Well, my first attempt was an incomplete disaster: The mail-order plants
looked puny, and the deer eating the foliage (twice!) didn't help any more
than my neglect in weeding or keeping the electric fence clear. When the
wire came off one of the insulators in the back corner and laid right
across the metal post, I might as well have put up a sign: "Bambi and
friends! Free salad buffet!"
But that's not the question, which is: How long can I expect the 4
carrot-sized tubers I got to keep in a cool dry cellar pantry?
Do I have any chance of growing the cuttings I took before frost through
winter to get my own plants in the spring.
OK, so that's _two_ questions.
The cuttings, which rooted quickly in water and now live in a glass on the
windowsill should really be potted in dirt, no?
Grow lights, which won't go up for a couple of weeks for reasons to
convoluted to list here, would probably help?
Well, 4.....Those who are old enough are welcome to enumerate the
attributes of the Spanish Inquisition, which nobody expects.
Gary Woods AKA K2AHC- PGP key on request, or at home.earthlink.net/~garygarlic
Zone 5/6 in upstate New York, 1420' elevation. NY WO G
paper bag for moisyure retention, they should keep till late spring.
2. Treat those cuttings as an ornamental vining house plant and they
should go indefinitely. You will have to trim them back from time to
time. As long as you have light from a window, you probably will not
need grow lights.
I still have 6 that I raised during the summer of 2005. After digging then
I cured them for 2 weeks in the warmest room in the house, and them put them
down in the basement where it stays about 67F. I entered them in the Fair
the first week in august, received a blue ribbon,a, brought them home and
here they still are. I am going to see if they will keep until March and if
so, I will try to raise a crop of slips from them.
I would wait until spring and see what you have, but that isnt the way to
raise a sweet potato slip. In March I lay between 10 and 15 sweet potatoes
into a plastic gardening tray that is approx 2 ft long and 16 inches wide.
They can touch, but not lay on each other. Then I put about 1/2 inch of
water in the tray and set it on top of my deep freeze. The top stays warm
because it is a frosts free freezer, and that starts the slips. Then when
it is warm enough outside that it wont frost anymore, I set the tray on the
deck. Then as I need them, I pull the slips off the potatoes, clean the
bottom leaves off and set them into a can 1/2 full of water. They stay
there for 3 days to several weeks, until I am ready to plant them.
If I can help you any further, e-mail me. Remember when you dig the crop,
the smaller ones taste better than the larger ones. I wash them off really
good, pat them dry, coat them with cooking oil, roll them in tin foil and
bake them for an hour at 350 degrees. They are so sweet (if you cured them
properly) that I dont have to add sugar, and moist enough I dont have to add
We are in a sweet-potato growing area here with a number of large growers.
I buy a 40-lb box every October and we still some in May of the next year.
I keep them in a cool room and they seem to get better in a couple of months
after they are picked.
Probably not very long. 1 or 2 weeks. If any has been scratched or cut with
a knife then it is likely to spoil from that point and once started
spoilage spreads quickly. Store-bought sweet pots can store for months, but
they are fully matured and dry and I only store those showing no surface
damage and which have no cuts, none on the stem end and none on the tip end.
Only where the ends have preserved the natural tapers to their tip do they
have potential for lengthy storage; if you can see a cut section of potato
then expect it to soon go mouldy there with time.
Ideally, yes, but they seem to stay healthy growing in water for weeks.
Do you have a sunny window where you could stand them planted in soil?
It's a bit difficult to explain the taste, but I find that whenever a
sweet potato develops even a tiny bit of rot or mold then the whole of
that tuber carries an unpleasant taint, no matter how much I cut off and
discard before cooking. So I advise against storing them until you see
a tiny bit of decay--that's too late to stop the whole thing being spoilt
The best way to cook both white and pink sweet potatoes is to wash the
whole tuber clean, dry it and rub all over with olive oil, puncture all
over a dozen times to 1 cm depth with a kitchen fork, then sit it on a
piece of oiled aluminium foil on a shelf in the oven. Cook until it is
nicely browned and collapses on being pressed with a fork.
John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)
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