Pictured above is Mr. George Spears, one of the oldest farmers in Bolivar County, MS. A graduate of Alcorn State University and Tuskegee Institute, Mr Spears has farmed over 50 years and currently plants a small acreage of vegetables. Here he is standing in an ASU demonstration plot of sweet potato slips near Mound Bayou, MS. Note: USDA Photo by Bill Tarpenning.

You can grow your own slips, however, most gardners buy them. Following is a listing of companies who sell slips by mail-order and brief descriptions of the varieties they sell. Keep in mind that the types of varieties they sell, sometimes change.


George's Plant Farm, 1410 Public Well Road, Martin, TN 38237, (731) 587-9477. Plants: Beauregard, Bunch Porto Ricans, Carolina Ruby, Centennial, Georgia Jewel, Jets, Nancy Hall, O' Henry, Red Japanese, Red Nugget, Vardaman, White Triumphs. Plants are shipped in mid April through June throughout the U.S., and harvested, packaged and mailed the same day. Plants will grow in most all states, but Northern states must cover bedded rows with black plastic 2 to 3 weeks before plants arrive. Free easy start growing guide with every order. Fresh sweet potatoes also available by mail order. Visit their web site at http://www.tatorman.com.



Livingston Farmers Association (LFA), Sweet Potato Department, (888) 621-4462. Most of the sweet potatoes grown in California are grown in the Livingston area. Note: The LFA does NOT sell the sweet potato slips, but can recommend an LFA member (farmer) who does. I suggest you contact MeriClone Labs first (see info below). The LFA Sweet Potato Department will be especially happy to assist you if you want to purchase large quanities of sweet potatoes.



MeriClone Labs, (360) 521-8606, (360) 737-7770 (fax), mericlonelabs@gmail.com (e-mail). MeriClone provides clean, meristemmed and virus-tested plants and seed stock. MeriClone still takes orders year-round. No minimum order. MeriClone provides plants for commercial growers and home gardeners. Order ahead of time. The first plants will be ready for shipping the first week of July. Orders will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit their web site at http://www.mericlone.com.



NC Foundation Seed Producers, Inc., 8220 Riley Hill Road, Zebulon, NC 27597, (919) 269-5592, (919) 269-5593 (Fax).



Park Seed Company, Inc. P.O. Box 31, Greenwood, SC 29648-0031, (864) 223-7333 (office). Plants: Beauregard, Centennial, Vardaman. According to correct horticultural practices, sweet potato plants are shipped only at the proper planting time for your zone, beginning May 1 through mid-May. Bareroot sweet potato plants are sold in bunches of 25. Minimum order 50 plants. Bunches can be combined from each variety. Can't ship to California, Hawaii, Canada or Puerto Rico because of restrictions and quarantines. Checks, Money Orders, MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express are accepted. To order call (800) 845-3369. Fax credit card orders to (864) 941-4206 (24-hours). Order online at http://www.parkseed.com.



Piedmont Plant Company, Customer Service Department, 807 N. Washington Street, Albany, GA 31701-5102, (912) 883-7029. (Plants: Beauregard variety only).



Steele Plant Company, LLC, P.O. Box 191, Gleason, TN 38229, (901) 648-5476. You can call and request a catalog or to learn more about the varieties and prices, go to their web site at http://www.sweetpotatoplant.com. They sell sweet potato plants: Beauregard, "Bunch" Porto Ricos, Centennial, Georgia Jet, Nancy Hall, New Jewel, Red Jewell, Sumor, Vardaman & White Yams. Selling plants is their business.


8. SC Foundation Seed Association, 1162 Cherry Road, Box 349952-9952, (864) 656-2520, Clemson, SC 29634-9952. (Roots & Plants: Beauregard, Carolina Bunch, Excel, Hernandez, Jewel, Regal, Southern Delite, Sumor). All plants and roots are produced under rigid standards to insure physical quality, trueness and freedom from disease and pests. Plants and roots are inspected and certified by Clemson University Seed Certification Department and the South Carolina Plant Industry Department. The plants or roots are sold by the pound and shipped in early April. All orders must be received by March 31. Shipments cannot be made to California, Arizona and Hawaii.


The Sweet Potato Farm, Gary Penick, 732 Highway 8 East, Vardaman, MS 38878, (601) 682-7469.



The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do,
something to love and something to hope for. — Joseph Addison (1672-1719).