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Keeping sweet potato vines in water over the winter

10 years ago

Hello everyone,
I have two sweet potato varieties that I am trying to grow here in Japan. One is a Garnet Yam, and the other is an orange-fleshed variety from South China. This is my second year, and so far I have failed rather badly. It's most likely because my tiny garden in Tokyo has too much shade and there is not enough room for vine sprawl. So for next year I have found someone in the south of Japan who will grow them, but I have to keep the vines alive (as I only got the very scrawniest sweet potatoes, and I mean skinny and scrawny, not much bigger than my finger) until planting time.

I am trying two methods. I have two sets of rooted vines and I have lights for them (but not good lights), and then I have two big bunches of vines growing in water. They have made the most superb roots. I was wondering if there is anything I can put in the water to possibly help keep them alive. I have some liquid kelp. I have done tons of googling, and it seems that most people do well in the beginning, but the vines peg out in February.
Any ideas gratefully received.

Another question. If I manage to sprout the scrawny sweet potatoes, will the next crop be compromised by the fact they are so small? I know you are supposed to select good ones to sprout, but unfortunately there ain't any good ones!



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