Sweet spud success
Amateur Gardening|January 22, 2022
If you haven’t yet tried this tastier, more nutritious alternative to potatoes, now’s your chance, says Bob
Bob Flowerdew

I DO sometimes wonder what my grandfather would think of some of the vegetables we grow nowadays. For sure, he’d be very dubious about sweet potatoes.

This apparently ‘new’ crop is proving more and more popular, yet it was introduced before our commonplace Solanum potatoes. Sweet potatoes failed to catch on – even though they’re tastier, more nutritious and have edible foliage like spinach. The main reason was that you grow potato plants from small potatoes that can be easily overwintered. You cannot do this with sweet potatoes. Instead, you must keep (fairly warm and dry) one of last year’s best tubers (or buy a good one) to pack now in warm, moist compost or sand.

If kept somewhere really warm, it will soon sprout – and when the shoots are finger length, they will develop basal roots. Then they can be detached and potted up separately in a warm, light place, as if they were tomato seedlings.

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