Sweet Potatoes - Knowledgebase Question

San Mateo, CA
Question by TBarnes227
January 13, 1998
I recently tried to order Sweet Potatoes from you. I was told you do not ship to California. Why not? And do know where I can get some plants to grow.


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Answer from NGA
January 13, 1998

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Many agricultural states are very cautious about what plant materials are allowed into their areas. It's possible to import disease pathogens and insect eggs on plants and potting mixes, and therein lies the possibility of infecting whatever crops are grown in that state. Your agricultural extension office (ph# 415/726-9059) can give you exact details of the import ban, plus an in-state source for sweet potatoes.

I'm afraid your mild, foggy summers don't suit sweet potatoes. Just a bitfarther inland, folks have great success with them. You can give it a try, though, by purchasing one at the store and cutting off both ends. Prop the ends up in a tray of water and they'll grow roots and sprout vines. Transplant into regular potting mix in a container, or try planting it directly in the garden in the sunniest spot possible. It may or may not produce tubers, but at least you've had the opportunity to try! You can increase its chances by using black plastic mulch on the soil, and placing a reflective surface behind the vines to maximize the effects of your diffuse sun. If folks can grow them in Vermont, you should be able to persuade something out of them! Good luck!

You can try growing a sweet potato by purchasing one at the store and cutting off both ends. Prop the ends up in a tray of water and they'll grow roots and sprout vines. Transplant into regular potting mix in a container, or try planting it directly in the garden in the sunniest spot possible. It may or maynot produce tubers, but at least you've had the opportunity to try!

Good luck!

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