Benny’s Freaky Deaky Sweet Potato Sprouting Project

Take a good look at this photo and tell me what you see…

Up close and personal with Ben's sprouted sweet potato.

Up close and personal with Ben’s sprouted sweet potato.

An alien being? A mutated sea creature? Something freakish to be sure. But in actual fact, this is a newly sprouting sweet potato, and Ben’s current pride and joy (well, second to baby Sophia that is.)

We eat a lot of sweet potato, but have never seen it for sale locally, nor have we heard of anyone growing it in their garden here in Ottawa. Apparently that’s because it grows well in more tropical climates than ours, being indigenous to Central and South America (or so says Wikipedia.) But wouldn’t it be cool if we could grow some in our own backyard?!

So Ben set off on a Google quest to figure out the best way to sprout a sweet potato indoors… turns out there are a lot of other sweet potato lovers out there offering some very useful step-by-step advice on this topic. (Such as the DIY Network.) It works like this: suspend a sweet potato half in a container of water using some toothpicks, putting the “pointy” side down. Keep it in a sunny spot and if you are lucky the yummy little tuber will start sprouting roots and eventually some shoots and leaves! I think it took about 6 weeks for ours to get to the stage shown in the photo.

Sweet, sweet sprouted sweet potato.

Sweet, sweet sprouted sweet potato.

An important consideration – many sweet potatoes are treated with a sprouting inhibitor. We weren’t sure if the one we planted would actually sprout for this reason, but apparently it was not treated. We bought it at Herb and Spice.

The next step will be to put this strange little creature into some soil to see how it grows outside in the Ottawa summer… we’ll keep you posted!