Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Sweeties.

I am a far cry from an "expert" gardener, but I have grown a few things in my life.  I really do enjoy home grown veggies and fruits, although I have found fruits quite difficult to grow.  Yes- we could get into the whole A TOMATO IS A FRUIT debate...but I don't want to go there.  In my book, it's a veggie.  Fruits are sweet.  Anyway...

Late last fall my dad and step mom gave the kids some sweet potatoes that had been cut up.  These sweet potatoes had toothpicks stuck in them and were placed in a mason jar of water. 
 They told me the sweet potato would form a massive root, and then start sprouting out little chutes.  

By golly, it happened.  

So here is my step by step tutorial on what to do should anyone ever give you a sweet potato stuck with toothpicks.  

First, keep water in the jars.  Very important.  You don't want your little girls to die. (all cute plants are girls to me) Water has this funny quality of evaporating, so you'll want to check on your potatoes regularly.  Keep them in a sunny location, and after a few months, this will be your result.

Note the massive root that has grown out of this seemingly dead sweet potato.  Snip the chutes close to the base of the potato, until you have a small bunch.

This is about what your snipped chute will look like.  Some will be longer, others shorter.  

Place snipped chutes back in the mason jars.  I have about 8 or so in each of my jars.  Fill with water.  In about 12 days, your chutes should start to develop a root.  


Continue to hydrate your chutes, even after the 12th day...remember- all living things require food (sun) and water!!  When it is warm enough, (typically after Mothers Day) plant each little chute in a nicely fertilized section of your garden.   Allowing for plenty of space, because sweet potato plants do take up some room.  (you can find all the info about that you need online)

Hopefully my garden will do better than it did last year.  What a disaster!  With the drought I found it impossible to give my plants enough water to sustain them.  I eventually had to give up.  I salvaged some flowers, tomatoes, and cucumbers, a few strawberries, and about a serving of green beans.  

Thanks to my dad and Julie for introducing me to this fun project.  It's been interesting to watch our dead looking, dried up sweet potatoes in jars blossom into lush, green, life-giving chutes.  I look forward to having a lot of sweet potatoes this year!