Before planting, soak the roots of the slips in water for a few hours. Like other types, purple sweet potatoes are best planted in hilled rows. Tell us what you think: Leave a comment 8 people are already talking about this. This also allows for harvesting without having to dig up a large area in the garden. Usually this occurs in late September or early October before the first frost. In all possibility, Stokes Purple could be ‘Okinawan’, but without genetic testing it is truly impossible to know. As mentioned earlier, there are many different purple sweet potatoes that Japanese plant breeders have developed over the years. As your plants grow, you can harvest and eat the tender sweet potato vine tips. The young potato tubers begin to form at flowering. purple sweet potato, egg yolk, lemon juice, caster sugar, sea salt and 6 more Purple Sweet Potato Pudding Family Spice red chile powder, purple sweet potatoes, pecans, cloves, eggs and … Short on garden space? The potatoes that are firm and moist are ready. Sweet potatoes prefer a slightly acidic soil pH—somewhere between 5.5 and 6.5 is best, as it’s less inviting to the soil-borne pathogens that sometimes attack sweet potatoes. Consider them when planning for your veggie garden: ‘AllPurple’, ‘Purple Majesty’ or ‘Purple Passion’. The potatoes are easy to find due to the plant’s own website ( where you are able to buy them directly or locate a store nearby to purchase them. 1). Again no peeling necessary. When the sweet potatoes are finished, they should be slightly moist and significantly more firm. Demystifying different types of purple sweet potatoes, one tuber at a time! There are over 400 different sweet potato varieties around the world, figure out which is best for your garden. Please try again. It became very popular in Hawaii and was incorporated into lots of local and Hawaiian cooking. We love to DIY. Waiting too long and exposing sweet potatoes to frost will likely leave you … She’s 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. Hello Youtube Family! Harvest the potatoes after about three to five months after planting, depending on the growth rates of the Japanese sweet potato cultivar you choose. If you want to try your hand at growing these colorful veggies, here’s how. Sweet potatoes are typically ready for harvest 3-4 months after you put the slips on the ground once the plant has begun to wither and die back. 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. Purple sweet potatoes are low in calories at just around 50 calories per potato. 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. Early types, like... New Potatoes. 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. Brush off excess soil with your fingers, but do not wash or rinse the harvested tubers. Hawaiian sweet potato, which is a variety called ‘Okinawan’, but is commonly called purple yam, Japanese purple potato or Japanese Sweet Potato. Sweet potatoes may be associated with the southern U.S., but they will grow in just about any garden. Whether it is an edible or ornamental sweet potato, flowers are not usually part of the equation. Purple potatoes, also known as Peruvian purple potatoes, have naturally purple or deep blue skin and flesh, and are unusually high in antioxidants which makes them super healthful. 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. Sweet potato slips are produced by year-old sweet potatoes in hot beds at large specialty farms in mid to late spring. However, it is noted that ‘Okinawan’ is drier, lighter in purple color and less meaty when cooked compared to Stokes. It is noted by professional sweet potato growers that it doesn’t prefer the conditions of the mainland. Often, this is 3 to 4 months from when you planted the slips (most varieties take at least 100 days to reach maturity). This crop is intolerant to even light frosts. There is error while submitting your request. If you’d like, you can mulch newly planted slips with straw, untreated grass clippings or shredded leaves, but if you’re using the plastic, there’s no need to add extra mulch. Much like all sweet potato varieties, purple types need to be cured before long-term storage. Learn the basics about growing sweet potatoes and their origin. Copyright © 2020 EG Media Investments LLC. How to plant. The other more recent purple sweet that has made it to the grocery is Stokes Purple sweet potato. health benefits of Purple Sweet Potatoes. Don’t wait until after your last frost date to harvest! Learn when and how to harvest and cure sweet potatoes to enjoy during the winter months. To harvest, use a pitchfork or digging fork to lift the tubers out of the soil. This root crop has hundreds of varieties, some bred for their showy vines and others for the tasty potatoes (Fig. In warmer climates, it’s easier to tell when purple sweet potatoes are ready to harvest because their vines will yellow and die back. 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. You'll be happy to know sweet potatoes can be grown in containers. Look for popular cultivars such as ‘Purple Passion’, ‘Molokai Purple’, ‘All Purple’, ‘Purple Delight’ and ‘Purple Knight’. 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). 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. Let's get together. 