1st time growing sweet potatoes from shop-bought tubers

Anything to do with growing herbs and vegetables goes here.
User avatar
demi
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1124
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 6:03 pm
latitude: 41° 50' N
longitude: 22° 00' E
Location: Prilep, Macedonia

1st time growing sweet potatoes from shop-bought tubers

Post: #257925 demi
Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:13 pm

im having a go at growing sweet potatoes from shop-bought tubers this year.
iv only got 3 potatoes as we had to bring them from the uk and we wernt sure if they'd get taken off us at customs. also our bags were over the kg limit and something had to be sacrificed and left behind. :(

anyway, we are growing these potatoes in jars of water and iv been documenting whats been happening, although ill just write in brief on here so's not to boar you too much :lol:

potatoes were bought locally from 2 different main supermarkets; A*** and Sain****** :wink:
after looking for organic potatoes, as the non-organic ones have been sprayed with anti-sprouting agent, i was unable to find any as had to settle for non-organic sweet potatoes.
we washed the potatoes repeatedly over several days to wash away the anti-sprouting agent.

when we finally got home, after some strange looks on the Macedonian border control as our bags were being searched, we placed the potatoes into clear jars of tepid water, pointy end down, 3/4 of the potatoes being submerged into the water and help in place by cocktail sticks piercing the potatoes and resting on the rim of the glass. see pictures.
the jars were then placed on a sunny south facing window close to a heat source to maximise heat and light exposure, as these are tropical plants, to help germination. this was on the 15.02.12.

by 22.02.12, the first signs or activity were noticed: fibrous fluffy material appearing on bottom of submerged potatoes.
not sure wither this is a fungus or other organic material or if its part of normal root formation.

by 23.03.12 roots have sprouted on 2 of the potatoes and it was noticed that the 3rd potato was in the jar upside down :oops: and instead of roots forming it actually has a stem and leafs forming! the potato was turned the right way round.

by 05.04.12 all potatoes have now formed shoots. the upside down potato has no roots yet but the other two have roots.


and thats as far as we've got to date. will keep you posted with the progress as it happens :iconbiggrin:

sorry pictured are in the wrong order. the picture from today is first.
Attachments
shoots forming.JPG
shoots forming.JPG (54.05 KiB) Viewed 3172 times
roots.JPG
roots.JPG (62.95 KiB) Viewed 3172 times
first roots appearing. new roots are white, disregard old roots.JPG
first roots appearing. new roots are white, disregard old roots.JPG (48.06 KiB) Viewed 3173 times
small pic fluff on potatoe.JPG
white fibrous fluff appearing on bottom of potatoes
small pic fluff on potatoe.JPG (45.72 KiB) Viewed 3173 times
small pic all potatoes together.JPG
small pic all potatoes together.JPG (61.22 KiB) Viewed 3175 times
Last edited by demi on Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'

User avatar
JuzaMum
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:26 pm
Location: Bournemouth

Re: 1st time growing sweet potatoes from shop-bought tubers

Post: #257927 JuzaMum
Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:05 pm

I was wondering if sweet potatoes grew the same way as the regular sort and was pondering burying a couple and seeing what happens. I shall watch with interest for updates.

JuzaMum
Happiness isn't having what you want but wanting what you have.

User avatar
demi
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1124
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 6:03 pm
latitude: 41° 50' N
longitude: 22° 00' E
Location: Prilep, Macedonia

Re: 1st time growing sweet potatoes from shop-bought tubers

Post: #259463 demi
Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:50 am

update:

29.04.12

seems like we have 2 variates. the biggest potato has dark red leaves and is growing the fastest. it has 1 shoot that is nearly ready to be cut. :iconbiggrin:
the other smaller potatoes, one has green leaves and like the big potato, has extensive root formation.
the last potato, which was accidentally place in the water upside down, still has no visable roots but has the same fuzzy material that the others got before the roots appeared. also the leaves on this potato, although they are growing, have not opened. but at least its still growing!

now that the weather is getting hot we put the potatoes outside in full sun and bring them in at night.

some pictures:
Attachments
sweet potatoes 29.04.12.JPG
sweet potatoes 29.04.12.JPG (69.44 KiB) Viewed 2772 times
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'

User avatar
demi
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1124
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 6:03 pm
latitude: 41° 50' N
longitude: 22° 00' E
Location: Prilep, Macedonia

