Vegetables and Fruit forum: Starting Sweet Potato slips

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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Mar 11, 2015 4:00 AM CST
I have started my own slips once in the past, but I can't remember how long in advance of planting I need to start them. I can't remember how long it took for them to get going. I want to make sure I have some to plant, but don't want them to be too early. Any information would be helpful, Thanks.
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Mar 11, 2015 5:57 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Sweet potatoes always take an eternity for us to sprout. I have one in water right now that's been growing roots for 2 weeks and still no sign of any sprouts from the top. It seems like they always know I'm in a hurry and that prompts them to take their sweet time. But once they finally do bud out and start growing slips, there's no stopping them!

If I were you I'd start them indoors right now so you are certain to have slips by early May.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Mar 11, 2015 6:17 AM CST
just remember NOT to put them outside until there is no further chance of frosts. They will sprout in the garden or started indoors (greenhouse for me).
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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Mar 11, 2015 10:14 AM CST
Thank You! I'll get them going.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Mar 11, 2015 10:21 AM CST
I just plant a few saved potatoes in a big tub in the greenhouse about a month before I want to put them out.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Mar 11, 2015 11:17 AM CST
My green house is the picture window in my living room Hilarious!
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
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abhege
Mar 11, 2015 11:38 AM CST
Guessing you don't want a tub full of dirt there!
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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Mar 11, 2015 4:31 PM CST
I went to get a few sweet potatoes to start the slips and there were several that had sprouts growing already, one had some about 2 inches long. Guess I'm ahead of the game! Smiling
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Mar 11, 2015 5:57 PM CST
Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Mar 12, 2015 7:49 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Lucky!
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
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coconut
Apr 15, 2015 12:55 PM CST
Some companies mail order slips, are they rooted already?
Name: Mike Dunton
Liberal, Oregon (Zone 8b)
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MikeD
Apr 15, 2015 1:50 PM CST
Hi @coconut,

There are a lot of companies that offer sweet potato slips and they are all sourced by just a couple of the same growers. (That is why they all seem to carry the same varieties) To answer your question, yes, the slips are rooted (or should be). When they arrive, they always look pretty bad. A lot of folks do not know what slips are and think that they are dead, or even worse, they kill them by taking them out of the shipping material and plopping them out into the garden.

What is recommended is to immediately open the package and get the slips moved into a jar of water (think cut flowers in a vase). I usually leave them in the water, in an unheated greenhouse or outside in a partially sunny location, for a few days to perk them up and harden them off a bit before planting. And like @drdawg said, they do not tolerate frost.

If folks are looking for a source, I would highly recommend my friend David at the New Hope Seed Company - http://www.newhopeseed.com/sweet_potato.html. He is a small seed farmer in Tennessee, one of the seed growers for us, and offers Tennessee grown sweet potato slips. And his prices for potato plants include free shipping.

Hope this helps,

Mike
Founder and the man of many hats at the Victory Seed Company

Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
Charter ATP Member
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coconut
Apr 15, 2015 1:56 PM CST
Thanks, Mike. Now I know they can be and are sent bare, without roots.

I want these purple ones, but they send them rooted in "dirt", so the customs man might confiscate them, booo. Customer service said it's my problem. I already sent the money, pre-order in January.

http://www.rareseeds.com/
Name: Mike Dunton
Liberal, Oregon (Zone 8b)
Plant Database Moderator Tomato Heads Farmer Seller of Garden Stuff Organic Gardener Composter
Vegetable Grower Region: Pacific Northwest Region: Oregon Seed Starter Herbs Garden Photography
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MikeD
Apr 15, 2015 2:35 PM CST
Hi @coconut,

I guess I was not clear . . . the slips do have roots. If they don't have them, they would not live through transport. From all of the ones that I have seen, they are shipped with damp peat moss or coconut coir around the roots, wrapped in waxed paper, and in a plastic bag. No soil.

I noticed that you are not in the Continental U.S. . . . I can't speak on that issue. You would really need to talk to your vendor and to your local agricultural quarantine department to see what your options are.

Best,


Mike
Founder and the man of many hats at the Victory Seed Company

Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Apr 16, 2015 5:30 AM CST
My slips are growing like mad, I have already enough, and they keep producing more. I'll have some to share with friends. I've had good luck with getting them shipped, they look a bit dry when they arrive, but a day or two in water and they come right back.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
Charter ATP Member
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coconut
Apr 16, 2015 11:21 AM CST
Tom, are yours the Molokai Purple from Hawaii?

And thanks, Mike. I did contact customer service, and they replied that it's not their problem.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
tveguy3
Apr 16, 2015 11:32 AM CST
Mine are Beauregard sweet potatoes.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great

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