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). The first is well dug, compost rich soil, and they need drainage. Required fields are marked *. Okinawan Sweet Potato Purple sweet potato is common in Japan and Okinawa where it is used in many sweet and savory dishes. I am so thankful that I got to harvest my sweet potatoes in November while most part of our country is covered in snow! Those roots can extend a good way from where you originally planted the sweet potato slips. In northern gardening zones, you’ll need to start your purple sweet potato crop by warming the soil for a few weeks before planting. I roasted or bake the purple spuds in a 375 degree oven until done through. For these reasons, the purple sweet potato growing season only runs during the summer months in most of the country. This will cause your sweet potatoes to turn a darker color and ruin them. Purple sweet potatoes are fun to grow and cook with. Yams and sweet potatoes have been confused for centuries, find out the difference and which one is best to plant in your garden. Through its travels it developed many different names, but its real and true name is ‘Okinawan’. Sweet potatoes are easy to grow but they do need a few things to grow really well. Okinawan Sweet Potato was brought to Hawaii via Japanese and Okinawan immigrants during the sugar plantation era of the 1800s. October 10, 2018. Your email address will not be published. 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. Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online. What's the Difference Between a Sweet Potato and a Yam, 60+ Ways to Use Up Thanksgiving Leftovers. Here are some key instructions on curing and storing sweet potatoes. 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. Planting purple sweet potatoes. Most purple potato varieties grow as early, midseason or late-season varieties. Sweet potatoes with purple flesh are from the same family as regular sweet potatoes. It prefers to be watered multiple times per day, likes rich, nutritious soil and sunny, warm conditions. 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. 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. In 2003, he was awarded these purple sweet potatoes as a prize at the state fair. Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more. To plant in gardens where warming plastic is in place, cut a hole through the plastic and plant the slip through the hole. You can harvest new potatoes about three weeks after flowering – dig carefully to avoid bruising tubers or damaging roots. I harvest my potatoes in the fall, eat … Sweet potatoes that have brown, red-orange, or white skin with orange or white flesh are native to Colombia and southern Central America. Space sweet potato slips about 12 inches apart in a row on top of the planting berm. You can usually harvest Okinawan sweet potatoes after 120 to 180 days. Their unique colors come from natural anthocyanin pigments; some Peruvian potatoes are naturally purple, while others are bred for deeper shades. Do not plant purple sweet potatoes until well after the danger of frost has passed. Much like all sweet potato varieties, purple types need to be cured before long-term storage. 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. 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. As it grows, add more soil to the hill – this will give the plant extra room to grow underground and protect it from weevils. New potatoes don’t store well and should be eaten within a day or two. They are a good source of vitamin C and contain a high level of anthocyanins—the antioxidant compound also … Unfortunately, they were awfully expensive ($3.99/lb, I believe). You can follow the process above and then plant the tuber in the ground or you can grow sweet potatoes from a seedling. The plastic should be in place for two to four weeks before planting. If your temperatures or humidity levels are not quite ideal, curing may take up to 2 weeks. Sweet potatoes are typically grown from rooted slips, and purple varieties are no different. It is noted that the first purple sweet potato was bred by the Japanese and grown specifically on Okinawa, hence its name. To harvest, use a pitchfork or digging fork to lift the tubers out of the soil. Once the temperatures drop down into the 50s at night, it’s time to start checking your tubers. The thing that sets purple sweet potatoes apart when it comes to their nutritional value is that they are packed with antioxidants. June 24, 2012 - Since purple sweet potatoes offer a lot of the appeal of regular potatoes (we love them as oven-baked fries and mashed) but have more vitamins, we got excited when we saw them at our local health food store. In Texas, the most common food varieties planted are Beauregard, Centennial, Jewell, and Vardaman; the most popular is Beauregard. Slips are simply rooted stem cuttings of sweet potato vines, usually about 4 or 5 inches in length. Stokes Purple was discovered in 2003 and more friendly to U.S. growing conditions. Your email address will not be published. The variety was unidentified and Mike began propagating it. There are 2 main culprits to avoid once your sweet potatoes are cured. Please let us know a convenient time to call you on, (*All time slots are available in CDT zone.). 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. Here are some of the other varieties to consider that are easier to find and work well in U.S. gardens. The produce company is Frieda’s and they are organic. Pick a site that receives full sun and is well-drained. Check to see if the sweet potatoes are done after 4-5 days. They are also a good source of vitamin C and potassium. Our experts will call you on your preferred time. