Author Topic: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)  (Read 1316 times)

reed

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 277
  • Karma: 25
  • Narrow Ridge above the Ohio River zone 6a
    • View Profile
Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #45 on: 2019-06-04, 06:15:08 PM »
I think there are lots of non-sweet ones especially among seed grown. Probably less than 1/2 are sweet. That might not be true if two sweet ones crossed.

I think pretty much all Impomoea species look almost exactly alike when they first sprout. Sweet potatoes don't climb though or even stand up very tall before branching or falling over so by time they have two or three sets of leaves they are pretty distinct.

ImGrimmer

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10
  • Karma: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #46 on: 2019-06-05, 06:10:38 AM »
Eliminate heat mats, cold frames, transplanting, the whole process, and go straight to selecting for direct seeded sweet potatoes.

That would be great. I try to go to direct seeding with every vegetable I breed.
How cold does it get in your area? Do you have snow cover in winter?
Snow might help the volunteers.

reed

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 277
  • Karma: 25
  • Narrow Ridge above the Ohio River zone 6a
    • View Profile
Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #47 on: 2019-06-05, 08:00:29 AM »
We don't ordinarily get a lot of snow but it can get pretty cold, -10 F, I guess that is about -20 C. Volunteer sweet potatoes don't show up until at least late May, they can keep popping up all summer but of course those from August or later don't have much chance of maturing.  They like it hot. 

reed

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 277
  • Karma: 25
  • Narrow Ridge above the Ohio River zone 6a
    • View Profile
Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #48 on: 2019-06-09, 07:21:34 AM »
Some of my new varieties arrived and are planted. They were lost in the mail for awhile and had no live leaves at all but roots and stems were fine and they are already starting to sprout new growth so should be fine.

On another note, a side project not related to turning sweet potatoes into an annual seed grow crop is to see if can make a perhaps hardy perennial by crossing to i pandurata. I tried before and got two seeds that I think were pollinated by pandurata but the did not sprout.

Also last year my I pandurata seeds did not spout. I think that might be because they, unlike I batatas do need cold stratification so I put some in the freezer last fall. Got them out about a month ago and planted just in a flower pot and left it setting in the garden. They were still slow but all of a sudden they popped up.

Not sure where to put them, being a giant perennial vine I don't want them in the garden itself so need to find a spot along the edge of the yard somewhere. It will be much easier to try  crosses once they are established and I don't have to drive somewhere to collect pollen.


These all came from the same apparently self pollinated vine. I'v located seven wild plants but only this one made has made seeds. So, I'm wondering if they have similar tenancies in that regard as does batatas, mostly not self compatible but occasionally so.  If that's the case, perhaps since I have the very highly fertile types of both species I will get lucky and find crosses.

Or maybe there is another wild vine that I haven't found near the one that makes seeds, who knows?
« Last Edit: 2019-06-09, 07:29:58 AM by reed »

Ferdzy

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 43
  • Karma: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #49 on: 2019-06-09, 08:22:59 AM »
Wow, Reed, that's fascinating. I have never even heard of i pandurata even though according to Wikipedia it is native up into southern Ontario (where I live). It is very striking so I'm sure I would have noticed it if I had ever seen it in bloom. I will be watching this with interest!

reed

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 277
  • Karma: 25
  • Narrow Ridge above the Ohio River zone 6a
    • View Profile
Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #50 on: 2019-06-10, 04:06:39 AM »
The i pandurata is an impressive plant, it grows along the roads here and at the top of the river bank but it isn't real common. It's very pretty, it don't climb like a bean but its stems stand up a couple feet before falling over so if there is a fence or bushes to lean on and get tangled in it looks like it climbed. The one that makes seeds sprawls on the ground along a ditch and has vines probably 20 feet long.  it completely dies back in winter, amazing how such giant vines can grow back each year, I guess that is due to its big roots. I'v never dug up any roots so don't know what they look or taste like. The flowers are four or five inches across and there are lots of them, would make a nice ornamental if nothing else.

I guess the flooding weather from the plains has shifted east, been cool and raining here for over a week, sweet potatoes overall will not like this. 

reed

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 277
  • Karma: 25
  • Narrow Ridge above the Ohio River zone 6a
    • View Profile
Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #51 on: 2019-06-13, 03:15:14 AM »
Still cool and wet here, not so bad as to do a lot of harm but enough so that my sweet potatoes are not growing as fast as normal. One of my new ones that came from Sow True Seeds  and was lost in the mail is perking up pretty good and YEA, the grower in Iowa report they have started shipping and expect to be done next week. Most of the new ones are coming from there and assuming mine are not in the group that are refusing to sprout slips due to cold weather, I should have them before July.

In the mean time I have planted a bunch of those I call Bushy Bloomer, BB Improved-1, and BB Improved-2 in very small pots that I can move around to facilitate pollination wherever I think it's needed.  I will probably drop the original BB after this year cause it doesn't make much in the way of usable roots. Time to weed out the non-rooters even if they do produce a lot of seeds. Any as yet unidentified traits they may have that should be kept already are kept in the seed archive.

« Last Edit: 2019-06-13, 08:12:50 AM by reed »

Mike Jennings

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23
  • Karma: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #52 on: 2019-06-13, 04:08:06 PM »
I still havenít gotten my sweet potatoes into the ground, although we are having plenty of hot weather now. My seedlings are still sitting in their 3Ē pots or still in the seed flat.

The tubers I saved for slips had some setbacks too. I set them out in flats of soil, in early May, to start sprouting, but then the weather turned cold and rainy again. So I put clear plastic covers over the flats to keep them a little warmer, but then the sun came out and scorched them, before turning cold again. About half the tubers rotted, but the other half finally has slips that are ready to plant.

We also had a very cold, rainy spring so all my overwintering crops have been delayed and are still taking up space where the sweet potatoes will go. Next week I will finally pull out the cauliflower seed crop, and plant the sweet potatoes. I expect my slips from Sandhill will be arriving soon as well.

My oldest seedlings are a batch of bushy bloomer descendants. Some of them are already starting to flower in their pots. Iím a little worried about them getting root-bound and that negatively affecting their tuber quality. In the Sandhill guide to growing sweet potatoes they really highlight the importance of not having too many roots on your slips, because that can make the tubers grow twisted and mis-shapen ó reducing yield. I would think the same thing would apply to pot-bound seedlings.
« Last Edit: 2019-06-13, 04:12:47 PM by Mike Jennings »

Richard Watson

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 159
  • Karma: 17
  • South Island - New Zealand
    • View Profile
    • Sentinels Group Seeds
    • Email
Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #53 on: 2019-06-13, 11:23:04 PM »
So do you cut off some of the roots on the slips?.

My bushy bloomer descendant is still producing flower buds yet its winter, but they fall off before they can open, too cold.

reed

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 277
  • Karma: 25
  • Narrow Ridge above the Ohio River zone 6a
    • View Profile
Re: Breeding Sweet Potatoes (turning them into a seed grown annual)
« Reply #54 on: Yesterday at 12:34:46 AM »
When I have one that overwintered in a pot or even a slip that I think has too many roots I cut off the top and re-root it. If you keep it very wet for a few days a cutting can be planted without any roots at all. Lots of times trimmings discarded on the ground root down and resume growing.

« Last Edit: Yesterday at 12:38:33 AM by reed »