Can I leave Purple Sweet Potatoes in ground two seasons?

simon_growDecember 17, 2011

Hello everyone, I planted some Okinawan Purple Sweet Potatoes late last spring and just dug up some of the tubers to see how they are coming along. I planted them pretty late in spring so I wasn't expecting them to get too big. The ones I dug up were actually about the size of the small purple sweet potatoes you find at the asian markets so I was quite happy.

Along with my edible sized sweet potatoes, I also found many that were about 3-6 inches long but only about half an inch in diameter. I was wondering if I can leave these very thin tubers in the ground until next season? I hope to harvest some larger tubers next year but I don't want the tubers to turn woody.

Here in San Diego, we occasionally get frost. We got slight frost two weeks ago which browned some of the top of my vines but the majority of the vines still looks good. Our ground does not freeze and I'm sure the vines will easily survive the winter. Do you think its ok for me to leave them until next Fall or will the Sweet Potatoes turn hard or otherwise inedible? Thanks in advance for any information!


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I suspect they would survive just fine, but I honestly don't know the answer to the quality question. I have replanted small, home grown sweet potatoes the following year. Some of them rotted away after the tops got going, some just kind of sat and got tough, dark, and corky inside, and a few of them actually grew, but were also kind of dark and funny looking flesh, not appealing so I didn't ever cook any to see what the flavor would be like.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 1:24PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

When I lived in SD in the 80's, Murphy Canyon was just outside my back fence, and I planted some Filipino sweet potatoes there on the hillside. They naturalized, and had no problem surviving the "winter"; I did have to irrigate them in Summer, though. They spread gradually, as some of the vines rooted where they touched the ground.

I can't say whether the small tubers would get larger; I would dig up every other hill in the Fall, and the surviving hills would fill in the space again. Never had to replant.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 3:00PM
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I bought white skin purple fleshed sweet potatoes from the flea market and tried to grow but failed 2 years in a row.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 9:50PM
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My bro has a small patch growing in his yard, planted by his late mother in law.. It comes back every year. So I think you're ok leaving them in...

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 12:06AM
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