Jul 11th, 2012

Potatoes, Patatas

Photos & text by Albert Brian Vick,  Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Community Kitchen Garden Coordinator

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

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.


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


Leila Hermes coaxes the tender slips into place.

Jonah Holland is PR & Marketing Coordinator at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, specializing in social media. She's been known to go for a walk, and come back completely inspired to write a blog post on her newest found adventure.

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  • Freddy Wisler

    Dear Albert Brian Vick and Lewis Ginter.
    I am trying to make interesses for growing sweet potatoes i Denmark. For that reason I have to explain “what is a slip”. And because you have a very good Photo (the two hands with a slip), I have to ask you: May I use this Photo?
    Kind regards

    • Freddy, I will be happy to have Brian Vick email you directly. I’m sure he would love to see sweet potatoes grow in Denmark if they can. Our mission here at the Garden is education — so it makes us happy to see that you are able to teach pothers from our blog.