Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sweet Potato Propagation

 At the end of last Autumn, before the first frosts I dug up my Beauregard Sweet Potatoes.  They had been growing in a black plastic dustbin all Summer and had really enjoyed the heat.
 To my surprise I dug up some enormous tubers which were growing deep under the compost.  Sweet potatoes are very frost tender and will not survive any degree of cold.  So I decided to take some cuttings to try to propagate some new plants for next year.
 I cut off some tips of the growing vines and just put them in a glass of water on a windowsill.  Sweet potatoes are related to the bindweed family.. I don't seem to have any problem at all propagating THAT! so they have been on a warm, sunny windowsill indoors since then.
 And here they are in mid January!  Rooted well and still green and healthy. Just in a glass of water on the windowsill!  If you look in the seed catalogues for Sweet Potatoes, the variety Beauregard is one of the varieties that do best in our British climate.  Rooted slips just like these are posted out to you in about May to be planted out when the soil is warming up.
I suppose I should pot them up into compost some time, but they are doing so well I don't want to disturb them.  Looks like I will have some growing slips to plant next Spring. Fingers crossed.


At 6:54 PM, Blogger Mark Willis said...

I know the foliage of the Sweet Potato would not survive our Winter, but do you think the tubers deep down inside that big pot of yours would have survived if you hadn't dug them up? Would they re-sprout?

At 10:16 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Interesting point Mark - I do have some small tubers left in store, I wonder if they will sprout next year. Might give that a go as well.

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

Fabulous experiment! I was hoping this sweet potato story would work out well as I really would like to try it myself. Goodness what a fantastic haul you I just have to twist the hubbys arm.

At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in love with sweet potatoes! I am really keen to give them a go this year. Will be looking forward to reading how you get on with yours throughout this year!

At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've got 5 slips on order - might try one of them in a bin to see how it does. If I can reshoot some tubers from the haul then that will be next years crop taken care of!


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