Differently colored sweet potatoes are easy to distinguish at harvest time. This fact has some great applications in practice, especially for the one who would save stock from one year to the next. I normally maintain about a dozen varieties of sweet potato. Almost every year, at some point I find myself harvesting roots and having to figure out what varieties I’m digging. This is especially the case since I plant fairly long rows, consisting of more than one variety.
For the seed saver or economically minded gardener, preserving the variety name is important.
I want to know what I’m planting and harvesting because planting and harvesting is a cycle. I also want to know each variety. Okay, so I’m a sweet potato connoisseur! I produce and sell slips and recognize that most of my clients want proper identification of their slips. See the link below for more on definitions, etc. Homesteading Edu also has a course on Sweet Potatoes.
Differently colored sweet potatoes can be planted to separate similar varieties.
Sweet potatoes come in many different skin and flesh colors. I’ve seen yellow, copper/brown, tan, white, purple, white, and various shades of red skin. There are white, various shades of yellow, various shades of orange, and various shades of purple flesh. They also show a wide variation in moisture and texture. I like ’em all! Most people land on a favorite taste and texture.
When I plant my sweet potatoes I try to juxtapose varieties that are very different.
I don’t put two tan-skinned varieties together in a row. I even avoid planting a tan and a copper-colored variety side by side. Instead, I like to plant as shown in our feature photo. I like to plant varieties together which are unmistakably different! I also keep a record of what I planted and in what order. This really helps to keep my varieties straight. Tags invariably fade or get lost. The varieties themselves are my markers.
When wet or moist, Molokai looks nearly black.
If you love sweet potatoes, try growing some in the coming year. If you grow many, try some differently colored sweet potato varieties. Not only can they treat you to a kaleidoscope of beauty, but they’ll also treat you to a smorgasbord of taste and texture!