The One Trick to Growing Sweet Potatoes in a Container Which I Just Could Not Do
I also didn’t prepare sweet potato slips correctly. I didn’t prepare the soil correctly. I didn’t really water the things proper. I didn’t start the tater right. I just found a sweet tater growing it’s heart out in the cabinet. And I stuck it in a pot that used to grow something I killed before. I get distracted. The one trick to growing sweet potatoes (that will grow against all odds anyway) is patience. Also known as my kryptonite.
Supposedly, if you search on the internet, preparing tater slips is important. Which I didn’t do. I just found a sprouter in my cabinet and I rescued it. I buried that sucker in my sans plant pot up to it’s purple stalks. The internet says I was supposed to trim those stalks and plant them individually with root hormone. Seems distracting. Wiki has a good gardening page about tater slips I didn’t read first.
After all that, I was supposed to water every day, and keep the temperature steady. And other incredibly tendy distracting things before that. Epic Gardening talks about all those tendy gardeny things that I didn’t do.
No. I stuck a sprouting tater in a sans plant container and watered it when it looked dry. Temperatures are steady in Florida. We are always in a state of a sauna in the summer. That wasn’t a thing. So, I watered and watched tater sprout grow into a good-looking proud vine. That wanted to take over my deck. Aggressive little tater. I felt more like Seymour and less distracted. I watered every day. For fear of waking up in my bed to vines having chased me up to the second floor of the house.
I checked on Audrey II in the mornings before the sauna switched on. I wound new vine growth around a long branch of a punk tree that our neighbor cut down. Audrey II offered shelter to green and brown anoles, and one kite spider. Being a nature lover, I sat on the deck watching her terraformed world in a container evolve. Then I let my mind wander too fast, too far. “I wonder.” I wondered to myself out loud to the dog, “I wonder how many taters are now in that pot growing fat.”
That inquiry changed my focus, which changed my patience. I imagined fat, squat, smaller than the store but adequate sweet tater babies bloating away in the soil. I did geometry and math, fussing out the potential quantity of fat, squat tater babies. The greenery was turning brown at this point. I took this as a sign, like the timer on the stove that’s ticking down. I waited for the beep.
Alas, the trick of growing sweet potatoes in a container successfully is time. Time is patience in action. That gives me a rash. The brown, dead and dying plant double dog dared me to dig. I did. My dreams of fat, squat, bloated little taters met reality’s finger thin promises of the same if I’d just waited another 100 days. I’d already waited 45 days! Is this plant out of its mind? I have got things to do.
I took my little finger thin taters into the kitchen, washed them, microwaved them, and tasted them. They tasted just like a sweet tater. Ironically, they cooked super-fast because they were super thin. I think I’m onto something. Sweet Tater Finger Zingers!
How to grow sweet potatoes in a container according to people with patience.
- Start with slips, or do not. As long as you have growth coming out of a tater, you are good to plant.
- Start with healthy, clean, new garden soil. Or not, I think mine was a cactus soil with left over houseplant soil.
- Water every day to keep evenly moist soil. Or not. I dunno. I watered when it looked dry.
- Keep the temperatures even. Or not. My pot is outside, I get what nature wants to give. Pretty sure those tater farmers deal with the same variables.
The real trick is waiting 100-150 days to let your sweet taters grow fat, squat and bloated. Bonus Pro Tip! Dogs do not care about growing sweet potatoes in containers.