How To Grow Sweet Potato Slips

With a new baby in the house, sweet potatoes are very popular. Of course, buying organic produce is expensive, so we have opted to grow as much produce as possible. Growing sweet potatoes is easy, simple and quite inexpensive, and there is no reason to go out and purchase sweet potato slips, as you can easily grow sweet potato slips at home.

How To Grow Sweet Potato Slips:

  • Stick three tooth picks into the top half of a sweet potato.
  • Place the sweet potato in a glass jar or a cut milk container.
  • Fill the jar with water, and let it rest in a spot with indirect sunlight.
  • Change the water every 2 - 3 days.
  • As the sweet potato will begin setting roots, the slips will begin to grow above.
  • When a slip has a decent amount of roots, simply snip it off and place it in a glass of water until you have enough slips to plant out.
  • Make sure that your sweet potatoes are planted in loose soil with a good amount of sun.
  • We prefer to make a little hill of loose soil before planting them, and we've added sand to our very heavy forest soil. 
  • Don't over water.
  • Sweet potatoes are ready to harvest in 90 - 170 days.
  • Sweet potatoes like warm temperatures with days with relatively warm nights, so they do best in zone 8+.

Sweet potatoes are not actual potatoes, they are a root vegetable from the morning glory family while regular potatoes are tubers.

This spring we used four different sweet potato types, two organic sweet potatoes, 1 non-organic store-bought sweet potato, and one non-organic sweet potato bought at a local farmer's stand.

The two organic sweet potatoes produced the most slips, almost triple the amount of sweet potato slips that the non-organic potatoes produced, but when planted out, the sweet potato slips from the locally grown sweet potato seemed to do the the best.

Sweet potatoes enjoy warm conditions, and they are very sensitive to frost and cold. Here in North East Florida, we began planting out the sweet potato slips in early February, but they did not begin to really take off until the end of March. We've also staggered the times to plant out, and we are just about ready to plant out the last slips to extend our harvest time into the late fall.

While we've heard that sweet potatoes are semi deer resistant, we have found that the deer like the tops, which can also be eaten in salads, so protect your growing area, unless you want to share with your hoofy friends.

It is easy to grow sweet potato slips, and what better way to start your garden than by growing your own sweet potatoes.

Have you had any luck growing sweet potatoes? If so, we'd love to hear from you.
Tell us what zone your in, and please share any tips to growing organic sweet potatoes.