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Article: Growing and Propagating Ornamental Sweet Potatoes: Save them for next year and save $$: Ornamental sweet potatoes

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Forum: Article: Growing and Propagating Ornamental Sweet Potatoes: Save them for next year and save $$Replies: 26, Views: 207
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randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

February 21, 2010
2:39 AM

Post #7575701

I raise way more for the table than ornamental. Several years ago I started to use a few OSPs. around the yard too. but hadn't really tried very hard to grow them in the house.
I think the ones we have in the house this winter might just make it.
We usually plant around 70 to 100 hills of one or two table varieties, to last us through till the next crop is ready. I fix them many different ways and never grow tired of them.

this one was good for several meals and I saved enough of it to start more plants.

Thumbnail by randbponder
Click the image for an enlarged view.

critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

February 21, 2010
3:26 AM

Post #7575794

100 hills is a *lot* of sweet potatoes! Love the monster one in your photo... thanks for sharing it!

I think even non-ornamental sweet potato vines are very pretty. :-)
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 21, 2010
3:40 AM

Post #7575809

Critter, Well done. I have been waiting for your Article. Very much enjoyed it great pictures.
Hi, Russ hope you are getting ready to start your OSP if you haven't already. Holly
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

February 21, 2010
4:31 AM

Post #7575927

Thanks, Holly! I appreciate all you've taught me about these nifty plants. :-)
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

February 21, 2010
4:44 AM

Post #7575958

Holly;
think I been playing in the snow too much! Three blackies still going good but having trouble with the lite green ones. not dead, just sprout a couple leaves then loose them. No haven't started trying to sprout any of the others yet. If I can get my act together I may try in the next week or there about. I have some OSP tubers upstairs, need to get them out an see if they will do anything. How is your snow by now?
I was trying to find a picture of my patch but I must have hid that file from myself.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 21, 2010
5:12 AM

Post #7576012

Not good I'm sad to say we got hammer and some serious damage to my Juniper Hedge but it will regrow. I have started a few OSP. Didn't get many potatoes last year to save but I have a few and they are starting off well. Looking forward to spring and the beautiful OSP we will be growing.

onewish1

onewish1
Denville, NJ
(Zone 6b)

February 21, 2010
1:56 PM

Post #7576548

how cool should the cool dry place be??... mine rotted think the garage was too cold
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

February 21, 2010
2:32 PM

Post #7576598

Unless they got cold enough to freeze, rotting sounds more like a "too wet" problem than a "too dry" problem. I did lose half a spud last year to rot, probably something that had already started on the tuber when I lifted it. If you haven't lost the whole tuber, you can cut away the bad end and root/sprout the rest.
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

February 21, 2010
9:03 PM

Post #7577398

Sweet potatoes should be cured before storing. 7 to 10 days is the usual length of time needed


The primary purpose of curing is to heal injuries so that the sweet potatoes remain in good
condition for marketing during the winter and to preserve "seed" roots for the next crop.
Healing takes place rapidly at 85 degrees Fahrenheit and 85 to 90 percent relative humidity.
Curing should start as soon after harvest as possible to heal injuries before disease-producing
organisms gain entrance. Healing involves production of cells that are very much like the skin
in their ability to prevent infection. These new cells form in a layer just below the surface of the
injuries. Because this layer is corky, it is commonly called wound cork. Healing is more rapid
under clean cuts and skinned areas than in deep wounds where tissue is crushed. The rate of
healing differs a little among varieties.
CARE DURING STORAGE
After sweet potatoes are cured, the temperature in the storage house should be brought down
below 60 degrees, but not lower than 55 degrees, as rapidly as possible-preferably during the
week or two after curing is completed, because continued high temperatures result in
excessive sprouting.
Russ
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

February 21, 2010
10:10 PM

Post #7577499

That's great info Russ, thanks!

I've probably been curing them unintentionally, by letting them sit around a few days at house temperature (or on the back deck) to dry out before storing them in the cooler basement.

:-)

onewish1

onewish1
Denville, NJ
(Zone 6b)

February 21, 2010
10:27 PM

Post #7577540

thank you Russ... did not cure them... will give it another go
davelvb
El Dorado Hills, CA
(Zone 9a)

February 22, 2010
5:37 PM

Post #7579148

Hello. What happens if I were to just pot up the tubers after I have gotten them to start roots? Will the tubers/potatoes grow this way or are they too large. Also: do you have a pic of the actual "slips" you take from your sprouted OSP? Would like to see those...
thanks... great article.
I have been growing and paying for these beauties each and every year for about 12 years now. Love them.

Thumbnail by davelvb
Click the image for an enlarged view.

HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 22, 2010
6:08 PM

Post #7579220

davelvb, I have never tried to plant my potatoes. But if you remove the slips and root them you can get a lot of them. One year when I had more than I wanted I put the potato into a decorative watering can and let it grow in there with water just as it had when I was harvesting the slips. It looked very nice spilling out of the top of the can. You want to remove the slips when they are a few inches tall maybe about 4inches. You gently pull them loose much like you were pulling a loose tooth. Some will come easily and others will take a little twist. Do not cut them out that would damage your potato. Here are some I grew last year.