Re: 1st time growing sweet potatoes from shop-bought tubers

Post: #259725 demi
Thu May 03, 2012 7:19 am

update 03.05.12

took the first cutting today. only have one shoot so far big enough to cut.
the shoots grow in clusters from the base of the potato. we followed the biggest shoot down until it meets the other shoots and cut only the biggest shoot, leaving the smaller ones to mature.
we carefully pulled the leaves off of the shoot only leaving the new leaves at the top.
we put in into a jar of water, submerging the whole part of the stem with the leaves pulled off, just leaving the top leaves sticking out the water.
i wanted to just plant it in the ground but my husband ( hes the one with the degree in agronomy and sustainable agriculture so hes supposed to know better then me, lets hope!) said we should root it first in water then plant it later.
roots should form from each leaf node on the stem where we pulled the leaves off from.

so lets see what happens now!
Attachments
1st sweet potato cutting.JPG
1st sweet potato cutting.JPG (61.98 KiB) Viewed 2743 times
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'

User avatar
safronsue
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 280
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:03 pm
Location: Kozani, Greece

Re: 1st time growing sweet potatoes from shop-bought tubers

Post: #259739 safronsue
Thu May 03, 2012 9:28 am

a ha! you're well in the lead. :)

User avatar
British Red
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:27 pm
Location: Mercia

Re: 1st time growing sweet potatoes from shop-bought tubers

Post: #259742 British Red
Thu May 03, 2012 9:45 am

Fascinating stuff - I've never grown sweet potatoes, so please keep this coming!
Com on wanre niht scriðan sceadugenga

User avatar
demi
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1124
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 6:03 pm
latitude: 41° 50' N
longitude: 22° 00' E
Location: Prilep, Macedonia

Re: 1st time growing sweet potatoes from shop-bought tubers

Post: #259745 demi
Thu May 03, 2012 9:58 am

:iconbiggrin:

iv never grown them either but hopefully ill learn from this and do better next year.

iv read that they dont store well over the winter and you should plant some tubers, or put them in water i guess, and keep them going over winter for next years crops.
this way i suspect you will get more shoots much earlier as they will have all winter to grow, albeit at a slower pace but that should hopefully work in your favour as if they grew too quickly they'd be ready too early when its still cold outside and your have no whare to put them.

im planning on pulling up the last of them, or all of them probably as its taking them so long to grow, in October just before it gets too cold, storing them for a few months, then putting them in jars of water probably around Christmas time.
i might start a couple off straight away and do them in succession to see what happens.
my concerns about putting them in water too early are they might rot or they might just get too big. but they might not.

iv just been doing some more reading and it seems that you can leave them in the ground until the first frost which will kill off the leaves but shouldn't damage the tubers ( as long as its not extream cold temperatures ) by then you should dig them up and store them .
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'

User avatar
demi
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1124
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 6:03 pm
latitude: 41° 50' N
longitude: 22° 00' E
Location: Prilep, Macedonia

Re: 1st time growing sweet potatoes from shop-bought tubers

Post: #259943 demi
Mon May 07, 2012 6:02 am

and we have roots! :cheers:

the roots started forming within a couple of days after taking the cutting an puting it directly into a clear jar of water.
roots have emerged from every leaf node where we pulled the leaves off from.
Attachments
roots.JPG
roots.JPG (66.26 KiB) Viewed 3021 times
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'

User avatar
battybird
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 655
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:05 pm
Location: Kent / central portugal

Re: 1st time growing sweet potatoes from shop-bought tubers

Post: #259996 battybird
Mon May 07, 2012 5:25 pm

Really interesting post, Demi! I found some "seed sweet potatoes" but they were so expensive I did not bother! :shock:
The cockerel makes the noise, the hen produces the goods!! anon

User avatar
demi
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1124
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 6:03 pm
latitude: 41° 50' N
longitude: 22° 00' E
Location: Prilep, Macedonia

Re: 1st time growing sweet potatoes from shop-bought tubers

Post: #259998 demi
Mon May 07, 2012 6:23 pm

battybird wrote:Really interesting post, Demi! I found some "seed sweet potatoes" but they were so expensive I did not bother! :shock:



just get ones from the supermarket! try to find organic ones if possible as they will not have been sprayed with anti-sprouting agent. mine are not organic as i couldn't find any at the time, but i washed them repeatedly over sevral days before putting them in the jars of water and they germinated! :cheers: took a long time though, as we were saying, they are very slow to grow and ill be starting them off much earlier next year because of that. its all good so far though! :iconbiggrin:

i was first looking for proper sweet potato seed potatoes but i just got funny looks in the garden centers! no one had heard of them. i could only find slips on line which was of no use to me as i needed to take them from scotland to macedonia when i emagrated and slips wouldn't survive the journey!
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'

niknik
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 434
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:50 pm
Location: Spain

Re: 1st time growing sweet potatoes from shop-bought tubers

Post: #260001 niknik
Mon May 07, 2012 6:30 pm

have tried to grow them , but no joy, will follow your methods demi, and report back!

fingers crossed!

