Well the growing has begun with the longest pre-garden specimens in the winter windows already. Last year we ordered sweet potato slips and what we got in the mail was less than ideal and less than half lived. Some were down right crispy from the get go. From that sad start there were no potatoes larger than my finger produced. This left us no seed and not even one meal. On the plus side we did learn one way not to grow sweet potatoes.
This year we are endeavoring to grow our own slips. Seems pretty easy, just slow.
We are attempting two ways; one is sections of sweet potato planted in loose soil and kept damp (doing just OK) and the second is half potatoes suspended in water (doing great).
So far we appear to have a dozen slips to potentially transplant in the garden. This will give us a chance at a meal or two and cleaner seed for next year as these were just grocery store purchases we are experimenting with. They will be placed in a raised bed of new soil and compost for the best chance at success, or another lesson. A covering of black plastic will be in order to encourage the soil to reach a nice 18-20 degrees. As even with the promise of an early spring (minus the temporary St. Patrick’s Day snow storm that is passing through, as ritual would have it) a head start will help them out.
The patience gardening has taught us is quite extensive as we are already planning for our 2017 garden while at the same moment starting seeds for the 2016 garden. The complete faith and calm this provides is priceless. Everything you do takes time, there is no instant gratification regardless of the hype that says there is.
Enjoy the process, it is your life. There might even be a sweet potato or two in it if you are lucky.