Hi there gals and pals.
Big "grow your own food" lady here.
So today I'm going to show you how I prep my potatoes for planting.
NOTE : sweet potatoes take more love than just throwing a sprouted potato in the ground like regular spuds are capable of.
But I promise it's worth it.
It doesn't take much work at all, just need to remember to get started in mid March.
If you haven't been tuned in, let me catch you up.
We are on PART THREE - the planting phase.
I feel like my potatoes took awhile to sprout this year.
A refresher -
PART ONE : buying + starting your sweet potatoes is linked HERE.
PART TWO : promoting slip growth is linked HERE.
& now lets start with PART THREE - PLANTING!
STEP 1 : FIND SOME GOOD SOIL
I recommend compost if you have it. Mix it with a little top soil and some wood chips and you have the perfect combination.
If not, Better Homes and Gardens makes a raised bed potting mix that they sell at Walmart that is great too.
Just make sure whatever you are using it isn't too dense. You want to make sure the roots and potatoes can work their way through the soil to produce big, beautiful and bountiful potatoes.
STEP 2 : DETERMINE WHAT MEDIUM YOU ARE PLANTING THEM IN
Directly in the ground, mounding the soil up like you would regular spuds is a great option.
But my favorite option is lick tubs.
Like those big massive tubs farmers use to give their cattle mineral and such.
You could also use a 5 gallon bucket right on your deck patio.
Or a beautiful raised bed.
I love using these tubs because at the end of the season when it's time to harvest, you can dump them, spread out the soil and find your potatoes without hurting them.
When you have them in a raised bed, you have to be super careful when digging not to puncture a potato.
I also like using tubs because the water gets away from the bottom and doesn't cause the potatoes to be saturated and rot.
It's a perfect planting medium for me.
Make sure if you are using a bucket to add holes to the bottom so the water can drain away and not oversaturate your potatoes. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Just use a drill. Super easy.
STEP 3 : PICK YOUR SWEET POTATO SPROUTS
It is important that you choose a sprout with a good root system.
In the picture below, you can see that the two outside ones have fabulous root systems and are ready to be planted.
The one in the middle needs more time to establish roots.
STEP 4 : PLANT YOUR POTATOES
Now that you have your soil, medium and your chosen slips, it is FINALLY time to plant those delicious babies.
Dig a hole in your medium, remove any leaves that would end up being below soil level and plant your root balls 4 inches below the soil.
In the lick tubs I planted two slips each this year. Last year I planted three and the majority of the potatoes turned out quite small. Looking for bigger potatoes this year and hoping this helps allow some room for growth. I would plant one per 5 gallon bucket if going that route.
STEP 5 : WATER
It is important to give these babies a nice soak once planted. They are used to being submerged in water. Don’t let them dry out too much over the first week. Make sure they are consistently damp but not soaked. I water mine every morning.
FULL YOUTUBE VIDEO! 👇🏼
HAPPY SWEET POTATOING!!! 🍠
I will be back when it is time to harvest with the "how-tos".
In the meantime if you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out.
Also, the video is in format for Instagram. I apologize for the layout. If you are interested, I have created a guide on my instagram profile for all things sweet potato. A place you can reference next year when getting started. Check it out HERE.
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