User avatar
demi
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1124
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 6:03 pm
latitude: 41° 50' N
longitude: 22° 00' E
Location: Prilep, Macedonia

Re: 1st time growing sweet potatoes from shop-bought tubers

Post: #260025 demi
Tue May 08, 2012 4:26 am

do persevere! and expect them to take ages to grow, they are very slow. i started mine in the beginning of February and just took the first cutting ( only have 1 so far big enough to cut ) just the other day, thats 12 weeks and im still waiting to get bigger shoots to take other cuttings from..........
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'

User avatar
demi
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1124
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 6:03 pm
latitude: 41° 50' N
longitude: 22° 00' E
Location: Prilep, Macedonia

Re: 1st time growing sweet potatoes from shop-bought tubers

Post: #260074 demi
Tue May 08, 2012 4:05 pm

just came across this:

http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to ... index.html

about growing slips from tubers.

i didnt cut my potatoes in half, maybe that would of speeded things up?


also found this:

http://www.lsuagcenter.com/en/crops_liv ... tatoes.htm

about storing the potatoes.

iv read a lot of conflicting information. some sites say they dont store well, others say they do. must just depend on if you store them properly or not. :dontknow:


sorry i keep coming across more info.
this one is very detailed: http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/publ ... atoes.html
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'

User avatar
demi
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1124
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 6:03 pm
latitude: 41° 50' N
longitude: 22° 00' E
Location: Prilep, Macedonia

Re: 1st time growing sweet potatoes from shop-bought tubers

Post: #261173 demi
Thu May 24, 2012 7:16 am

24.05.12

we now have 4 sweet potato plants successfully planted! picture to follow, havent been out with the camera yet.
we are covering them with plastic bottle cloches at night to protect against the cold.
iv been reading that the night temperature shouldnt go below 10 degrees, some other sites say 15 degrees.
its gotten cold here again this week, down to 8 degrees at night outside so protection is a must.

i have been putting the potato tubers out on the balcony to get full sun during the day but iv forgotten to bring them in a couple of times and the largest potato, also the one which is most prolific, has developed black patches on its skin which i think is cold damage. i havent been able to find any information yet on cold damage on sprouting potatoes for propagating, but for tubers for storing and eating it makes them rot and more susceptible to disease and fungus.
the other two smaller potatoes seem to be unaffected, hopefully.

the potato which was started upside down isnt growing further in its shoots. the leaves are there but they are closed and it doesnt have any roots yet, although is does have the fuzzy stuff that the others got before roots developed. im doubtful that we will get cuttings off this potato in time.

the other small potato has extensive roots and lots of small shoots, but none big enough to cut yet.

so the biggest potato has been the most productive.

the cuttings once cut are submerged in a glass jar of water up to the top leaves and they are very quick to produce roots. in 2 days the roots form and after one week they are about 2-3 cm long and ready to be planted outside.


next year we're planning on getting a poly tunnel in the garden and starting off the sweet potatoes much earlier and planting them under bottles, under fleece, inside the polly tunnel to offer maximum protection from the cold and longer growing time.

a few plants might make it this year though, hopefully producing potatoes big enough to eat. this is the end of may so we've got june, july and august of temperatures up to 40 degrees, then September starts to get mild again back down into the 20's, but there shouldnt be frost until well into october, possibly not till november. lets hope its enough!

how's everyone else getting on? anyone got any cuttings yet?
Tim Minchin - The Good Book
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBojc0

'If you just close your eyes and block your ears, to the acumulated knowlage of the last 2000 years,
then morally guess what your off the hook, and thank Christ you only have to read one book'

User avatar
boboff
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1809
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:29 am
Location: Gunnislake,Cornwall

Re: 1st time growing sweet potatoes from shop-bought tubers

Post: #261177 boboff
Thu May 24, 2012 7:34 am

Amazing stuff.

I might try next year.
Millymollymandy wrote:Bloody smilies, always being used. I hate them and they should be banned.
No I won't use a smiley because I've decided to turn into Boboff, as he's turned all nice all of a sudden. Grumble grumble.

http://boboffs.blogspot.co.uk/


Return to “Herbs and Vegetables”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests