Whether it is an edible or ornamental sweet potato, flowers are not usually part of the equation. Tuck the edges of the plastic into the soil or pin them down with rocks, bricks, or landscape pins. Purple-fleshed sweet potatoes need a long, warm season to produce a good crop, but the starchy, deep-purple roots of varieties such as ‘Violetta’ and ‘All Purple’ are worth the wait. Often, this is 3 to 4 months from when you planted the slips (most varieties take at least 100 days to reach maturity). It is noted that the first purple sweet potato was bred by the Japanese and grown specifically on Okinawa, hence its name. In northern gardening zones, you’ll need to start your purple sweet potato crop by warming the soil for a few weeks before planting. You can make mashed potatoes out of them, unless you have a variety that stays as dark as the ones I cook last were, the color of the mashers might be a little unappetizing but otherwise find to eat. It became very popular in Hawaii and was incorporated into lots of local and Hawaiian cooking. They are also a good source of vitamin C and potassium. There are over 400 different sweet potato varieties around the world, figure out which is best for your garden. Curing reduces shrinkage, prolongs storage and results in a sweeter flavor due to the conversion of starches to sugars. Most purple potato varieties grow as early, midseason or late-season varieties. Because the sweet potatoes can form a good distance from the plant, work from the outer edges of the berm in toward the center. Available year-round, these sweet potatoes have purple-tinted skin with a deep purple flesh that intensifies when cooked. Check to see if the sweet potatoes are done after 4-5 days. Let's get together. Those roots can extend a good way from where you originally planted the sweet potato slips. Slips are simply rooted stem cuttings of sweet potato vines, usually about 4 or 5 inches in length. Much like all sweet potato varieties, purple types need to be cured before long-term storage. Demystifying different types of purple sweet potatoes, one tuber at a time! They have little to no fat, 1.3 grams of fiber, 1.4 grams of protein, and only 12 grams of carbs. Here in the South (again, I am in central NC, zone 7b), I plant my sweet potatoes in the middle of May and harvest in the middle of October or towards the end of October. How to plant. I harvest my potatoes in the fall, eat … Space sweet potato slips about 12 inches apart in a row on top of the planting berm. Please let us know a convenient time to call you on, (*All time slots are available in CDT zone.). To harvest, use a pitchfork or digging fork to lift the tubers out of the soil. In warmer climates, it’s easier to tell when purple sweet potatoes are ready to harvest because their vines will yellow and die back. Harvest the potatoes after about three to five months after planting, depending on the growth rates of the Japanese sweet potato cultivar you choose. Copyright Â© 2020 EG Media Investments LLC. The produce company is Frieda’s and they are organic. Sheâs the author of five gardening books, including the Amazon-bestseller, 3 Recipes For Homemade Holiday Chicken Treats, Build This DIY Weasel Box To Keep Your Hens Safe, 6 Christmas Gift Ideas For Farmers In 2020, Recipe: Cinnamon & Sugar Brioche Is A Rich, Tender Treat, What To Do If Your Goat Has A Rare Disease. The sweet potatoes that are soft should be discarded. There’s not much to do in terms of maintenance other than to keep the deer out of the potato patch (sweet potato vines are one of their favorites) and make sure the vines receive about 1 inch of water per week. What to Avoid with Sweet Potatoes. In 2003, he was awarded these purple sweet potatoes as a prize at the state fair. When the sweet potatoes are finished, they should be slightly moist and significantly more firm. I picked up a few potatoes that day, just to try to cook them, and ended up sprouting them and growing my own purple sweet potatoes. It is possible to produce your own slipls, but takes time and planning. The potatoes are easy to find due to the plant’s own website (stokesfood.com) where you are able to buy them directly or locate a store nearby to purchase them. Although you can harvest the occasional tuber anytime after the plants come into flower, plan to harvest your main sweet potato crop just before the first frost strikes. The variety was unidentified and Mike began propagating it. There are 2 main culprits to avoid once your sweet potatoes are cured. health benefits of Purple Sweet Potatoes. Early types, like... New Potatoes. If you live in a cooler climate, harvest time will be shortly before the first fall frost (as early as 90 days, and as many as 120 days). Mike Sizemore, who lives in Stokes County, North Carolina, is noted for discovering this variety. The bag you see pictured was purchased at Trader Joe’s in Manhattan Beach, CA (Los Angeles). If you want to try your hand at growing these colorful veggies, here’s how. Growing sweet potatoes in pots allows you to keep them contained to a specific area. Exclusive to Frieda’s, these unique Stokes Purple ® sweet potatoes have a somewhat moist, moderately starchy texture and are mildly sweet with slight floral notes. Harvesting Purple Potatoes. Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more. In 2003, he was awarded these purple sweet potatoes as a prize at the state fair. Find solutions for sourcing organic sweet potato slips and fertilizing with naturally derived nutrients. Purple sweet potatoes are poised to become as popular as kale at trendy restaurants and farmers markets, even in northern climates where they’re more challenging to grow. Once they’re settled into their new home, purple sweet potato vines will grow fairly quickly. As mentioned earlier, there are many different purple sweet potatoes that Japanese plant breeders have developed over the years. For these reasons, the purple sweet potato growing season only runs during the summer months in most of the country. The potatoes that are firm and moist are ready. This will cause your sweet potatoes to turn a darker color and ruin them. First, you need to avoid cold temperatures. Usually this occurs in late September or early October before the first frost. We love to DIY. October 10, 2018. If they're still soft after your first check, let them cure for a few more days and try again. If your temperatures or humidity levels are not quite ideal, curing may take up to 2 weeks. In an article for the LA Times, it is believed that Stokes Purple is possibly a variety that was introduced by Japanese sweet potato breeders who had a number of purple varieties already in the marketplace. Purple sweet potatoes are grown in the same manner as more traditional sweet potato varieties. Okinawan Sweet Potato was brought to Hawaii via Japanese and Okinawan immigrants during the sugar plantation era of the 1800s. All rights reserved. Learn the basics about growing sweet potatoes and their origin. A purple sweet potato plant The Ultimate Purple Sweet Potato Guide. Harvesting Purple Sweet Potatoes… Sweet potatoes need a long growing season, at least four preferably five months of good summer heat. Mature Potatoes. The plastic should be in place for two to four weeks before planting. A good rule of thumb is to watch for the first signs of yellowing leaves. Damaged tubers should be eaten immediately, but the rest can be placed in a single layer in a warm (80 to 85 degrees F), well-ventilated, humid room out of direct sun for eight to 10 days. 1). Today, they are widely grown in Hawaii and exported to the United States mainland where they are popular with Asian and Lati… Updated March 30, 2020 There is no doubt that purple sweet potatoes have gained popularity—just open the pages of Eating Well, Martha Stewart Living, The Washington Post and O, The Oprah Magazine. Because the sweet potatoes can form a good distance from the plant, work from the outer edges of the berm in toward the center. Roasted Purple Potatoes. Pick a site that receives full sun and is well-drained. It is noted by professional sweet potato growers that it doesn’t prefer the conditions of the mainland. They usually come in bundles of 25, which is … Although not grown in the same quantities as the African yams, it has the largest distribution worldwide of any cultivated yam, being grown in Asia, the Pacific islands, Africa, and the West Indies. Learn when and how to harvest and cure sweet potatoes to enjoy during the winter months. Your email address will not be published. Much like all sweet potato varieties, purple types need to be cured before long-term storage. As it grows, add more soil to the hill – this will give the plant extra room to grow underground and protect it from weevils. This crop is intolerant to even light frosts. It prefers to be watered multiple times per day, likes rich, nutritious soil and sunny, warm conditions. In Texas, the most common food varieties planted are Beauregard, Centennial, Jewell, and Vardaman; the most popular is Beauregard. You can follow the process above and then plant the tuber in the ground or you can grow sweet potatoes from a seedling. Horticulturist Jessica Walliser is an award-winning radio host on KDKA