I’ve bought a book called Garden Wizardry for Kids. This is the first project we have done from the book. It’s a ‘Grow Sweet Potatoes’ project that is pretty simple and the kids love it.
All you need are two glass jars, some toothpicks and warm water. Push the toothpicks into the Potatoes and suspend them in the jar. Then fill with warm water. We started with four Sweet Potatoes and only two of them sprouted. But once they did their roots began growing very quickly. Jackson, my four year old, checked it every day and was very excited to see the new growth. Then, when the root system is quite large, the tops start to produce leaves.
I think if you do the project when the weather is warm outside you can then plant the tubers in the garden and hope for the best (depending on where you live). But as we’re still in Winter here I might have to discard them. But, just for entertainment value and a great visual aid to learning about roots and how they grow, this is definitely a great project to try.
You are soooooo right! Off season doesn’t matter, if it helps with the basic growing education! (so says a farm girl!)
Some people use sweet potatoes as an indoor house plant – I think it may even be one of Alys Fowler’s list of cheap and different houseplants in her Thrifty Gardener book. But a fun project even if it does end up in the compost!
I remember doing this when I was a kid!
I think they will live for quite a while in water and make a beautiful vine!
This reminds me of growing hyacinths in similar clear jars, plus runner beans in jam jars against some blotting paper as a kid. It’s good to see the next generation find these things just as fascinating :)
I did nearly the same thing last summer. I put the sprouted sweet potatoes out into my garden and they went wild! I harvest almost two grocery sacks full of tasty tubers…may be a little too cold up in Portland but if you have a large are to let the vines roam it may work.
I’d completely forgotten about doing this, but we used to do this back in the late 60s when house plants weren’t something that you could just easily go to the store and buy. They make beautiful vines for the house although they only last for a few months.