I started to wonder if the purple variety of sweet potato might be better adapted at surviving cold temperatures from the discussions we've had about other crops with anthocyanins. Then i got even more curious when i read that this variety is from Japan. Do you guys think that this Sweet Potato might be able to over winter here in Colorado or maybe even produce Sweet Potato seeds? I think i might like to order some of these. Are sweet potatoes planted best in direct sunlight or what? What do you think?
Post by 12540dumont on Dec 11, 2011 22:55:12 GMT -5
I tried sweets here. It was neck and neck with them and the squash. I got very few potatoes and a bumper of squash. Mine were in full sun, they grow rather like a watermelon or other vine crop, fast! They like it hot. I put black plastic in the paths, as they were impossible to keep weeded and I needed more heat.
Perhaps you are right and there are short season sweets. I did see the So Seed Savers Exchange. I love to eat these things, but the amount of work I spent trying to dig them up to find that the voles had abc'd them, was very disappointing.
Exotica Rare Fruit Nursery in CA also sells the Okinawa purple. Good Luck.
Post by ottawagardener on Dec 12, 2011 10:05:51 GMT -5
I grow short seasons up here in Ottawa. They grow and crop very well given a bit of extra heat with plastic mulch / hilling / etc... I find it's all about variety. The Japanese beetles did gnaw on some of them. I get my short season selection from Mapple Farms.
Garden is a clearing in the woods grading from shallow, rocky soil supporting a maple bush to a pine forest planted on sandy soil and a clay bottomland with spruce and tamarack.
I'm keeping slips as houseplants, this winter. I cut the tops off small, discarded water bottles, to use as planters. I put several of these bottles in clear, plastic, pastry containers, as this helps them to stand upright, without tipping over.
Just one of the plainer, beige, sweet potatoes has colonized about half a bay window, as the vine grew a little too long, and a cutting was placed in the next bottle.
I am also being told the greens are delicious.
A local farmer and I barter produce for truckloads of manure, and he has access to dozens of leftover poles which we'll use to string the vines, when the weather warms up, again.
To get the tuber to break dormancy, you need a minimum of around 80ºF. Below that, they'll sit there forever and never sprout. I start mine on top of an aquarium. 25w bulb under the hood keeps their water around 85ºF.
Post by fusionpower on Dec 21, 2011 18:39:00 GMT -5
Purple: (Heirloom Variety) Early. Vigorous vines, normal leaf, deep purple skin, deep purple flesh, above average yield. To keep the deep purple color after cooking, you must cook these with the skins on. Very slow to sprout. Most likely will not be shipped before June 15. 6 slips for $7.50
Above from Sandhill.
From my personal experience, I do not grow the Purple variety any longer. It is fantastically productive, but the flavor in my experience is not at all enjoyable.
I grow Okinawan which is a very long season variety. It takes 140 days or more to mature tubers. I got a good harvest this year which was a VERY happy occasion. They are delicious.