My Sweet Potato Project
June 13, 2008
In mid-April I was given some Georgia Jet sweet potato seed roots from Ottawa Hortiphilia. Georgia Jets are the most productive variety for northern climates as it has the shortest growing period of 80 – 90 days. Of course I had no idea how to grow them and promptly potted them in soil with a drink of water.
I found out later that was the completely wrong thing to do. I emailed Ken Allan, author of “Sweet Potatoes for the Home Garden”, who told me to stand the seed roots up in containers using toothpicks, fill with water to the 1/2 to 3/4 mark on the tuber and to keep in warm place (window sills are not good because they are cold at night). So I did that while I waited for his book to arrive. This photo, taken on April 17th, shows the correct way to prepare your seed roots:
I would move them to the windowsill during the day for warmth and then move them onto the dining room table at night so they wouldn’t get chilled. On May 1st, the seed roots looked like this:
Everyday I would check the water level, topping it up when it got below the 3/4 mark of the seed root. Sometimes I would change the water when it got kind of yucky-looking. It wasn’t a very satisfying task until mid-May when I spied my first slip shoots:
You can clearly see two little shoots on the top left and right of the seed root. Woohoo! It was working! Over the past month, these little seed roots sent up so many slips they had to be given bigger containers to hold more water and give more room for some of the side slips. Here’s how they looked about 4 days ago:
They’re huge! Now I have to figure out how to plant them!