Thumbnail by HollyAnnS
Click the image for an enlarged view.

HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 22, 2010
6:15 PM

Post #7579237

That pic was taken right before I harvested the largest slips. You also don't harvest all of them at the same time. As they grow you only take what is big enough and leave the rest. As you harvest some others will start growing. I root my slips in small jars of water before I pot them up. You can do it either way. Here are the slips after harvesting.

Thumbnail by HollyAnnS
Click the image for an enlarged view.

HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 22, 2010
6:20 PM

Post #7579247

I think there are more than a doz in just that one harvesting. As the slips grow larger and some seem to grow faster than others, I pinch some of them back to get a bushier plant. I pop the pinched back pieces into a small jar of water and those will root too. I can produce 50+ plants from just a few potatoes if all is working well.

luvsgrtdanes

luvsgrtdanes
(Ronnie), PA
(Zone 6b)

February 22, 2010
7:51 PM

Post #7579479

Some great info Jill...the ornamentals SP are expensive here too! I will be saving all my tubers come fall!
Poetinwood
Council Hill, OK

February 22, 2010
7:52 PM

Post #7579483

I can't thank you enough for those last photos and explanations. I've been looking for that info but couldn't find it. I've got a big sweet potato I put in a jar of water just for the pretty leaves thru the winter, I'm going to try your stuff on it too.
Randbponder: 100 Hills? Wow! Anybody call you Tater?
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

February 22, 2010
8:35 PM

Post #7579591

No don't recall anyone calling me Tater but I usually have some to take to the Gospel Mission. and I enjoy taking some to a few of the house bound friends here in this little burg.
I usually like baked sweet potatoes a couple times a week, sometimes more often.
then we take some to my brothers place when we go, They are nearly all the way to the eastern side of IA, About a 4-1/2 to 5 hr drive. When we go there we usually stay a day or two. Last time we went we brought a pork loin and a couple dozen sweet potatoes. I finally got his wife to just bake them instead of candying them. Not that I don't like them candied but, oh well, great without all that extra sugar. lol
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

February 22, 2010
10:24 PM

Post #7579938

I do pot up the tuber if it looks like there's much left of it once it's given me a bunch of slips. If you repeatedly harvest slips, sometimes it pretty much uses up the tuber.

Holly, thank you so much for those wonderful photos and the additional info!
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 22, 2010
10:41 PM

Post #7579992

Critter, I found this old pic it is the first potato that I tried growing. When I had more OSP than I or my friends could use. I slipped an empty cool whip container into this watering can and put the potato in. It wasn't really planted in there just growing in water. Every so often I would pour in some water to keep it growing, and it grew all summer long in that watering can. I planted a couple of the rooted slips in the wall container you can see to the left of the porch.

Thumbnail by HollyAnnS
Click the image for an enlarged view.

critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

February 22, 2010
11:15 PM

Post #7580086

Cool! That lime green looks great against your stained siding.

I confess, I've never quite managed to keep one going that long so that I have a lovely vine growing from my water-rooted potato.. every so often, mine gets too dried out and I have to get it re-started!
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 23, 2010
1:30 AM

Post #7580452

Ah but I can't seem to keep them alive over winter. LOL
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

February 23, 2010
5:24 PM

Post #7581653


the ones doing the best for me, are the ones I put in a pot about the size of a small office waste paper can, I filled it with MG potting soil. It may be too hard to transplant outside later but for now being in that big a pot it is more forgiving if I fail to water it when I should have. I may have to just set the pot out on the patio and keep it watered. Will see later if spring ever gets here.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

February 23, 2010
6:04 PM

Post #7581763

I tucked one into a hanging basket (12 inch, so it had pretty good root room) with some rooted coleus cuttings, and it did OK.
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 23, 2010
8:21 PM

Post #7582065

I plant mine in window and deck boxes and combo pots with other plants. I would love to grow some in the Veggie garden and see how many potatoes they could produce when unchecked by container size. I tried that a couple of years ago but the Ground Hog got them. Maybe I will try again this year. My deck boxes are rather shallow and don't have a lot of growing space but I did get 2 potatoes from the Ace of Spades and so far I have about a dozen slips and more coming. I'll post a pic of them later.
This is one of the deck boxes planted with Morning Glories, Begonias and OSP Margarita

Thumbnail by HollyAnnS
Click the image for an enlarged view.

critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

February 23, 2010
9:37 PM

Post #7582226

MGs growing up & OSPs trailing down... great combination!

:-)
randbponder
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

February 24, 2010
12:57 AM

Post #7582834

I did plant a couple out in the garden. Had a couple big tubers and a few slender ones, about like a couple you showed setting in the cups of water.
I plan to do that again this year, as I seem to have better luck to store the larger ones. The same with my table variety.
I think it's about time to drag out a few and see if any take off sprouting.

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Other Article: Growing and Propagating Ornamental Sweet Potatoes: Save them for next year and save $$ Threads you might be interested in:

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