Sweet Potatoes in Hosiery – Botany on the fly

My mother used to complain quite loudly about what an odd duck my father had been (when he happened to actually be there).

“He had  all these strange projects going!”

I do recall some of them, like rock bags tied to trees to make the limbs grow straight.

It must be in the genes.

Inside my water pipe closet now hangs panty hose with strangely shaped sweet potatoes stuffed inside.


WHY is this so, and how did we come to this?

It all begins last winter when, in search of something to put in soup, I found a lone sweet potato forgotten in the potato bin.  It was growing, and I  didn’t have the heart to cook it just then.  Here it was, against all odds, not just rooting but it had slips, with leaves!

I’m always out for a new way to show the kids something, and this seemed like as good an opportunity as I’d get to show how not all plants start from seeds.

So I put the potato and slips in the windowsill. happyslips

The children decided to try to start more potatoes and dreamed of backyard sweet potato farm mogul-hood.


Watching the potatoes develop was fun.

sweetp. vines

We moved them to pots, and in late May outside into planters. My son Pete made sure they stayed watered.


About ten days ago it was time to harvest.

What a strangely shaped/sized harvest it was…


from itty bitty to long and lumpy.




You need to cure them in a very warm/humid environment for 10-14 days  –  so we put them in a cardboard box in the van.


They need stored in a cool/dry spot for six to eight weeks.  This process is what makes them sweet.

The only cool spot in my house is the plumbing closet area in the work room. I had to think of a way to store them with air flow and yet not be attracting rodents so

there we are

hanging up in nylon stocking.

When we can try to make a decent sweet potato casserole I’ll update 🙂


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