The annual sweet potato harvest is always a much anticipated event here at Happy Acres. They are one of our staple crops for storage, and usually do quite well here for me. In 2018 The 51 plants I planted produced 118 pounds of sweet potatoes for an average of 2.31 pounds per plant. That proved to be way too many sweet potatoes for us to eat, and I wound up giving lots and lots of them away. So I cut back on how many I planted this year. Today I want to share my review of the ones I grew in 2019.
This year the average yields were better than last year and we should be well supplied for ourselves and have plenty for sharing with friends. The 35 plants I planted in 2019 produced 91 pounds of sweet potatoes for an average of 2.6 pounds per plant. Though it’s less than the total yield from 2018, it’s a lot of sweet potatoes any way you look at it! So I plan to cut back again in 2020 and plant a few less.
The most productive sweet potato this year is one of my long-time favorites, the orange fleshed Beauregard. It averaged 3.5 pounds per plant, making nice sized roots. Beauregard has a sweet moist flesh, and is the type of sweet potato you are likely to buy in a grocery store here in the U.S. It can make large roots even in areas with shorter growing seasons, and in our area can make huge roots in some years. It is a wonderful sweet potato for all around use in the kitchen, and it’s the one I used to make Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes for our Thanksgiving dinner.
The second most productive variety this year was Bonita, which was the best yielding last year. Bonita has a pinkish tan skin and moist white flesh, and is one of my favorites for baking whole. It yielded 3.3 pounds per plant this year, less than last year’s 3.8 pounds/plant but still a good yield.
Third best is one I haven’t grown in a number of years called Centennial. It always did well for me in my old garden in Kentucky, and it averaged 3.2 pounds per plant this year. I have to say I’m not impressed with the taste though, and I can’t say it’s an improvement over Beauregard. I doubt I will grow it here next year.
Other sweet potatoes I grew this year include the purple skinned and purple fleshed Purple variety. It averaged 2.4 pounds per plant, not as prolific as in years past but still a good showing. The dry flesh isn’t as sweet as some of the other varieties, which makes it useful for savory dishes like salads, hash and curries.
Two more varieties I grew this year are Murasaki and Korean Purple, which both have reddish purple skin and white flesh. The Murasaki has a sweet, nutty flavor and a somewhat dry texture compared to Beauregard. The flesh of Korean Purple is drier still, and makes a good choice for hash, chips or oven fries where you want the sweet potatoes to get crisp.
I’m still working on plans for the garden next year, but I am thinking 25 plants should be enough for our needs. So far Beauregard, Purple, Bonita, Murasaki and Korean Purple are on the grow list, and 5 plants of each should give us enough to keep us well supplied. I had a hard time kepping up with all the garden work this year, so I’m trying to cut back the overall garden by at least 40% next year so I have time for other things.
For more information about growing sweet potatoes try these sources: