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Old July 20, 2013   #1
Mark0820
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Default Sandhill - Purple and Orange Fleshed Sweet Potatoes

I've seen several threads regarding Sandhill Preservation sweet potatoes, but couldn't find any to match my specifications.

Can someone recommend a good purple fleshed (prefer deep purple, but any purple will do) and a good orange fleshed sweet potato to try for next year? I primarily prepare and eat them like a baked potato (on rare occasions fry them). I bake and eat them with the skins on (if that makes a difference) with a little butter, salt and pepper.
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Old July 21, 2013   #2
Fusion_power
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Mahon aka Bradshaw is an excellent orange. If you can't get them, Covington is a good commercial alternative.

I'll touch on the purple recommendation by saying I've grown Okinawan and Purple and had too many difficulties with each. Okinawan is an excellent sweet potato, but at 140 days to maturity is just too long for most climates.
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Old July 21, 2013   #3
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Do you have any interest in the white varieties? They are so good baked!
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Old July 21, 2013   #4
Mark0820
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Thanks for the information! I guess I will take a pass on the idea of a purple sweet potato, or if I decide to try one, I will give Purple a try and see how it does in my area.

I would need slips in the ground the first week of May to grow a 140 day sweet potato. In most years, the weather here would probably accommodate it, but it seems like it is almost impossible to find slips anywhere that early in the season.

Shelleybean, I've never really considered a white sweet potato. I guess it is more mental than anything. It just doesn't seem right that a sweet potato should be white. The descriptions of white sweet potatoes do sound good. What are some good white varieties? In one thread I read, someone mentioned a purple skinned / white fleshed sweet potato from Sandhill. I don't recall the name, but would remember it if I saw it.
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Old July 21, 2013   #5
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I prefer the white varieties because they're not quite as sweet as the orange and they're a bit drier in texture. I believe Violetta is purple skinned and white fleshed. I grow the ones with a buff skin and white flesh. I like Ivis White Cream for baking. I am trying Frazier white this season. I have also heard good things about Brinkley White. I think these three are early and midseason varieties. All are available from Sand Hill. I get all my slips from them.
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Old July 21, 2013   #6
Mark0820
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The purple skinned / white fleshed sweet potato I was thinking about is Korean Purple. I looked at it because I thought it would be purple fleshed (based on its name).

The Brinkley White, Frazier White and Ivis White all sound very good from the Sand hill description. Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, the grocery stores in my area always have a few white sweet potatoes. I will have to buy a couple of them and see if it is something I should consider growing next year.

I'm growing Beauregard this year. This is the most popular in my area in terms of buying slips locally. I also grew a couple of slips from sweet potatoes I bought at the grocery store. I have no idea what the variety is, but the leaves are a darker green than the Beauregard. I must say the slips took a lot longer to grow than I anticipated.
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Old July 21, 2013   #7
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Most of the Purple fleshed varieties have drier flesh and not very sweet. But the Molokai will produce under shorter season and is very dark purple. Also the Purple delight will do good under shorter season. I sent both Molokai and Purple Delight to Glenn a couple of years ago so he will have them as do I. The Okinawa Purple is very popular, but take a very long hot growing season.... Dingess Purple flesh is a newer variety which is very similar to Purple delight, another new one is called Dingess Pink and Purple which has a light pink skin and kind of a cream and purple mixed flesh. It tasted very sweet raw but haven't tried it cooked. I sent it to Glenn and he will have it next year as will I baring a crop failure.

I have been working on a breeding program for purple flesh with better flavor or at least better to me... I Currently have about 225 seedlings with a purple flesh variety as one of the parents planted out, so hopefully I will get some nice seedlings to work with...... I have lots of seedlings coming from Okinawa Purple that I am hoping to get one that will produce under shorter season. Also the Okinawa produce it's roots a long way from the main plant....so one that produced right under the plant would be nice..

there are so many great orange flesh varieties. A new to me variety from last season was New Jersey Red, which had excellent production. I also liked Red Jewel or Scarlet.....The variety Dianne is getting very popular and I get lots of good comments on it....

