This year, I had three sources of true botanical sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) seed: 2016 produced seed from short season sweet potatoes from Sweden, tropical seed and minimal seed produced here at ALE.
All seed germinated readily. Generally I scarify then soak for a few hours before sowing but this might not even be necessary. The Swedish and ALE seed was started perhaps a week before the tropical seed source, near the beginning of March. I wanted hefty seedlings at planting out time. You can read more about the seedlings here.
Only one of my seeds managed to make it to the end because of a series of calamities! The other two sources both did very well. There was lots of variation evident from cotyledon onwards.
I grew them in cups because of their deep root systems. If I were feeling more confident about their ability to thrive at planting out, I would have started later and set out younger seedlings. They were grown under lights.
2017 was a very wet growing season. Rivers, creeks, ditches and even fields were at spring melt levels repeatedly, basements flooded, roads were washed out and the rain kept coming. Late spring was marked by hail storms AFTER planting.
I had two other farmers growing out mix of short seasons sweet potato slips as part of the West Carleton Calorie Project. Below are Kate and Katie from Our Farm braving the endless rains. Sweet potato row is in the foreground. They also grew out sea beet, moschata landrace and true potato seed along with some eggplant, pepper and cabbage crosses that weren't officially part of the WCCP.
All about growing, selecting and using edible plants in the Ottawa valley.