Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sweet Potato Vine Project

In October when we were in SC, a beach friend and I were discussing the value of eating vegetables and the sweet potato. It's the only vegetable I simply cannot stand, no matter how it is prepared. She has promised to make a sweet potato pie that she calls "awesome" the next time we get together and I promised to try it. I love pumpkin pie, and if it tastes the same or close, I most likely will devour it.  

Anyway, this conversation led to my old brain pulling up a memory of growing a sweet potato vine when I was a young girl. Now that's a LONG time ago! What I remembered was all sorts of containers of sweet potatoes lined up on the windowsill in my 1st or 2nd grade classroom and each potato had toothpicks stuck in their middles. Then I also remembered that my mother had the same thing growing in a water glass on the sill over her kitchen sink. I had to try it.

My friend bought some for themselves to eat and gave me one. It traveled 764 miles back with us to PA on November 1 and laid on the countertop for a couple of weeks. 

Really not doing much with it, and wanting to use only my memory to start it, I cut off the bottom, poked toothpicks into its body and found a container to suspend it over tap water. The container having just the right opening happened to be a single wine glass that I had kept from my mother's things. 

The real story is now in these photos. I changed the water about every two days, but don't know why. Maybe, because we have well water here I thought I was feeding it minerals. Anyway, it grew. I plan to take a piece of it back to SC in a month so I can give it to my friend to plant at home. Project complete! I have since learned from the internet that I didn't have to cut off the bottom. 

One more thing...please don't ever use the word "veggie" in my presence. I despise that word.
Please click on photos to view larger.

November 18, 2012 - Two weeks until sprouts appear.
December 1, 2012 - Sprouts growing slowly.
December 1, 2012 - Main root started.
December 7, 2012 - Sprout springing up.
December 7, 2012 - Total view.
December 14, 2012 - Roots developing well.
December 14, 2012 Top leaves growing well.
December 14, 2012
December 14, 2012 - More sprouts coming on.
December 21, 2012 - Second sprouts doing well.
December 21, 2012
December 28, 2012 - Time to wean first branch.
December 28, 2012 - Standing alone.
January 4, 2013 - More growths.
January 4, 2013 - Main potato doing well.
January 4, 2013 - First slip doing fine.
January 4, 2013 - Roots on first slip developing.
January 12, 2013 - Main potato still producing.
January 12, 2013 - Main potato and first slip doing well.
January 12, 2013 - Time to pot.
January 19, 2013 - First plant is potted.
January 20, 2013 - Main potato went to live here and grow more slips.
Grandson helped neighbor build one like this geodesic dome solar greenhouse two years ago.


  1. Nice photo shoot of all the stages! I have never seen this done. We have cut potatoes into quarters with the eye and planted them, but never rooted one before. I love the greenhouse! The VEGETABLES will love it, too! I'll betcha!