Starting Your Own Sweet Potato Slips

26 Oct
Starting Your Own Sweet Potato Slips

“The wise gardener anticipates June in January.”  –Unknown

We had such success last year with our sweet potatoes (see Sweet Potato Surprise) that we decided to try them again this year.  But this time, we wanted to grow even the slips ourselves.  After some internet research, we had a plan. Molly even decided to make it into a 4-H project, so we documented it well.

Day 1Growing your own sweet potatoes takes time, and as the quote above says, you have to plan ahead.  On a bleak day in February, we chose a few promising sweet potatoes from our remaining stock, skewered them, and propped them in a mason jar filled with water (we used a half-gallon size). You want to skewer them closer to one end so that most of the tuber is in the water. Set it on a sunny window sill and wait.


Day 49–some nice roots and vines which are ready to break off.

After a while, tiny, white roots should appear.  (Note: we started with 2 potatoes, and one never rooted, so we switched it out, but the new one was a bit behind. You might want to start with one more potato than you think you will need, just in case.) After the roots have established, green shoots will begin to appear and stretch toward the sun.

apr 23

Day 62–it takes about 2 months to get to the point where the vines are ready to plant.









When the the vines have reached a length of 6-12 inches, gently break them off at the base and place them into a jar of water. When they have rooted well, they are ready to plant.

Whether you use a pot or a garden plot, make sure the soil is about 8 inches deep and water well.  Sweet potatoes are viney, so be prepared for them to spread.  Because the vines are quite pretty, some people use them as both a ground cover and a vegetable.  When the leaves begin to yellow, you are ready to go treasure hunting. Molly and I harvested another 50 pounds this year, all from the vines from last year’s crop. How’s that for cost efficient?!

April 23

Newly planted slips in compost-rich dirt

Jul 12

Beautiful vines with treasure hidden beneath.









P.S. In case you were wondering, Molly won a blue ribbon for her 4-H sweet potato project!

Click here to read the post on how to harvest and store sweet potatoes!


Posted by on October 26, 2014 in Farm Life


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9 responses to “Starting Your Own Sweet Potato Slips

  1. Christie

    October 27, 2014 at 2:37 AM

    Love the Santarelli’s ever-increasing resourcefulness!!

    • amysanta

      October 27, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      Thank you, Christie!

  2. Laura

    October 27, 2014 at 6:02 AM

    So glad you posted this! It’s got me thinking for Feb. So store bought organic sweet potatoes would work? Really enjoy your posts!!! You and your family are such an inspiration!

    • amysanta

      October 27, 2014 at 4:01 PM

      Yes, store-bought should work fine. Sometimes they spray things on vegetables to keep them from sprouting, but I don’t think they do that to organic.

  3. hannahabell1013

    October 27, 2014 at 6:27 AM

    Those look great! I’m so glad sweet potato slip growing was a success for you. And congratulations to Molly! =D

    • amysanta

      October 27, 2014 at 4:02 PM

      Thanks, Hannah! Appreciate your comments.

  4. Grandma S.

    October 27, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    Hurray for the Amy/Molly project! Not only did you re-cycle the old sweet potatoes, you economically planted your garden and created a wonderful, prize-winning, 4-H endeavor.

  5. amysanta

    October 27, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Thanks, Grandma S! Yes, it was very gratifying to grow them all from our own produce. Makes me happy!

  6. Mary Conley

    October 29, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Great blog! Can it get any better than growing something so nutritious without even having to buy the plants or seeds! Such satisfaction!


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