Thursday, May 31, 2012

Purple Skin Sweet Potato Propagation (White Flesh)

The third variety for sweet potato that we introduce into our garden since we started growing this sweet tuber is sweet potato with purple skin and white flesh. I wanted to grow sweet potato with purple skin and flesh, thinking of  Malaysian traditional cake when I harvested the tubers later. However, I bought wrong tubers from the market without checking the inner flesh colour. Usually I prefer to grow them from young shoots from sweet potato plants left growing over-winter in our garden. But with new variety into the garden, we have to get the new plants from tubers. When spring came, I simply just push half of the purple sweet potato tubers into the soil in container that were growing beet roots. I did forgot those tubers for a while left in the container. Snail/Slugs even munched on the sweet potato as seen in the photo. After young shoots sprouted from the sweet potato tuber eyes were big enough to cut and able to produce some root, I transplanted them in containers.
It was easier to differentiate the sweet  potato variety we grow this time. Because for this new member in the garden that we are growing have dark purple veins when the other 2 have green veins with different shape of leaves.
Sweet potato grows very well in container. I was a bit mischievous when I had extra purple sweet potato shoots ready to plant in hand that I planted one in a container that were growing leek and parsnips. I thought that I would not get many sweet potato harvest from that container since it was only intended sweet potato foliage to cover the soil like mulch. I was really surprise that among 4 containers that we grow purple sweet potatoes, the ones that were grown along with parsnip and leeks gave the biggest and most tubers compared to other containers. The parsnip roots were also remarkably decent size of parsnip root harvest. Lemon basil and sweet potato also seems to get along well together. 
Some of the purple sweet potatoes tubers harvested from our container garden.
Here are the debris of the purple sweet potato plants pull out from the containers by my husband. If you live in a frost-free area you can simply plant it back somewhere else in full sun. I have experimented with one plant last year after I harvested all the tubers and planted somewhere else in full sun. That plant still live at our backyard for more than a year now thriving without any tender loving care. We have not harvested that plant simply because we don't have the time and we still have many sweet potatoes plants sprouting from compost and growing as they please. Sweet potatoes has somehow become weeds in our garden. I won't be surprised when spring comes we got several sprouted sweet potato shoots somewhere in the garden.
Because I have many small containers at the moment, I selected some good-looking young shoots from the debris that have many strong roots attached  and planted them in containers. I left them outdoors, any plants of ours will be train to be hardy plants which is tolerant of the weather we have in winter and extreme summer heat here.
If these cuttings do well, I plan to give it away at veggie swap or seed-saver meetings.
I have received so many valuable advice and treasures from this community.
Sweet potato is one of the easiest edible plant to grow if you have suitable climate for growing this easy-going plant. Grows very well in pots like potato, not impossible even for gardeners with small space. I have a capsicum plant growing together with a sweet potato in container and the capsicum plants give a lot of produce as usual. Although, I have not yet harvest the sweet potato tubers, so I can't comment on the sweet potato harvest. A lemon basil plant was also growing together in the same pot during summer. If you can't wait for the harvest, you can snip some young shoots to enjoy while waiting for tubers.

32 comments:

rainfield61 said...

I also have such a mess of leafs of sweet potatoes crawling in my garden.

Krishna101380 said...

You have such a nice harvest of purple sweet potatoes! I'll try your advice and grow some on containers. I'll try to grow the yellow flesh ones since its easier to find those here. I love sweet potatoes and its young leaves we boil over a little water and dip in some fish sauce and calamansi... so simple yet so yummy.

makcikmanggis said...

wah lumayannya :)besar besar pulak saiz keledek yang diana tuai.Berbaloi..memang berbaloi.

Bolehlah buat macam-macam kuih nanti...kuih keria.kuih bingka keledek,masak lemak dan masak bubur .Macam-macam boleh buat dgn keledek:)

tina said...

I just recently learned you need warm weather to grow sweet potatoes. I've never done so but may give it a try next year. They are supposed to be very high in good nutrients. I wonder if the purple has even more due to the color?

Bom said...

I've never considered growing sweet potatoes. Mainly because I have no real garden. I always assumed I'd need to plant directly into the ground and that they wouldn't do well in pots. After reading your post, you are inspiring me to try.

