Early last spring I took a couple of nice looking sweets from last year's stored crop and popped them into wide mouth pint canning jars. I filled the jars with tap water and waited. Like other sweet potato gardeners, I planned to pull off the sprouts and root them in another jar of water for my homemade slips. I waited. And waited. And waited, but they wouldn't sprout. I changed out the water regularly but they just rotted in the jars. Very puzzling! It was so disappointing to think we'd have no sweet potatoes this year: no baked sweets with butter and cinnamon, no sweet potato french fries, no roasted veggies with sweets, no sweet potato honey pie!
Some weeks later I was on my way to town and happened to notice the sign at the feed store, "We have sweet potatoes." Considering the time of year that could mean only one thing, slips for planting. I pulled in and bought a bunch containing two dozen Beauregard sweet potato slips. I happened to mention why I was buying them, and the gentleman said he'd had another customer who had the same problem. Hmm.
|Beauregard sweets. They produce long vines and have sprawled everywhere.|
During our 2 month dry spell, the wilted, eventually, even with mulch.
|My Vardamans are smaller because they were later going in. I like|
this variety because they have excellent flavor and store well. They have
also tolerated the dryness better than the Beauregards from the feed store.
So we'll have plenty of sweet potatoes to enjoy this winter. The goats love them too; I chop them up daily and add them to their feed. So glad I figured this out. Unfortunately we still use this water for backup irrigation (should we run out of rainwater), and for the animals. Needless to say, some serious discussion is going on about this.