Keeping sweet potatoes for next year’s slips


#1

I am starting to harvest sweet potatoes.

What are the best ones to save for sprouts? If they already have “buds” visible, will they still sprout in spring or will the buds die by then?

Is there anything special as far as curing or storage that would make them more inclined to sprout and produce good slips next spring?


#2

I harvested sweet potatoes in 2016, I forgot to plant some in 2017, and planted them this spring. They are doing just fine :slight_smile:


#3

So over a year old and they still sprouted?

What were your storage conditions?


#4

Awful. I kept them in my basement and forgot them :wink:


#5

Does this have the info you need?


#6

So - if the curing chamber I’ve created is at the right temp and humidity, the roots keep trying to sprout even before they are cured.

If I take the humidity down, they shrivel.

If I break off any sprouts that start popping up now, will they be able to resprout in spring if I want to use them as “seed” for slip production?

If not, how do I prevent sprouting now, without ruining them for eating or sprouting later?


#7

The recommendation in the above link came from a market gardener here in VA. I don’t grow on the commercial level nor control humidity levels, but what I do has worked.

Good results can be obtained by wrapping cured sweet potatoes in newspaper and storing them in a cool closet. Set several in open plastic bags to prevent drying out.


#8

I’ve been growing a ton or two of multiple different varieties of sweet potatoes every year for several years, and all I do after I harvest them is to gently rub the dirt off in the field, sometimes leave them lying on the ground in the sun for part of the day, then box them up in ventilated cardboard boxes and bring them in my house. I don’t have air conditioning, plus our house gets extra hot in the summer from canning and cooking, etc., so they age pretty quickly come the following summer, but they keep very well simply in the house from now – I’m almost halfway through our harvest this year – through the rest of the fall, all of winter and spring and into early next summer, which is more than long enough for seed. We typically try to get our seed potatoes bedded around early April and start cutting slips about the middle of May.