Radioâs âThe Organic Gardenersâ in Pittsburgh. As your plants grow, you can harvest and eat the tender sweet potato vine tips. Here are some key instructions on curing and storing sweet potatoes. Once the skins have cured, store your purple sweet potatoes in wooden or plastic crates at about 55 degrees F with 85 percent relative humidity. In warm climates, the vines will begin to yellow and die back, but in the north, this may not happen in time for the arrival of fall’s cold weather. © 2020 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. Purple sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants, and their creamy texture makes delicious fried sweet potato chips. New potatoes don’t store well and should be eaten within a day or two. Sweet potatoes are typically grown from rooted slips, and purple varieties are no different. Thank you for choosing this service. Don’t wait until after your last frost date to harvest! They require about 100 to 120 days to mature, which is why sweet potatoes produce so well in the long, hot summers of the southern U.S. In all possibility, Stokes Purple could be ‘Okinawan’, but without genetic testing it is truly impossible to know. Sweet potatoes may be associated with the southern U.S., but they will grow in just about any garden. Sweet potato slips are produced by year-old sweet potatoes in hot beds at large specialty farms in mid to late spring. Hawaiian sweet potato, which is a variety called ‘Okinawan’, but is commonly called purple yam, Japanese purple potato or Japanese Sweet Potato. Purple sweet potatoes are fun to grow and cook with. Usually, sweet potatoes are ready to harvest when the leaves and ends of the vines have started turning yellow, but you can leave them in the ground up until the fall frost. However, it is noted that ‘Okinawan’ is drier, lighter in purple color and less meaty when cooked compared to Stokes. Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths. The young potato tubers begin to form at flowering. Sweet potatoes prefer a slightly acidic soil pHâsomewhere between 5.5 and 6.5 is best, as it’s less inviting to the soil-borne pathogens that sometimes attack sweet potatoes. Mike Sizemore, who lives in Stokes County, North Carolina, is noted for discovering this variety. Sweet potatoes with purple flesh are from the same family as regular sweet potatoes. Build 10-inch-high, berm-shaped rows by mounding the soil up, after it’s been tilled and amended with compost or well-aged manure. There are several different varieties of purple sweet potatoes available from sources such as Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Sand Hill Preservation, Duck Creek Farms, and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. This also allows for harvesting without having to dig up a large area in the garden. To harvest, use a pitchfork or digging fork to lift the tubers out of the soil. I am so thankful that I got to harvest my sweet potatoes in November while most part of our country is covered in snow! Once the temperatures drop down into the 50s at night, it’s time to start checking your tubers. You can harvest new potatoes about three weeks after flowering – dig carefully to avoid bruising tubers or damaging roots. Look for popular cultivars such as ‘Purple Passion’, ‘Molokai Purple’, ‘All Purple’, ‘Purple Delight’ and ‘Purple Knight’. Purple varieties aren’t as sweet as other colors, but they sure are beautiful and tasty. Again no peeling necessary. To warm the soil, cover the planting rows with a layer of black or clear plastic (more later on how to create good planting rows). If the growing season has been good with adequate water and sunshine, harvesting sweet potatoes should begin about 100-110 days after planting depending on the variety. Sweet potatoes are easy to grow but they do need a few things to grow really well. Purple sweet potatoes are low in calories at just around 50 calories per potato. Do not plant purple sweet potatoes until well after the danger of frost has passed. Curing Purple Sweet Potatoes. It has been years…. However, since the plant is patented, this means only those that have a license can produce it; so finding slips for home gardeners isnearly impossible. It offers high-yield and disease-resistance. There are several different varieties to try. When to Harvest Purple Potatoes Growing Time. The thing that sets purple sweet potatoes apart when it comes to their nutritional value is that they are packed with antioxidants. Sweet potatoes that have brown, red-orange, or white skin with orange or white flesh are native to Colombia and southern Central America.