Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Gardening with kids
SWEET POTATO VINE
1. Using four toothpicks have child suspend the vegetable on the rim of a jar or mug filled with water.
2. Make sure the bottom half - the pointed end - is under water.
3. Place in a sunny spot and change or add water as needed.
4. In a few days, roots will form below the water. And, two to three weeks later, leaves and stems will sprout from the top.
5. Continue to grow the plant in water or, after a month or two, pot the sweet potato in a houseplant potting mix.
6. Keep the soil moist.
7. The stems are weak, so help children tie them to strings, wire or a stake.
8. Feed once a month with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer such as 20-20-20. As the vine grows, cut it back a few inches to force the plant to grow bushy. Some are treated with heat to keep them from sprouting on grocery-store shelves, but most grow roots in a matter of days after being placed in water.