Friday, January 11, 2013

2012 Orange Sweet Potato Harvest

Over the last 3 years my sweet potato harvest has been steadily increasing. The first year I harvested almost nothing. The second year I harvested a lot more. This year I harvested more orange sweet potatoes above ground then the quantity I harvested last year – below ground!

Above Ground Sweet Potatoes

Some More Sweet Potatoes emerging from the ground

I had purchased the original “seed” potato for my second year of planting from a local farm, Sunzona, through a Whole Foods Market. I contacted Sunzona farms to find out the name of the variety, but they never got back to me. After speaking with several of the produce employees at the Whole Foods Market, one of them explained to me that it was some kind of Garnett. After searching online for a while and comparing all the pictures and vine descriptions I still couldn’t figure out what variety I have. Perhaps it's Beauregard.

This Sweet Potato Harvest came from the ground below the buckets

All but the biggest of the Orange Sweet Potato Harvest

The largest of these tubers, weighing in at almost 5 pounds, was (with no small effort) cut up and diced, then split between two casserole dishes of candied yams for our last Thanksgiving feast. Yes – I know sweet potatoes are not yams, but that is the name of the oven-baked marshmallow-topped dish I serve my family each Thanksgiving.

Large Orange Sweet Potato for Thanksgiving Dinner

Orange Sweet Potatoes chopped up for Thanksgiving Dinner

From my experience, I would not grow sweet potatoes from market bought potatoes unless I knew that they were grown locally.

Here are a few of the many online companies that you can get Sweet Potato Slips from in the U.S.:

- Brown’s Omaha

Pulling out Sweet Potatoes


  1. You've done really well with your sweet potato crop. I can grow regular Yukon Gold potatoes but still having trouble growing sweet potatoes.

    1. Thanks for the reply! I find it strange that you are in the South and can't grow sweet potatoes. The first year I grew them I had huge vines but harvested next to nothing. I blame this on a variety that was not suited to my climate. You will probably have a lot more luck if you start with sweet potatoes that are grown locally. Are any Farmer's Market vendors selling sweet potatoes?

  2. I am so jealous of your sweets as my growing season is just not long enough to get a good harvest.

    1. Dear Donna,
      I have heard some people in Tucson try fingerling potatoes here. Other than that, we can't really grow any regular potato varieties here. It just gets too hot - unless you put shade cloth over them. I don't baby my garden. Sweet potatoes like it hot with full sun.

  3. I have never tried sweet potatoes - not sure how well they would grow here in the UK but yours seem to do very well.

    1. Dear Elaine,
      Thank you so much for the reply!

      I lived in Bristol and greater Manchester for a few years. I would have to say that regular potatoes do better in the Northern Climate. I probably couldn't grow any regular potatoes down here without a major effort. I believe one variety (Georgia Jet) could be grown in northern climates, such as England - though I doubt they would produce as much regular potatoes.

  4. This is a great sweet potato article. The pics are wonderful, and it is good to see the sweet potatoes growing in leaf mulch.

    1. Thank you so much for the compliment, Maven! I really do enjoy growing the orange and purple sweet potato varieties I grew this fall.


Dear Gardening Friends,
I look forward to learning more about gardening with you. Your comments help me recognize that gardening is a life-long journey.

To advertisers: Note that this blog is concerned with gardening and gardening techniques. Please do not attempt to advertise here by leaving a comment. Depending upon how egregious the comment is, it may be deleted.