How to Produce Sweet Potato Slips

Sweet potato Propagation and Planting Material

Many farmers prefer to grow their own sweet potato slips (vine cuttings) by following specific procedures. The reasons they choose this method are several. For example, if they had excellent quality potatoes the previous year, they may want to reproduce it. Besides, they may want to save costs by buying slips from a legitimate nursery or find the procedure amusing. In any case, we will try to help anyone succeed as much as possible.

First, you shall have in mind that this method may turn risky. For example, in the case of infected roots, your plants will also be infected. Supposing you still want to avoid all the dangers, the best period to start with your slips is 1-3 months before planting time. At this period, you shall choose beautiful, well-shaped, disease and injuries-free, medium-sized potatoes to begin. Keep in mind that from each potato, you may produce up to 12 slips; thus, depending on the number of plants you want to plant, you should choose the number of potatoes you will use. In general, 330 cuttings are needed to plant a 100 m (3.3 ft) row. Tip cuttings of 30-40 cm (12-16 in) long with around 5-8 nodes are preferred. Amateur growers or small-scale farmers leave the cuttings in protected areas covered with a special fabric to promote nodal rooting.

Many producers prefer traditional methods. For example, they bury the tubers under moist sand for 1-2 months until they develop their slips. However, nowadays, professionals have special seedbed rooms (cold frames or heated beds). Except in zones 9-11, the production of slips cannot take place in an open field due to the low temperatures that may occur and destroy them. Using sensors can check and maintain optimum levels of 18-21 °C (65-70 °F) temperature, 80-90% relative humidity, and plenty of lighting for maximum success. Once the potatoes have developed sprouts of 20-33 cm (8-12 in), they are ready for transplanting into their final positions.


Sweet Potato cultivation guide:

Fast Facts about Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Plant Information and Variety Selection

Sweet Potato Nutrition and Health Benefits

How to Grow Sweet Potatoes in Your Backyard

How to Grow Sweet Potatoes for Profit

How to Produce Sweet Potato Slips

Sweet Potato Soil Requirements, Soil Preparation, and Planting

Sweet Potato Water Requirements and Irrigation Systems

Sweet Potato Fertilization Requirements

Sweet Potato Major Pests, Diseases and Weed Control

Sweet Potato Yield, Harvest, Curing, and Storage

Sweet Potatoes in Bulk Wholesale Prices


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