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Sweet Potatoes


 
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Sharon
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Joined: 24 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 6:11 pm    Post subject: Sweet Potatoes Reply with quote

Hi, has anyone grown them successfully in Ireland - have managed to get one to root and leaf but then died - if you have done it please let me know how - have a tunnel and greenhouse so could grow in protected environment if needed any help greatly appreciated!
Crying or Very sad

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ian
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sharon I got this info from kitchen gardens forum.
regards, Ian.

Re: sweet potatoes


They grow from slips and if you don't live in a place that a lot of
people grow them they are hard to find. If they are not available at
your local garden store them you will need to grow your own slips from a
sweet potatoe that you buy from the grocery store.



From http://plantanswers.tamu.edu/vegetables/sweet.html
<http://plantanswers.tamu.edu/vegetables/sweet.html>



1. Q. When should you bed out sweet potato roots for slip production?

A. To produce slips, sweet potato roots should be laid on their sides in
hotbeds about a month before the nighttime temperatures stay above 60
degrees F. Cover the sweet potato roots with 2 inches of moist sand and
keep the hotbed between 75 degrees and 80 degrees F. When the sprout
develop, remove them with a twisting tug. Additional transplants (slips)
will form from the bedded sweet potatoes if left in place.

2. Q. I want to grow a few rows of sweet potatoes in my garden. How do I
get seed or plants?

A. Sweet potatoes are started from transplants or vine cuttings rather
than from seeds. Transplants, also called slips, usually grow from
bedded roots. A vine cutting is 10- to 12-inch section cut from a vine
growing in the field. Home gardeners can produce a limited number of
slips or sections of vine by placing a sweet potato bud side up in a jar
of water and placing the jar in a sunny location. Vines produced can be
cut into sections and planted.



THE PLANT BED http://plantanswers.tamu.edu/recipes/sweetpotatoes.html
<http://plantanswers.tamu.edu/recipes/sweetpotatoes.html>

Select as warm and sunny a place as possible; further protect by banking
upon the north side with earth. Build an ordinary plank cold frame from
5 to 6 feet wide and any length desired, facing and sloping towards the
South, having its south wall several inches lower than its north wall.
Bank up well on the outside and protect from water by running a little
ditch around on the outside. Remove the earth within the frame to a
depth of from 4 to 12 inches; spread a thin layer of oak leaves or pine
straw on the bottom of this excavation. Upon this, place a layer of
manure, from 4 to 6 inches thick, and pound down slightly. Place a layer
of soils over this from 2 to 3 inches thick. On this lay the sweet
potatoes, side by side, horizontally and just far enough away to keep
them from touching each other. Cover with good rich garden soil to a
depth of 2 or 3 inches; cover with sash or canvas oil with linseed or
cottonseed oil.

The amount of manure required in the hot bed is governed solely by the
climate, more being needed in cold than in warm climates. In the Gulf
States, from 2 to 6 inches is the truck gardener's rule, while 10 to 12
inches is not uncommon in Iowa, Kansas and New Jersey. Keep the bed
moist at all times. It requires from 5 to 6 weeks to produce slips large
enough for setting.

The sweet potato plant is very susceptible to frost and should not be
planted in large acreages earlier than April 15th in this section. When
the plants are 3 or 5 inches in length and properly hardened off, they
are ready to set. Ninety days after transplanting is an old rule, but we
have been able to get potatoes as large as goose eggs, from the earliest
variety in 70 days.



SWEET POTATOES GROW FROM MOTHER ROOTS

http://members.aol.com/SPVine/garden/garden1.htm
<http://members.aol.com/SPVine/garden/garden1.htm>

Sweet potatoes are not grown from seeds, but rather from transplants or
vine cuttings. Transplants (12" to 18" sections) are also called slips
and are grown from mother roots (seed potatoes). That is, regular sweet
potatoes which are planted into long narrow beds after the danger of
frost, usually between mid-March through the end of April. Believe it or
not, during the months they are held in storage they are considered to
be asleep -- but are very much alive. Presprouting or "growing your own
slips" is also referred to as "waking up" the sweet potatoes.

To start growing your own slips, simply select a few sweet potatoes from
your local grocery store. However, there is the possibility of disease
being present (see below). It is possible to grow as many as two bushels
of sweet potatoes with sprouts taken from just two or three sweet
potatoes. Be sure to pick sweet potatoes that are firm and unblemished.
There are about 50 eyes on a medium sweet potato and each one may
produce a sprout. Slips are easy to grow and by doing so you can save
time and money. In addition, a good start reduces transplanting shock
and helps them develop a healthy crown of leaves and well-developed root
system.

Presprout the sweet potatoes by placing them on top of the water heater
beforehand to hasten the growing process. Handle the sweet potatoes
carefully at all times. Rough handling after presprouting can cause them
to rot. Lay the sweet potatoes on their sides in no more than 2" of
moist dirt. It's alright if a few sprouts show through the soil. Cover
the sprouts with clear plastic sheets (clear works better for northern
gardners). The plastic will hold in the moisture and heat which helps
the seed potatoes to sprout. If the weather is favorable, plants can be
produced in about 4 weeks.

Another way to grow slips is to stick toothpicks into the midsections of
small, healthy sweet potatoes, then submerge them halfway in a jar of
water and place in a sunny location. Again, placing the sweet potatoes
on top of the water heater beforehand will hasten the growing process.
Still another way to grow slips would be to submerge the sweet potato
halfway into a pot of moistened vermiculite or potting soil. Add warm
water periodically, never allowing the sweet potato to dry out, but be
sure not to over water.
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Sharon
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 24 Apr 2009
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Location: Rural East Galway

PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Ian, have managed the slips before by just putting a shop bought Sweet potato into a pot of moist compost - its the bit after that that failed not sure if I'm supposed to cut the slip and part of the potato and plant that or if I should cut the shoot (vine) off and plant that - thought it would be easy! not so sure now!
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ian
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Location: Tallaght

PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sharon it looks they are removed by twisting them off also says they can be cut into sections, i would try this and take a whole slip with a piece of potato at the base as it looks like they are not sensitive to handling, however there are a few references to temperature, they do need 70 days of good temp. to flourish and describe putting a thick layer of fresh manure under soil in a covered raised bed to keep them warm before summer really gets going. this may be your problem, providing a prolonged period of warmth.
regards, Ian.
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Sharon
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Location: Rural East Galway

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prolonged period of warmth - hhmm west coast of ireland - might continue to be a problem even in the tunnel! - will however try again, Fresh Manure, raised bed - 'Hot Bed' and covered - although it may be too late to start one off now as it did take 4-6 ish weeks to raise the slip - so decision made - put it in the plan for next year and make the bed properly! - thanks for your help Ian and all the info.
Sharon
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ian
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'd go for it now seeing as you have the slips to hand nothing to lose...shame to let them go to waste.
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Fiachra
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ian and Sharon,
Did either of you grow sweet potatoes this year? i planted one I got in the garden centre in a bed with courgettes and squashes and basically forgot about it. It didn't grow much , should I dig it up or leave for a few more weeks?
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ian
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

no i did'nt plant any sweet potatoes - no greenhouse to put them in
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