Introduction: Grow a Sweet Potato From Home
Do you ever stop to think about where your food comes from? Most people who live in urban settings get their food from grocery stores. However, there’s a lot of food that you can grow right at home, with minimal effort. Sweet potatoes are just that. All they need is a little bit of water, plenty of sunlight, and an attentive gardener.
Sweet potatoes are not actually potatoes at all, but are more closely related to garden flowers like morning glories. Nevertheless, they have been grown and harvested as food for hundreds of years. They are resilient, easy to tend, and chocked full of essential nutrients. In fact, just one cup of baked sweet potato can provide you with 769% of your needed daily value for Vitamin A!
Sweet potatoes aren’t like a lot of other vegetables that grow from seeds. To grow a sweet potato you need what are called slips. Slips are leafy sprouts that grow out of the mature vegetable. Getting your sweet potato to produce slips can be fun and easy.
· One Sweet Potato
· Four Toothpicks
· One glass
· One planting pot with soil, at least six inches deep.
Step 1: Skewer the Middle of the Sweet Potato With Your Four Toothpicks.
Step 2: Place the Potato in the Glass So That the Toothpicks Are Acting As Supports.
Step 3: Place the Potato in the Glass So That the Toothpicks Are Acting As Supports.
Step 4: Place the Glass and Sweet Potato on a Windowsill With Maximum Light.
Step 5: Monitor the Growth of Your Slips and Maintain a Constant Water Height.
Step 6: In Just a Couple of Weeks Your Slips Will Begin to Grow and You Will Be Ready to Plant.
Step 7: Remove the New Growth
Once the slips have grown from the sweet potato to the point where you can see leaves, it is time to prep for planting. Remove the sweet potato from water, and take out the toothpicks. With appropriate adult supervision, cut the sweet potato just around the newly grown slips.
Step 8: Planting the New Slips
Now it is time to plant. Sweet potatoes grow underground, and need plenty of space for roots. They need well-aerated loose soil with plenty of nutrients. If you are planting in a pot, it must be at least six inches deep. Dig a small indention for your chunk of sweet potato and slips. Place the slips oriented to grow upward, and gently bury the sweet potato with the slips above the soil.
Lightly press the soil around the slip so there are no air pockets around the roots, but not so hard to harm the plant. Sweet potatoes grow best in tropical climates. As a result, they are extremely frost sensitive, so wait to put them outside until you are certain there won’t be another frost. Additionally, they love the sun, so put them in an area where they will get plenty of it.
Step 9: Now Comes the Watering.
Now comes the watering. Water is essential for initial growth, but eventually becomes less of a responsibility. The first week it is important to water every day so that the soil is saturated. In the second week, begin watering every other day. Continue to separate watering until you only water the plant once a week. Sweet potatoes will be produced in 90-170 days from the initial planting depending on conditions. You will know it is time to harvest when the leaves begin to turn yellow. Then, you simply dig up your new vegetables. You can save some of your harvest to repeat the process, and eat the rest. Play around with your growing technique to see what yields the most, biggest, or best tasting sweet potatoes.