Gardening Experiment Number 1,234,567

Ok, so that’s really not the experiment number, but I have done many experiments. One of my current ones is trying to determine if I can successfully grow sweet potatoes in my house. This all began last fall when I attempted to harvest sweet potatoes from some plants in my garden. Some of these plants had come from tubers that had sprouted in my pantry. The others were from plants that I had ordered online. Unfortunately, the harvest was pitiful. I had only a few small tubers. I can’t say exactly what the issue was, but I did experience a poor harvest last year from all of my root crops.

Anyway, looking at my little tubers I wondered if it was possible to save them to plant next year. Then, I wondered if I could just continue to grow the sweet potatoes inside. Some of the plant material, leaves and stem, were still attached and somewhat healthy looking. Leaving them outside was not option because of frost. Perhaps, I could continue to grow them inside and harvest larger tubers or just keep the plants alive to create new plants to grow next year’s crop. So, this is what I did.

I planted the tubers and what plant material was still attached in a large pot and put it under a small grow light. I watered it well and left it alone. After a few days, some of the plant material died, but not all of it. Eventually, new growth appeared and before long the pot was full of leaves. It was at this point that I realized I had not provided a large enough pot for the amount of tubers I had planted. I was hesitant to re-pot the plants, but I did it anyway. I replanted them in the largest pot that I had and moved it to the floor under a larger light. After this, the plants sulked for many days and several leaves died off. They did not like being moved. However, eventually this stopped and new growth formed again.

After the transplant
After the transplant

Currently, the plants are growing well under lights in my cold kitchen. So far, so good. I will post an update after I take cuttings in an attempt to make new plants for the next growing season.

Growing well
Growing well
One of the cuttings – Roots have formed
The “mother plant” spends the summer on my porch.

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