It’s been almost a year since I wrote what’s become the most popular post on this blog: Grow Your Own Sweet Potatoes. This one post has been shared on Pinterest more than 86,000 times. I guess I’m not the only sweet-potato-lovin’ gardener out there.
In honor of that anniversary — and those 86K+ pins — I’m dedicating my very first Outlaw Garden Grow Guide to sweet potatoes. Eventually, I plan to have a whole series of these grow guides for y’all, each dedicated to a different crop that absolutely deserves a spot in the edible ornamental landscape. Artichokes and asparagus and tomatoes and more. But, clearly, sweet potatoes are your favorite thing ever. So, we’re starting there.
There will be information about growing sweets, harvesting sweets and storing sweets. The whole thing will be offered as an e-book for Kindles, iPads and other e-readers. There might be a PDF too. It won’t be free, but it’ll be close. Grow a pound or two of organic, home-grown sweet potatoes with the help of this guide, and it’ll more than pay for itself.
I’ll be finishing up the guide over the next few weeks, and should have the e-book ready for you before April rolls around. In the meantime, just click on over to that post I wrote last year for some tips on starting sweet potatoes from store-bought tubers.
[Want to know when the sweet potato grow guide is available? Click here to join the Outlaw Garden email list, and I’ll let you know as soon as the guide is done and ready!]
In order to be sure I’m including the best information possible in the sweet potato grow guide, I’m testing out a piece of advice I’ve been giving and following for years: choose organic, non-plastic-wrapped sweets for the best sprouting success. Organic because non-organic sweet potatoes are often (not always) treated with anti-sprouting chemicals. And, non-plastic-wrapped because sweet potato roots are literally alive, and I can’t imagine that plastic wrapping helps them breathe.
I will never understand the whole sweet-potato-wrapped-in-plastic thing…
But, to tell the truth, I’ve never actually tried to grow a plastic-wrapped sweet potato. Maybe they grow just fine. It’s possible. The trick is, I just don’t know.
So, now I’m doing something about that; I’m running a sweet potato sprouting experiment.
I bought seven sweet potatoes — each a different variety or style — from local stores. To the mix, I’ve added one of my homegrown sweets from last year’s harvest. I’ve cut each in half and, following the instructions I shared last year, am trying to start slips on all eight sweet potatoes. I did this all on Sunday, March 3.
So, here’s what I have:
- home-grown, organic
- store-bought, organic, non-plastic-wrapped
- store-bought, organic, plastic-wrapped
- store-bought, organic, non-plastic-wrapped, old and wrinkled
- store-bought, non-organic, plastic-wrapped
- store-bought, non-organic, plastic-wrapped, purple
- store-bought, non-organic, non-plastic-wrapped
- store-bought, non-organic, non-plastic-wrapped, white
Eight sweet potatoes. Organic and non-organic. Plastic-wrapped and naked. Purple, white and orange. I’m not sure what will happen, but I suspect the organic and / or naked sweets will sprout faster than their non-organic and / or plastic-wrapped counterparts. I’m also guessing the homegrown sweet will sprout fastest of all. But, it’s much too soon to say for sure. Time will tell. And, yep, I’ll keep you posted.
Have you tried growing sweet potatoes from store-bought roots? Any success? Click here to share your sweet potato stories in the comments section.