About a month before the last frost date, develop "slips" to plant in the garden. This is done by soaking a few small sweet potatoes in water for a several hours; move them to a flowerpot ½ full of dirt, indoors in a sunny location. Each potato will produce 10-15 sprouts with roots at the potato. Each individual sprout is a "slip." (You can also purchase slips at a garden center.) When all danger of frost has past, and the slips are 6-8 inches long, cut them off the mature potato and transplant to garden. Space plants about 2 feet apart. Keep them moist with mulch at base. Harvest the sweet potatoes before the first frost by carefully digging them up with a shovel.
They should be firm and free of cracks and bruises. Store in a cool, dark, well-ventillated space for up to 2 weeks. (The refrigerator is a little too cold.)
Wash thuroughly and peel. Cut into cubes/chunks and cover with water in a pan and boil until soft (about 20 minutes). Drain water, top with a bit of butter and brown sugar if desired, and eat as is, or mash as you would a other potatoes.
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