Monday, 26 October 2015

Sweet Potato Harvest 2015

Earlier in the year I wrote a post about growing sweet potato slips yourself from tubers. It was a successful experiment and I managed to grow over a dozen slips for myself from tubers I grew last year as well as send some to a friend on twitter. She sent me four slips of different sweet potato varieties in exchange.

I planted out my first Beauregard slips in the first week of May, having assumed the risk of frost had passed. They were planted in open ground on my allotment. 

I was wrong. 

We had a patchy air frost the first week of June which obviously set the plants back a bit. I did think I was going to lose the plants for a time, but thankfully they survived.

At the end of June I planted out my remaining Beauregard slips together with an evangeline plant. The Murasaki, Bonita and burgundy slips were planted out in the first week of July. All were planted in open ground on my allotment. 

It's been a difficult growing year this year, with that late frost setting things back plus it was never particularly warm apart from one short period. So I had a feeling this year's sweet potato harvest wasn't going to be the best. As late summer turned to early autumn, it was clear the plants were still behind schedule so I covered them with plastic to make a polytunnel of sorts to give them a bit of warmth for longer

Today, I dug the plants up. It wasn't good, but also not a complete disaster as I think I have tubers of each variety that I can use to grow next year's slips, hopefully! 

So here goes....

Beauregard. The first plants yielded a few decent sized tubers but only about a kilo in total. 

The ones I planted a bit later were all skinny

The remaining plants from my twitter friend had come from Suttons Seeds but as they were delivered late, I think they had little chance of success




And finally Burgundy which was a failure 

But look what I also dug up, a tuber that was already regrowing!

So what did I learn this year?

For starters they need their long growing season and they need warmth if the summer isn't a scorcher like last year. So I think next year I'll cover them early on. Covering them will also protect them from a rogue late frost!

But as I said earlier, all is not lost as I'll try and grow slips from each variety. Even that tiny Burgurndy one, assuming it survives the winter!

Here's to the 2016 growing season!



  1. I have never tried growing sweet potatoes but after reading your post I think I might give it a go this year. I recently went to Taiwan and they have amazing sweet potatoes over there, they seem a lot sweeter then the variety we can buy in this country. Good luck with your gardening I hope you have as much success this year.

    Norberto @ Thorburn Landscapes

    1. Thanks Norberto. Good luck if you do. They do need a bit of warmth and a long growing season though, but sweet potato fries are to die for!