There are two varieties of sweet potatoes called bush and vining. These both flourish in the scorching summer and are very easy to grow. Here’s your 5 step guide to planting and growing sweet potatoes.
Step 1: Beginning With the Slips – The plantation of sweet potatoes starts with slips. Slips are natural shoots grown from a ripe sweet potato. You can get these through an e-store that will deliver them to you at your doorstep or you may also use the one grown in your garden. If you are getting it from a store, make sure that you know what variety it is. To begin with the slips, you need a lot of healthy and ripe sweet potatoes. You can get fifty slip sprouts from each sweet potato. Wash and cut the sweet potatoes in half or large sections. Put each section in a jar of water such that half the piece stays below the water and the rest stays above it. Place toothpicks to help them stay in place. Keep the jar in a warm place. After a few weeks, the jar will be covered in leafy sprouts and roots.
2. Rooting the Slips - Now take off each sprout carefully from the sweet potato. Place each sprout in a shallow bowl such that the bottom half immerses in water while the leaves hang over the bowl rim. The slips will be ready to plant when the roots are at least one inch long. Keep water fresh always and throw away any dead roots.
3. Getting the Soil Ready – Get well-drained soil to make large tubers. You will not want the roots to experience resistance while they expand as it will hamper the growth. To get the best results, get loose soil as it is the most critical feature to have the healthiest sweet potatoes.
4. Planting the Slip – Dig a 5” deep and 3” wide hole with a hand trowel. Start placing slips one by one with the roots facing the ground. The bottom half of the slips should be covered with the dirt and the rest half should be visible above the ground. Fill the hole with dirt. Press the entire plant firmly when you have covered it with soil. Now set the plant and ward off any air pockets. Repeat the entire process for all slips.
5. Watering – When all the slips are in, water the plant until all the dirt around it is wet. Stop watering when mud starts eroding. Water the plant regularly for the first week and then every alternate day during the second week. Sweet potatoes can resist drought; though, the production will be less. This is one reason why it is better to water it regularly during the hottest months.