I ordered from George's Plant Farm last year and had a bumper crop of sweet potatoes, so I was very disappointed... not so much in George as in the United States Postal Service. I emailed the farm and they informed me that they would be happy to send me more plants.
As dead as the original slips seemed to be, I decided to plant them and see if maybe some of them would live.
Ezekiel's dead bones, they started showing signs of life!
Oh by the way, George never sends just a dozen. If you order a dozen, he sends you at least sixteen plants. So when I went out to take stock of things today, I realized I had fifteen living sweet potato slips. Maybe sixteen: The one in the top picture doesn't look like it's alive, but neither did the others when I set them out. He might just be a little slow.
Then I went to the mailbox a while ago and found that my replacement plants had arrived. They were in great shape, by the way. So what else could I do? I started setting them out.
I now have three dozen sweet potato vines, and no cellar in which to store sweet potatoes. It's OK, though. Last year I found out you can mash cooked sweet potatoes, put them in conveniently-sized containers, and freeze them. We love sweet potatoes, and there's only one more container in the freezer.
If you want a source of good, healthy sweet potatoes, guaranteed to arrive in decent shape, I highly recommend George's Plant Farm.