The danger with this crop is that the plants are sensitive to frost.
For getting slips, the trick seems to be to use spuds that have not been in cold storage. So get some started from this summer’s crop.
Cultivars available in Canada
B-18 90 to 100 days; orange skin, yellow flesh; excellent flavour (especially immediately after harvesting); good yield, large number of small-to medium-sized tubers; may have better resistance to chilling injury
‘Carver’ 100 days; copper-coloured skin, orange flesh; excellent taste; very good yield; stores well
‘Frazier White’ 105 days; skin and flesh are white; excellent yield, small to medium size; stores well
‘Georgia Jet’ 90 to 100 days; pink skin, deep orange flesh; very good taste; excellent yield, small to medium size; stores well; good for regions with cool, short seasons
Japanese (a.k.a. Japanese yam) 120 days; burgundy skin, white flesh; dryish texture with a sweet taste; medium yield and size; stores well
Korean Purple 100 days; purple skin, white flesh; milder and less sweet than other varieties, subtle clove-like undertone; excellent yield; stores well ‘Regal’ 110 days; red skin, orange flesh; rich, sweet taste, excellent for baking; very good yield, large tubers; average storage length
‘Superior’ 100 to 110 days; copper-coloured skin, orange flesh, striking ivy-like foliage; good, sweet taste, slightly mild; very good yield; stores well
Tainung 65 90 to 100 days; red skin, yellow, flesh, drier, firmer and milder than others; very good yield, large tubers; excellent storage; good for regions with cool, short seasons
‘Toka Toka Gold’ (a.k.a. ‘Golden Kumara’) 90 to 100 days; yellow skin, deep yellow flesh with orange streaks; sweet but slightly dry; medium yield, large size, good for baking
DANGER IS STORE BOUGHTS MAY NOT PRODUCE SLIPS IF THEY HAVE BEEN KEPT IN COLD STORAGE.
Learn to grow a sweet potato
Everything you need to know to grow your own tasty, nutritionally packed super tubers.
You don’t usually equate the sweet potato with terms of endearment, but singer-songwriter James Taylor does just that when he refers to his girlfriend—who’s responsible for the divine happiness he feels one particular day—as Sweet Potato Pie in his appropriately titled song “Sweet Potato Pie.” I fully understand: sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are sublime, not only with respect to taste and cooking versatility, but in nutritional value as well.
These healthful superstars are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene, which also offers antioxidant properties) and a good source of vitamin C, not to mention the dietary fibre and vitamin B6 they provide. And great news: if your region has at least a 100-day frost-free season, you can likely grow them, as an increasing number of Canadian gardeners have discovered. Short-season cultivars (90 to 100 days) such as ‘Georgia Jet’ and Tainung 65 thrive in home gardens across the country, especially during dry, hot summers. (One gardener in Northampton, New Brunswick, raised a 3.4-kilogram Tainung 65 monster a couple of years ago.) But while they like it hot, sweet potatoes are no prima donnas. They require little watering, weeding or feeding, and they store well.
Planting your slips Although members of the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae), sweet potatoes are not sown from seed, but rather from slips, small shoots that grow from the tuber that are then transplanted. While slips are not readily available at garden centres, there are a few Canadian suppliers you can order from—or you can grow your own (see below).
Sweets can’t tolerate frost, so you should plant your slips about the same time you normally transplant warm-temperature veggies such as peppers and eggplants. Harden off as you would other tender plants. How to grow your own slips Stick toothpicks around the middle of a sweet potato and suspend it in a jar (or sturdy glass) of water, submerging the bottom half of the tuber (the end with remnants of previous stems—often the wider end, depending on the veggie’s shape—should point up). After about a month, you should have several slips about 20 centimetres long. Remove them with a knife or simply by giving them a twist.
Another way to grow slips is to place several sweet potatoes in a bed of sand covered with a moist layer of more sand five centimetres thick. Once the shoots start to grow, add an additional 2.5 centimetres of sand, keeping it moist but not waterlogged and between 15 and 27°C. Slips should reach 20 centimetres in about six weeks.
(Keep in mind, however, that supermarket-bought sweet potatoes may not produce slips if they have been kept in cold storage—below 10°C.)
grow your own slips. get a store bought sweet potato, put 4 toothpicks in the centre so when you suspend in a glass of water the bottom half is suspended in water. It will root in a few weeks, then begin to sprout from the top. When you have several sprouts (slips), gently break them off the potato and put the slips in water. When these root, you are ready to plant. I usually don’t plant them until June 1 in Toronto area as they are very sensitive to the cold. I usually plant 1 slip per person or 1 or 2 more if you really like them or plan to freeze, I hope this helps. Good luck.
I buy two different potato from grocery store in February, and keep it in warm moist soil or peat moss . After one month start to produce good shoots . Until middle of May I have more than 50 plants, enough for all family. Only storing is a problem in Winter.
l ordered mine from Veseys back in new brunswick they will ship them in june to you
Easy to do:
You should be able to put away fresh sweet potatoes into the dark and just leave them to January. This video shows shoots from a prior year potato. Hers did not do well in the end.
This one looks better: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgKCyMvuiLY
in straw bales: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjYuQMOSBEg
general straw bale: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgnQpeYt6-M
breaking them down over the winer—add a lot of nitrogen cold work at UCC