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Overwintering sweet potato slips & dry sweet potatoes  RSS feed

 
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Sweet potato questions:

1) our sweet potato crop are lrge and beautiful but dry when we bake them and a bit paler than normal. What can cause this? We cured them 2 weeks, but this was our first time growingg them. Could they have just needed more water? We didn't really water them.

2) after digging up the potatoes, lots of vines have started to regrow from the root bits that were left in the ground. We do get at least one freeze each year, so I know they can't grow perennially, but has anyone tried overwintering slipsin pots instead of starting new ones from roots? We can plant them mar 1, so I am wondering about digging some up, planting them in a pot for 5 months, and then replanting them. We had a difficult time getting slips started last year, as they rooted in water and then died when we transferred them to outside, so this may actually be easier. Any advice would be appreciated. I don't want vines taking over my house, lol...
 
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Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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heya... i m trying to overwinter some plants indoor, too. i don t have experience yet.

but concerning too much vines: be happy and cook the leaves like spinach
 
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Sweet potatoes are an annual crop, if you were to try and over winter slips for next spring you would need to pot them up at some point in the winter or they would die.

The fact that those in the ground were putting out slips means you didn't dig them early enough.

We cure our sweets for three weeks and they last us into the next year, we have not had to buy any this year and just recently ate our last of last years crop.

You can cut back the vines of sweet potatoes all year long, if you don't want to bury parts of the vine to produce more tubers. The leaves are edible as Tobias mentioned.
You can also make new plants by cutting and rooting parts of the vines.

Sweet potatoes do require water during the growing season or they will not be as good as they can be.

If your slips died upon plant out, they either didn't have enough root growth at planting time to survive or there wasn't enough water supplied for them to become established and thrive.

Your idea of potting up some up and growing them indoors is a great way to grow through the winter and then plant out in the spring.
To keep vines under control, coil them up as they get long, that way they won't take up too much space.

Redhawk
 
Katie Jarvis
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Good to know that we didn't pull them early enough. Our vines never died, so we kept not pulling the tubers, because we read to leave them until the leaves started yellowing. We saw the tops of the tubers, which looked very small, popping through the mulch, so we kept waiting. We finally decided to dig one up, and realized that the tiny tops of the tubers ballooned out into ridiculously huge sweet potatoes below ground. So we figured that we left them too long!

If you bury the vines, they will produce more tubers? Is there anything more to this technique? I did wonder when some of the vines had rooted and had 12"-18" long thick red roots, but sonce they had not bulbed out into round tubers, I figured they would not do anything more.

I may try overwintering some slips in a pot, then, as it sounds like it may work well. Idk, we'll see if I can find a good place inside to keep a pot full of. vines with two toddlers in the house....

Thank you!
 
Bryant RedHawk
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When we start our sweets I wait till the vines are around 3 feet long then dig a little hole and poke a leaf joint down into the hole and cover with the removed soil, I do this all summer long and space the rootings about two feet apart. These produce their tubers just before the first frost, that's when I dig up those and see what extra treasure I managed to grow. Usually we get one tuber per rooting and they come off at the very tail end of the growing season, the main crop has been dug, cued and stored long before we pull up the bonus sweet potatoes.

I have a few friends in Australia that grow sweet potatoes almost all year long using this method, when they told me about it, I tried it and have never gone back to just getting the main crop from my sweet potatoes.
 
Katie Jarvis
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Awesome! Thanks for the info!
 
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