Potatoes, Patatas

Actually it’s “batatas”, as in Ipomoea batatas. We’re making a go of trying a small crop of sweet potatoes in the Lewis Ginter Community Kitchen Garden. Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are members of the morning glory family, Convolvulacea.
The primary way of starting a new crop is to plant rooted shoots from established tubers. These shoots are known as “slips”. The slips were provided by Clifton Slade from his organic farm in Surry, VA. Cliff donated two varieties: Beauregard – with a traditional orange flesh, and O’Henry – a white/cream sweet potato.

This is the primary way of starting a crop, with rooted shoots from established tubers. Different from the irish potato, where the focus is on the unsprouted seed potatoes or eye cuttings.

Sweet potatoes love the heat, but these slips will need to be kept very moist for the first couple of weeks.

Laurel Matthews (left) and Aimee Hutchins lay out the rows.

Leila Hermes coaxes the tender slips into place.

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