A Thanksgiving favorite, the sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is also known for its health value. To grow your own, all you need is a few jars of water. Sweet potatoes are planted from cuttings, also called slips. Although you can purchase slips from a garden store, making your own is an inexpensive and easy option.
Making the Slips
You can make cuttings from store-bought potatoes; however, you may not know which variety you're growing. Instead, buy your first set of slips from a garden store to ensure you get a type that will grow well in your area, then use a few of those potatoes to make slips for next year.
To start, set a sweet potato in a jar of water. Leave it in a warm, sunny spot. It will send out roots and leaves within two weeks.
Once they've had a chance to grow a few inches long, cut off pieces and place these cuttings in another jar of water. Wait another 1-2 weeks for them to root. They're now ready to be planted. One sweet potato should yield 1- to 2- dozen cuttings.
Timing the Process
Since it takes about four weeks from potato to slip, you should allow 4-5 weeks before planting. The slips should also be planted 3-4 weeks after the last expected frost, so plan accordingly.
Don't know what to do with all your new potatoes? Try some of our sweet potato recipes!