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Find solutions for sourcing organic sweet potato slips and fertilizing with naturally derived nutrients. The purple potato made its way to Hawaii and then to the U.S. mainland. Available from late August through late spring, the Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes, with a purple-tinted skin and bold purple flesh, have a drier, denser texture, and better-balanced sweetness than their orange counterparts. © 2020 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. Thank you for choosing this service. They usually come in bundles of 25, which is … Purple sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants, and their creamy texture makes delicious fried sweet potato chips. Sweet potatoes grow by forming tubers along their roots. Available year-round, these sweet potatoes have purple-tinted skin with a deep purple flesh that intensifies when cooked. Mature Potatoes. Because the sweet potatoes can form a good distance from the plant, work from the outer edges of the berm in toward the center. Mike Sizemore, who lives in Stokes County, North Carolina, is noted for discovering this variety. When to Harvest Purple Potatoes Growing Time. The Ultimate Purple Sweet Potato Guide. 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. The sweet potatoes that are soft should be discarded. Tuck the edges of the plastic into the soil or pin them down with rocks, bricks, or landscape pins. What to Avoid with Sweet Potatoes. 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. A purple sweet potato plant Mature potatoes are usually ready three or four weeks after the tops die down. The bag you see pictured was purchased at Trader Joe’s in Manhattan Beach, CA (Los Angeles). Harvesting Purple Potatoes. Finding slips online can be a challenge, but if potatoes are found it would be easy to produce slips at home. 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. 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. They have little to no fat, 1.3 grams of fiber, 1.4 grams of protein, and only 12 grams of carbs. Beauregard is one of the world’s most popular sweet potatoes. Purple sweet potatoes are grown in the same manner as more traditional sweet potato varieties. After Columbus' discoveries, they were brought to Asia, and varieties with white skin and speckled pale purple flesh were developed on the Japanese island of Okinawa. A good rule of thumb is to watch for the first signs of yellowing leaves. If they're still soft after your first check, let them cure for a few more days and try again. The part we eat is the tuberous root of a vining plant that is closely related to morning glories (Ipomoea tricolor) and youll easily see the similarity in leaves to the sweet potato vines we now grow as ornamentals. 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. Growing sweet potatoes in pots allows you to keep them contained to a specific area. Purple varieties aren’t as sweet as other colors, but they sure are beautiful and tasty. Growing ‘Okinawan’ sweet potatoes in U.S. climates can be done, but the variety was specifically bred for the weather that is consistent of the islands such as Okinawa and Hawaii. The other more recent purple sweet that has made it to the grocery is Stokes Purple sweet potato. You love to DIY. There are several different varieties to try. Curing reduces shrinkage, prolongs storage and results in a sweeter flavor due to the conversion of starches to sugars. All rights reserved. D. alata, called "white yam", winged yam, water yam, and purple yam (not to be confused with the Okinawan purple "yam", which is a sweet potato), was first cultivated in Southeast Asia. Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths. All rights reserved. There are hundreds of different orange sweet potatoes to grow – here are the top five recommended by the experts. It has been years…. First, you need to avoid cold temperatures. In 2003, he was awarded these purple sweet potatoes as a prize at the state fair. Horticulturist Jessica Walliser is an award-winning radio host on KDKA Radio’s “The Organic Gardeners” in Pittsburgh. It is well known that sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber and have good nutritional value. It offers high-yield and disease-resistance. 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. Today, they are widely grown in Hawaii and exported to the United States mainland where they are popular with Asian and Lati… Roasted Purple Potatoes. Curing Purple Sweet Potatoes. Do not add nitrogen-rich fertilizer to sweet potatoes, as it encourages excessive vine growth at the expense of tuber production. Because the sweet potatoes can form a good distance from the plant, work from the outer edges of the berm in toward the center. Once they’re settled into their new home, purple sweet potato vines will grow fairly quickly. 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. Harvesting Purple Sweet Potatoes… Sweet potatoes need a long growing season, at least four preferably five months of good summer heat. It is possible to produce your own slipls, but takes time and planning. At … Mike Sizemore, who lives in Stokes County, North Carolina, is noted for discovering this variety.