Liz said...

I do like the idea of growing sweet potatoes in pots with capsicums - nice way to utilise all that space under the ground.

Sunray Gardens said...

Those look great. Wonder if they taste the same as the normal ones though.

Cher Sunray Gardens

suka suka said...

pucuk keledek boleh dibuat gulai lemak cili api + ikan bilis + bawang besar ...sedap...begitu juga kangkung..

Charmcitybalconygarden said...

Thanks for sharing! How large do the container need to be to grow potatoes. I'm guessing it has to be pretty deep, right?

cookingvarieties said...

hi diana, such a pretty deep purple skin color. i love sweet potatoes and also found out that they are very highly nutritious too.
they grew very well in your garden, otherwise you will not get such great harvest as in your pic. have you eaten the shoots? Fried kangkung style.. delicious,vintage veggie.
have a great week end

Daphne said...

Sadly our climate isn't great for sweet potatoes, but I'm trying them this year anyway. I'm growing some short season ones. Hopefully I'll get a decent harvest.

Sean L said...

Is this the type that is commonly used for yaki imo in Japan? The shoots are less tough and the tuber has minimal strings. Not as sweet as the orange flesh ones that is very stringy. The shoots of this type is very robust, and can smother other plants.

Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

I keep meaning to try cooking with sweet potato and never get round to it!

baguznet said...

wow! interesting laaa...
never know that we can also plant the sweet potato in a pot/container. thinking to try it one day. How long it takes basically to get the plant ready for harvest?

DANI said...

That's something I never grow ... sweet potatoes ... I wonder why !
Good ideea, Diana ! Thank you !

mat jon said...

how fortunate you are, just like a gardener in the old days, sometimes just let it be and see what happen next and this is exactly what you did.

Mama Pongkey said...

Love this post! I have a few purple sweet potatoes in the fridge, I will try soaking them in water, or perhaps, just tossing them and see how they do. I like the idea of training plants, makes for fuss-free gardening :-) They certainly seem to be taking over the garden, which I like because parts of my beds are a bit bare. Those leaves that we don't use will make great compost material.

Mark Willis said...

The purple-coloured ones are very attractive to look at. I don't think I have ever seen any like that before. We usually only get the yellow and cream-coloured ones. Wouldn't it be nice if the flesh was the same colour as the skin!?

KL said...

I have been away from the blog-world due to ill health and an operation, but now I am hopefully back. I missed all these blogs.

I love sweet potato, but never thought that it can be grown in pots. How big are the pots that you use to grow them? I also don't know if they will grow in NJ's weather as we have very bad cold snowy winters and I have read that sweet potatoes take a long time to grow.

I would not mind having sweet potatoes as weeds; it's one of those miracle, nutritious vegetable.

lena said...

looks like you have a lot of sweet potatoes plants growing in your garden. I wonder if i plant that, will it be successful..i love eating sweet potatoes a lot. i dont know whether i've told you before that i usually use my fingernails to peel or make a small scratch on the potato skin to chk its colour of the flesh. Hope you will beautiful harvests growing from tubers.

kitsapFG said...

That pile of purple sweet potatoes is gorgeous! I wish we had a suitable growing climate for them as I really do love to eat them. unfortunately our climate is just too cool for too long and they pout and dont' thrive.

JGH said...

Beautiful! I'll have to try this. One of my friends who grows sweet potatoes says they are the best soil therapy- they break up the clay soil and make it easier for the following year!

Joyfulhomemaker said...

i dreamt about this post last night..i am excited to grow some sweet potato

Lrong said...

The purple color of the skin looks really pretty... I normally still buy the slips from the stores...

Eco Safe Pest Control said...

Thanks for sharing a piece of your life. More power to your blog!

Sri Ranjani said...

That's a really good harvest considering the plant took very less attention from you.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Rainfield61~Ada ular tak?

Krishna~That is a nice way to enjoy the young leaves. Thanks for sharing it with me.

Makcikmanggis~Mood malas ni selalu saya roast je keledek tu bila roast ayam sekali.

