Source of sweet potato slips : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Following from an earlier thread that mentioned sweet potatoes detered squash bugs, we'll be planting sweet potatoes for the first time this year. Can you folks recommend sources of slips (preferably southern since we need them asap) and tell of success or failure in getting the slips shipped. Would it be better to try starting our own from store bought sweet potatoes? Which varieties would be best for AR?

-- David C. in AR (, March 12, 2001


David, I have ordered slips from three suppliers. They did not do well when transplanted. Started some from Foodlion product and they all lived. My advice, start your own.

-- Terri Perry (, March 12, 2001.

Hi David, my experience has been the same as Terri's. Tryed ordering from several different sources and none arrived in decent shape. I just don't think they ship too well. Maybe if you didn't want to start your own you could find a local source??

-- diane (, March 12, 2001.

I was going to post about this same thing! How do you grow the 'slips'? Thanks Debbie T

-- Debbie T in N.C. (, March 12, 2001.

You start them in sand the same way you do potato "eyes." Then "slip" them off the mommy sweet potato....

-- Gailann Schrader (, March 12, 2001.

My Amish neighbors all start them in water- pointy end down in a quart jar. As the roots grow on the potato the green slips come out on top and then you pick them off and place them in water to root. You can get a big bunch of slips from one potato.

-- diane (, March 12, 2001.

Hi David - I ordered some "Georgia Jet" sweet potato slips from Gurney's Catalog last year that did real well. When I received them I put them in water for about a week before planting. This year I'm starting my slips the above mentioned "Amish Way". It seems like a bunch of us here are going to try to annihilate the squash bugs with sweet potatoes - it will be interesting to see what the results are. Good luck!

-- Barb (, March 12, 2001.

I start mine in the ground. Dig a hole about 12" deep, then backfill with a mixture of soil and manure for about 8". This leaves a hole about 4" deep. Lay the potatoes on their sides about 2" apart in the hole and cover to ground level, watering to firm the soil. In a couple of weeks there should be shoots beginning to form. When the shoots are between 4" and 8" long, gently scrape the soil from around the shoots and snap them off the mother potato. Immediately plant them in a prepared bed, planting them about 16" apart in rows 2' apart. Water as soon as they are set out. Be sure to replace the soil where you pulled up the shoots as the mother potato will continue to put up shoots until it is just about withered away. Sweet potato vines continue to send out roots at different points up and down the vines. Lots of folks loosen the roots that form along the vines, forcing the potato to have roots only in the row. This does help to make larger potatoes, but I don't do it because we have a long growing season and get plenty of potatoes anyway. Some people here use the extra plants for edge their flower beds. They make a nice ground cover and may produce more potatoes as well as they don't cost anything extra. Most sweet potatoes will have useable size potatoes in about 90 days from transplanting.

-- Green (, March 13, 2001.

I haven't been on to visit for quite a while. Some where along the line I missed the one about sweet potatoes keeping the squash bugs away. Am I glad to hear this. We grow both but have never had them in close association. Plus, I have a sweet potato growing in water right now. I usually do a couple just as a winter time pass time - need to see something different and green you know. I'm going to try some of these ideas for continuing their growth for the garden. May have a bit of a chore finding sand right now, we just got another 6 to 7 inches of snow in the past 2 days here in E. Central Ia. I was so upset I could have spit but didn't try that cause some days nomatter what direction you spit, it comes back at you. Thanks for the tip. Oh, by the way, I can testify that planting a row of carrots near your tomatoes makes for wonderful carrots and tomatoes. Don't know why, just know it works. Clare

-- Clare Baldwin (, March 17, 2001.

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