Brooding On

Preparing Sweet Potatoes for the Garden

Why are there no sweet potato seeds in my seed catalog?  Oh, because you grow sweet potatoes from other sweet potatoes!  What can I say?  I'm learning as I go here!  So here's what we're doing to prepare to grow sweet potatoes this year. 

First, start with an organic sweet potato from the grocery store.  Why organic?  Because a potato that's been treated with chemicals to make it last longer in your pantry may not sprout at all or may take a really long time. 
Next, cut your potato in half and suspend it in a mason jar using toothpicks so that you can fill the jar with water and cover half of the potato with water.  Place jar in a dim but warm location.  We put ours in our grow room which has a constant heater going but not under the grow lights.  Check often and be sure that the water doesn't get too low or murky.  Freshen water as needed.

Here's what the potato looks like 3 weeks later.  It's growing little plants out of the top and roots out of the bottom.  Today, I removed the tiny plants from the potato by carefully twisting.

I've placed those plants in a bowl of water so that the ends are underwater and placed the bowl back in the warm grow room.  Supposedly, each plant will grow its own set of roots and be ready to plant in soil within the week.

So, what to do with the weirdly sprouted 1/2 a potato that had been stripped of its sprouts?  Cocoa Puff and the chickens were both thankful.