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

Friday, July 15, 2016

Growing Purple Sweet Potatoes

 Here's something a bit different!  I love Purple Sweet Potatoes!  Having left a few on a windowsill in the kitchen I noticed a couple of weeks ago that they had started to put out shoots.  I decided to see if I could propagate them, so with the aid of my new garden assistant Daisy, I cut off the top of the sweet potato and planted the shoots in some potting compost.

 Lo and behold in just a couple of weeks of warmth, water and sunshine the two tops had filled this pot with roots.  Sweet potatoes are not related to normal potatoes in any way and they grow quite differently.  Actually they are related to the columbine or bindweed family.  They propagate through these vegetative slips which put out roots when buried in the soil.
 So carefully I separated the individual slips and tried to get some roots on each cutting.
 The potato itself does not put out any roots, just the green shoots so I had to separate them quite carefully.  It is fairly late in the season to be doing this, I really should have planted slips around May, but let's see what happens in my South facing walled garden.  I have planted some slips in containers and in a large pot, so if at the end of the season they are not quite ready... I can bring a pot indoors and give it some extra heat and light to encourage it.
So fingers crossed the slugs don't get all of them!  I'll keep you posted!


At 12:13 PM, Blogger Mark Willis said...

I wish you luck! I tried that last year (slips planted in May etc), but they didn't produce much of a crop. I didn't think it worth repeating, but since you have a nice sunny spot for yours you'll probably have more success.

At 5:06 PM, Blogger Stella Jones said...

That is interesting. I lived in America for a while and got used to eating sweet potatoes over there. I'd never eaten them before. Now I've noticed lots of them in Sainsbury's and buy them, mainly to roast with the joint on Sundays. Delicious aren't they.
I love that you're trying to grow them and will be watching attentively to see how you're getting on with it. Good luck!

At 8:26 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

beware! A super cute puppy and sweet potatoes?!! Two of my favourite things - I may end up on your doorstep :)

At 2:39 PM, Blogger Lynne said...

Slugs! I set a plastic cup in the ground near plants that slugs like, like cucumber seedlings and sorrel, and put a few inches of beer in it. Use a very yeasty beer, I use Budwieser. You will catch tons of them. Also, pile sand around the base of the plant. Slugs don't like to go over sharp objects.


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