I currently have around 300 varieties of sweetpotatoes in my collection

Korean Purple is white flesh with Purple skin

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Old July 21, 2013   #8
Mark0820
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Shelleybean, I was reading about sweet potatoes on Southern Exposure's website and they indicate interest in white sweet potatoes is very regional (with the Southeast U.S. having the most interest in them). It sounds like a white sweet potato is preferred to an Irish potato in the Southeast. I guess that is why I have a hard time thinking about white sweet potatoes. I definitely plan on giving them a try. There was a time when I never would have considered eating Kale, and now it is one of my favorite vegetables. Southern Exposure raves about O' Henry (a white sweet potato).

DuckCreekFarms, you have a nice selection of sweet potato slips in your catalog. There more searches I do on purple fleshed sweet potatoes, I realize people don't seem as excited about them as they do the orange and white sweet potatoes. Maybe I will wait and see if any of your new lines improve the flavor of the purples. I did see Molokai, and based on Internet searches, it appears to have one of the highest levels of interest among the purple sweet potatoes.

I agree, it is difficult to select an orange fleshed sweet potato. There are so many to choose from. I definitely plan on trying Bradshaw (Fusion power's recommendation). Your catalog also speaks highly of this variety. I am also thinking about Ginseng Orange. Both Southern Exposure and your catalog indicate it is one of the most productive orange fleshed you grow. And finally, the New Jersey Red sounds good also. I might try and squeeze a few slips of those in my garden as well.
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Old July 22, 2013   #9
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Mark, you are cracking me up! You think a white sweet potato sound strange but you're okay with purple? Seriously though, I'd say the white ones, at least the bigger ones, do resemble a Russet in color, but in shape it's just like any other sweet potato. When you bake the white ones, it's almost like a cross between a Russet and a sweet potato because the flesh is drier and it's less sweet.

On the Eastern Shore here, a lot of people grow Haymans and they are sold here around Thanksgiving. I grew Hayman last summer but like the Sand Hill catalog says, they are small. This is not an ideal variety for baking. I can see peeling them and using them in a casserole and they also make chips from them, but I'd like a bigger potato for baking.

There are lots of fun varieties out there! With sweet potatoes or any other veggie for that matter, I like to grow what I can't buy in a store. Hope you find something you like.
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Old January 1, 2015   #10
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I know I'm kind of late to the party. But I do have a couple of things to contribute. Gary (Duck Creek Farms) has a great listing of slips for sale, every spring. One only needs to look him up on line. Between Gary and Glenn Drowns, I think that's probably the greatest diversity of varieties available in North America. And, there are so many good varieties out there!

I have grown Brinkley White, pretty much since 2002. When baked long enough it is sugary sweet. The key is to bake, no higher than 350 F. and probably at least 1/2 hour longer than most would naturally bake a potato. The skin on a sweet potato, thus baked, will puff out, and even the drier types will get a little mushy. This is when the most sweetness develops. I harvested maybe 50 lb of Brinkley White this fall and have been delighting in them, baking them for snacks and meals. Brinkley White's flesh is not really white. It's kind of a light yellow.

Grand Asia is a purple skinned, white fleshed sweet potato. It is drier than Brinkley White and its flesh is truly white. When baked well, it is still nice and sweet. I add no sweetener at all when I eat them. But they are a bit dry. I enjoy putting a little butter on them. But Grand Asia, at least in our hot Oklahoma climate, is an amazing producer. It easily out produces any other variety I have by twice, sometimes four times the production. For me, it is a must have.

A neighbor of mine received a Hawaiian purple variety called Ula. He gave me a start last spring. It produced exceedingly well, almost like Grand Asia. The roots were a very dark purple as was the flesh. It is even less sweet than Grand Asia. But it is acceptable, for me, to eat without sweetener, if I cook it just right. Ula was interesting, in that it showed the most sensitivity to cold of any variety I have ever seen. It was in the 40s when I picked up my first two slips. I simply walked, with them, from the potting shed to my car, about 50' away, and then from the car, about 40' to my house. The next morning the slips had died in my planter. I was mystified, never having seen such a thing. But it was the chill. Later, in May, when I planted the majority of my slips outside, we had a cold snap, down to just below 40 F. Most of the plants came through alright. But I lost two out of five Ula plants and the others lost most all their leaves.

But when the Oklahoma heat turned on, full blast, Ula became a champ. It was super vigorous and produced a very very nice crop. I intend to grow it again.

George
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