Planting Potatoes

Q: Last year I planted sweet potato slips and had reasonable success. I’ve spoken to people who said they remember parents planting whole potatoes. Which way is better?

A: Sweet potato plants form tubers directly from the roots. Although the tuber will produce sprouts (slips) from its surface, the tuber itself will not grow and produce more sweet potatoes. In contrast, white potatoes form tubers at the ends of modified stems. These tubers WILL sprout and produce more stems, leading to more potatoes nearby. Your friends may be remembering the planting of small white potatoes or the cut pieces of same, called seed potatoes.

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