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 Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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