DIY Sweet Potato Slips Questions
It is my understanding that sweet potatoes in the produce aisle at grocery stores have an anti-growth agent applied to them. Makes sense to me because I have tried using them to produce slips with very poor results. What I am wondering is if sweet potatoes in the organic section would have some kind of "government approved for organic use" anti-growth agent applied to them or would they have nothing applied to them because they are suppose to be, you know, organic?
Also, it seems like the best or at least the most common varieties to successfully grow around here are Georgia Jet and Beauregard, yet those varieties are never available for purchase at the grocery stores (assuming they are labeled or anyone at the grocery store even knows the varietal names of the stuff they are selling - blank stares often result from such inquiry). I have tried acquiring specimens at local farmers markets during harvest time but they never keep long enough. My only solution there would be to immediately start rooting them and then baby the slips through the entire winter season, which seems like a lot of involvement and effort just to get some home grown sweet potatoes. I do not have any problem investing three months in the task, but nine months just seems pointless to me unless a person could perhaps grow it indoors like a potted vining houseplant and then take and root cuttings from that houseplant at the proper time - that would be a cool idea if it would work. Any thoughts?
Another question: What would keep the water from getting so funky and the wet/dry line of the sweet potato from getting moldy. If the best solution is to change the water every day then so be it, I can do that. I am hoping for some suggestions for some household product that can safely be used, or maybe something that I could wash or dust the sweet potato with before starting the process - anything that might increase my chances of success.
Last issue: Would applying growth hormone powder in some manner aid in rooting and slip production? If yes, how to apply?
My grandfather and father grew their own slips all the time and I want to get back to doing the same, plus it is an issue of self-sufficiency to me. I will skip planting sweet potatoes rather than purchase those overpriced mediocre-quality mail order slips, and I am not aware of a reliable local supplier come planting time. Growing your own slips is supposed to be an easy thing to do, and I remember doing it successfully for science classes back in grade school but I have been failing at it time and again over the last couple years. I like a challenge but I loathe failing repeatedly and not being able to figure out why - especially at something gardening related. ;-)
Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.