. I'm so excited to try this with my kids! Not only is it going to be a fun project for us but it's going to be delicious too! Ha! We love sweet potatoes around here but it never even crossed my mind to try to grow some. Thanks for sharing this great tutorial on #BigTopBlogParty

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    1. We sure love them... and the vines are beautiful also. I hope your family loves them as much as mine does. :)

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  21. I grew up in northern Maine where, every fall, we got three weeks off in the fall (high school) for potato harvest. Since then I have refused to ever grow my own potatoes as I never wanted to pick another potato...ever! lol. But seeing as how I have a sprouting sweet potato in my pantry, I might actually try to grow some sweet potatoes. They're so expensive to buy at the store, so why not try it? ;)

    (visiting from the Hearts for Home blog hop)

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    1. I hope it works out to be a blessing for you... and doesn't revive old unpleasant memories. :) They really are good... and it does save money. :)

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  22. When I get home I am going to try this in my garden. I live in British Columbia, so I don't know how successful they will be. But it is worth a try. - Margy

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    1. It is worth a try... I hope it is wonderfully successful for you. :)

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  23. I would love to give sweet potatoes a try :) Once again, you have inspired me, my dear. Thanks a bunch for faithfully linking up with Roses of Inspiration.

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    1. I hope you are able to do the sweet potatoes... it is easy and eating the fruit of your labor is nice too.... the other thing is that the vines are so beautiful as they grow, so they can be used as a focal point. :)

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  24. I love sweet potatoes, I'm going to have to try this! Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This Weekend? I hope you will join us again this Monday!

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    1. Sweet potatoes really are delicious... and so full of nutrients... but they are not cheap to buy, so it is nice to grow them for several reasons. :)

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  25. This is a great tutorial for growing potatoes! I used to grow them every year but haven't done any for a while :-0
    Thank you for linking up on the Talented Tuesday Link Party! I hope you join us again this week :-)

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    1. Thank you... I need to get mine growing again for this year. :) Thank you for visiting.

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  26. I love sweet potatoes, and could easily eat them every day! We grew some from bought plants a couple years ago -- how silly! I didn't realize they would be quite so easy to start ourselves. I will be trying this for sure this year! Thank you for all the detail and pictures. Beautiful and helpful post!

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    1. We love them too.... and I need to get mine sprouting also... I still haven't done that. Thank you for visiting. :)

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  27. I'd love to grow my own sweet potatoes. I use them a lot, especially now that we're coming in to the cooler months here in Australia. Thanks so much for sharing this at Thriving on Thursdays. I'm featuring it at tomorrow's party. Hope to see you again soon.

    Anne @ Domesblissity

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    1. They are so wonderful to grow... we could stand to grow a LOT more of them so that we could make them last longer... we eat them so fast! Thank you for the feature... that is a nice surprise. :)

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  28. Your sweet potatoes look great!


    Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday! We'd love for you to join us again this week!

    ~Lisa

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    1. Thank you... I need to get them started for this year. :)

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  29. I think I can do this! Thanks for sharing it! We love having you over at Country Fair Blog Party!
    Can't wait to see what you share next month!

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    1. You're welcome... I think you can also.... I hope it works very well for you. :) Thank you for the great link up party.:)

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  30. Oddly, all the years I lived in the South, we never planted sweet potatoes and now that we moved up north, I am trying them for the first time. Someone gave me three potatoes and just told me to stick tooth picks in them and suspend them in a glass of water. Two of the potatoes have rotted and one has sprouted. I am wondering if I had cut them as you suggest if more of them would have sprouted instead of rotting.

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    1. It has worked for me.... I do several pieces and have had 1 or 2 to throw out, but most of them sprouted nicely. I hope it also works for you.... One tip is that the store-bought sweet potatoes, unless they are organic, can have a growth inhibitor sprayed on them... I have heard that the potatoes can be washed off to remove some of that. I have never actually done that and I have used store potatoes and they did fine, but it may be something you are encountering and washing them first may help. I hope your sweet potatoes are a very successful and fun venture for you this year. :)

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