Friday, 31 January 2020

Sweet Potato Edible and Ornamental Trio

I received a News Update from Thompson & Morgan revealing their Top 10 new additions of the best plant introductions launched in the their 2020 Spring Catalogue.

No 1 to 8 are all flowers and as much as I like flowers on the allotment I like to grow things I can eat

No 10 is the Low in carbs and high in fibre NEW Winter Squash Potatoes Duo that I blogged about in October and then again in December last year

No 9 is Pretty and tasty NEW Sweet Potato Edible and Ornamental Trio
- Colourful and tasty sweet potatoes
- High in antioxidants
- Heavy cropping for great results
Compact varieties are perfect for growing in large patio pots. Our photos show how pretty these ornamental sweet potatoes are, but you'll have to taste them to believe their flavour. Heavy yields mean you'll be surprised at harvest time too. Perfect additions to sunny borders, their compact growth makes them ideal for large patio pots too. The trio includes Tahiti, Tatakoto and Makatea.
TT. 20cm (8in). Harvest: Sept-Oct. Full sun.
Now sweet potatoes are something I like to eat, but something I have not tried growing in the past. My bother-in-law had a try a few years ago from slips and didn’t get a very good yield form what he planted and concluded that for him the cost was prohibitive and he didn’t try them again.

However a few years on and Thompson & Morgan are selling plants not slips at less than half price, so it has to be worth a go.

3 x 105mm potted sweet potato plants for £9.99 saving £10.98
6 x 105mm potted sweet potato plants for £17.99 saving £23.95

Delivery by the end of May 2020

They are also potted and not slips. The web site does not make it clear if all 3 are in one pot or in separate pots and if so what size or if it’s a bulb of soil in plastic, so it’s going to be interesting to see what arrives when it arrives and I will photograph the condition they arrive in and post to the blog for your information.  

Information from Thompson & Morgan’s Sweet Potato Edible and Ornamental Trio page


The Treasure Island Series comes from an innovative breeding programme producing Sweet Potato plants as ornamental edibles. The attractive foliage can be harvested as nutritious salad leaves until early autumn when the plants are lifted for their crop of delicious tubers.

This was something I didn’t know about sweet potatoes

These compact plants look equally at home on the patio as they are in the vegetable plot, making superb foliage plants throughout the summer. Height and spread: 1.5m (59").
Sweet Potato Trio comprises:

Sweet Potato 'Makatea' - Bright green, heart-shaped foliage and orange-flushed tubers in autumn.

Sweet Potato 'Tahiti' – A striking variety with eye-catching dark purple tubers.

Sweet Potato 'Tatakoto' – A winning combination of Ivy-shaped foliage with purple-skinned, orange-fleshed tubers.

How To Grow

Gradually acclimatise sweet potato plants to outdoor conditions over 7-10 days prior to planting directly outside once all risk of frost has passed. Sweet potatoes require high temperatures of 24-26°C (74-78°F).

Planting them through black plastic will provide extra warmth in cooler climates. When growing sweet potato in particularly cold areas they are best grown in greenhouse borders or under cloches.

Plant sweet potatoes 30cm (12") apart, leaving 75cm (30") between rows. Grow sweet potatoes in rich fertile, light sandy well drained soil. They prefer an acid or neutral soil in full sun. Prepare the soil in early spring by adding plenty of well-rotted manure or garden compost to the soil to improve its structure and fertility. Water generously after planting.

More Info

Water sweet potato plants regularly and hoe between plants to prevent weeds from establishing. Provide a thick mulch of organic matter around the base of the plants to help conserve moisture and reduce weed growth. Spread the stems out around the plant and cut back to the growing tips to encourage more lateral stems to develop. Harvest sweet potatoes in late summer approximately 12 to 16 weeks after planting, when the foliage begins to turn yellow and die back.

Culinary note: Culinary uses of sweet potato are similar to potatoes - boil, steam, bake, fry, mash or batter fry as 'tempura'. The leaves and tips of young shoots can be cooked as a spinach substitute.

I found additional information on the Thompson & Morgan web site on How to grow sweet potatoes in the UK. It’s very informative and expands on the information found on the Sweet Potato Trio (Treasure Island Series) web page

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