Growing and Storing Root Vegetables

By Sally Cameron

Growing and Storing Root Vegetables

Sweet Potatoes aren’t started by seed like most other vegetables, they are started from slips. Slips are shoots that are grown from a mature sweet potato. You can start slips from a sweet potato you brought from the store or saved from your garden. Each sweet potato will produce several slip sprouts. Cut the sweet potato tuber in half or quarters and place in a jar and half cover the tuber with water. Place the jar on a warm window ledge and within a few weeks sprouts will appear on top and roots in the bottom.

Once your sweet potatoes have sprouted you can separate them into plant able slips and return them to the jar for further root development. Within a few days further root growth will be obvious and the new slips are ready to plant in your garden. Plant in loose soil covering half the plant. New plants need to be watered every day during the first week there after the watering can gradually get further apart.

Jerusalem artichokes are the rhizomes connected to the flowering stems of a plant closely related to sunflowers. They can be left in the garden through autumn into early winter and are harvested in clumps for cooking. Tubers can be stored for two to three weeks on the fridge.

White turnips and Swedes (Brassica napus) are sewn as seeds and bulbs are formed above the ground as plants develop. Turnip crops often referred to as “Snowball” Turnip can be sewn from spring through summer and are mature 5-6 weeks after sewing. Swedes are best-planted early summer and have best flavour after the first frosts of winter.


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