Tina~Probably different flesh colour of sweet potatoes provide differemt nutrient value. I think your weather will be suitable to grow them since you have warm summer.

Bom~Sweet potatoes do really well in pots. I think you will have much better success than me since they love the tropical weather.

Liz~I don't think the sweet potatoes will bother the capsicum roots because sweet potatoes goes very deep into the soil.

Cher~I think like different variety of potatoes, different variety of sweet potatoes has different way suitable to cook as well. Some are more starchy than others.

Suka-suka~Ohhh terliur saya kalau dapat masakan macam tu.

Charcitybalconygarden~The one I harvested from in the photos were only grown in 30cm tall container.

Cookingvarieties~I tried the shoots but the children is still not taking them that much. Bila masak kampung style sometime I use the shoots as well.We been trying to change our diet by not just having rice for each meal but rotating with potatoes or sweet potatoes.

Daphne~Good Luck with your sweet potatoes. I hope you have very good harvest. Looking forward to watch the progress.

Sean L~Mmmm...I am not really sure whether this is similar with the yaki imo in Japan. But when I roasted them, it does taste like the ones usually roasted in Japan during autumn.

Sue~Hope you got a chance to try sweet potato this year. Sweet potato is starting to receive the same popularity with potato here in Australia. There are frozen sweet potato products available now in big supermarket.

Baguznet~You might want to give the sweet potato at least 6 months to grow decent size tubers. But with your weather probably they can grow much faster than our climate here.

Dani~ It will be fun to try growing them at your place!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Mat Jon~Yeah just let them grow, good things can't be rush. I found veggies that took a long time to ripe can be much sweeter than the force one.

Mama Pongkey~Sometime you might get new plants when you chuck the leaves into the compost.

Mark Willis~There are sweet potato varieties with purple skin and flesh. I hope I can find some and try growing them.

KL~Hopefully you are having a good rest and recovering well.The pots are not really big. The soil was just about 30cm deep. We have mediteranean climate here and it takes about 7 months to harvest tubers like photo above.

Lena~I think sweet potato plants grow much easier in your garden than ours. Since you have the weather they prefer more. I have been keeping your purple sweet potato recipes but have not the chance to try them yet. Thanks for the tips next time I make sure I check properly before I buy them.

KitsapFg~Will black plastic mulch help to keep the heat in the soil for you to grow sweet potatoes?

JGH~Yes sweet potato does help break the soil like potato tubers.

Joyfulhomemaker~Hope you can grow sweet potato the coming spring.

Lrong~Unfortunately our local nursery does not sell sweet potato slips. So we have to get the slips by ourselves.

Sri Ranjani~I found sweet potatoes much easier to grow than potatoes in our garden. The plants thrive with neglect.

Jay said...

I grow purple sweet potatos too. They tend to love the heat and grow really well here in Tucson, Arizona.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Jay~ I like to grow purple sweet potato to make traditional cake and do not need any artificial colouring.

Kadazan sis.TRG said...

Wow,such a lovely and healthy sweet potatoes.I really love sweet potatoes. Back in Sabah(1970-an), long time ago.., we used to boil them for breakfast before going to school. That time, my siblings and I felt so fortunate and proud to have such a wonderful food because it happened to be the 'energy booster'(My grandmother said so) for the whole day at school. Suprisingly, it turned out to be true, because we never felt hungry at school! Therefore we hardly used our pocket money to buy the food sold in our school's canteen. Unfortunately, my children or most youngsters do not like boiled sweet potatoes. They prefer bread with jam, cheese or something else.However,I still buy sweet potatoes and make 'kueh' or put in my 'masak lemak' for my family.I wish I had a spacious garden like yours.Here in my new home in TRG, I don't have enough space as I used to have in Sabah(Satu bukit bah!). Yet, I still plant okras, chilies,long beans and yam.Rose is my passion, I plant them in pots and enjoy to see them blooming.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Kadazan sis. TRG ~ Yes if at Sabah satu bukit can grow a lot of stuff. My mother living at housing area without any land to garden so each weekend she balik kampung to garden. Rose is edible too right. Sadly my kids prefer bread too. But the youngest baby is enjoying her sweet potato puree very much.