Author Topic: Breeding Sweet Potato in Europe  (Read 157 times)

Morris Charbonnier

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Breeding Sweet Potato in Europe
« on: 2021-02-08, 03:24:08 AM »
Sweet potatoes are a relatively ďnewĒ crop in most parts of Europe. With lacking cultivation history, no traditional varieties and limited intercontinental exchange of genetic material, itís even more important to share experiences. For this reason the new thread:)

I managed to get op seeds (under field conditions) from: Bonita, Evangeline, Murasaki, Beauregard, Tahiti, Tatakoto, Jin-Eul-Mi, Ho-Gam-Mi and an unnamed purple variety

Didnít succeed with: Sakura, Jeng-Mi, Kaukura (just few flowers), Manihi, Makatea and other two Korean varieties (no flowering at all)

Iím trying to expand my gene pool (nurseries, Asia shops, internetÖ), if I get enough material, Iím setting up some population crosses. Iím particularly interested in intense color (combinations) and taste

Additionally, Iím planning to graft weak flowering varieties on other Ipomoea species. Curious to hear about other (European) breeding projects;)

Ocimum

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Europe
« Reply #1 on: 2021-02-08, 04:43:41 AM »
Hi,
not doing it (yet...) but happy to hear someone is doing it in Europe. May I ask in which country/region you are?

Morris Charbonnier

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Europe
« Reply #2 on: 2021-02-08, 11:52:09 PM »
Iím in Switzerland, contact me when youíre starting with Sweet Potatoes:) Iíll probably have some spare seeds in late SeptemberÖ

orflo

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Europe
« Reply #3 on: 2021-02-09, 02:15:35 AM »
I am growing sweet potatoes in Belgium.  By the end of February I start them indoors or in the greenhouse, depending on the weather.  In May they are planted outside, in the field, and harvest takes place in September/Oktober. The results are quite OK, up to now T65 is the best one with plants producing 2-4 kgs each.  The last few years it became hotter and hotter, but also drier. Therefore harvests went down, clearly indicating that they require quite a bit of water.  Seeds are formed just about every year, it's however hard to ripen them off outside, cutting the seed stems and bringing them inside, in some glasses filled with water can prolong the ripening process. 
I am growing out these varieties: Purple II, erato violet, erato orange, T65, erato pleno, nordic white, beauregard, 022 (from Sweden), and an unknown one.  I won't grow beauregard any more, it's very unproductive.  Seeds are formed on erato orange, erato pleno, purple II and erato violet, sometimes also on nordic white .  Unfortunately t65 never flowers over here, even when they are left (and covered) until mid-December...

Richard Watson

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Europe
« Reply #4 on: 2021-02-09, 10:08:24 PM »
If you can get seed set at your latitude Frank surely i must. Getting to late summer here and Ive had little in the way of flowers since spring.
Changeable climate manly during winter & spring - just under 500mm average yearly rainfall. 20 years of soil improvements plus sub soil top soil reversal means my garden beds are about half metre deep. Below that is 100's of metres of alluvial out wash from the Southern
alps

reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Europe
« Reply #5 on: 2021-02-10, 12:14:13 AM »
I was thinking that too. I'm not at all familiar with most of the variety names mentioned in this thread. Maybe there are some more short season types in Europe. I know there is a fellow in Sweden that has had some success. I traded him some seeds several years back. His did not do well for me, only two sprouted and the plants did not thrive or bloom. That also makes me wonder if there are some that actually like it a little cooler. I don't know if he had much luck with mine or not.

2-4 kgs per plant yield sounds pretty good too. Most of mine have been less than that I think but I have mostly grown them in small pots and not been especially diligent on preparing a good soil mix nor watering during hot dry spells. I'm changing that this year with clones of the twenty best seedlings from last year.

Orflo, when you say you start them in Feb, are you talking about cloning slips or sprouting seeds? Here I do both in mid to late April. I also plant them out in May but here by then we are over 10c for nighttime lows. I generally harvest in October but once in awhile it stays hot into November so I leave them as long I can.

From what I have seen they are not daylength sensitive, some start blooming as small seedlings but I wonder if that might vary as some heirlooms such as Beauregard and Hong Hong don't bloom until much later. 


Morris Charbonnier

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Europe
« Reply #6 on: 2021-02-10, 07:04:12 AM »
In my experience only early pollinations in open field lead to completely matured seed. I also used the indoor water glass method for vines with unmatured seed (I got seeds; germination test not yet done).

Iím growing parent plants in pots in the greenhouse (slightly higher seed set) and with trellising (easier harvest, seed capsules stay dry unlike in dense field foliage). Seedlings and new varieties are evaluated in the field.

From what I have seen they are not daylength sensitive, some start blooming as small seedlings but I wonder if that might vary as some heirlooms such as Beauregard and Hong Hong don't bloom until much later. 

I tend to agree on that. I put hardly flowering varieties under (admittedly improvised) short-day conditions and havenít noticed a significant increase in flower settingÖ

Seeds are formed on erato orange, erato pleno, purple II and erato violet, sometimes also on nordic white .

Interesting, I definitely have to get those Erato varieties;)

orflo

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Europe
« Reply #7 on: 2021-02-10, 12:22:30 PM »
I was thinking that too. I'm not at all familiar with most of the variety names mentioned in this thread. Maybe there are some more short season types in Europe. I know there is a fellow in Sweden that has had some success. I traded him some seeds several years back. His did not do well for me, only two sprouted and the plants did not thrive or bloom. That also makes me wonder if there are some that actually like it a little cooler. I don't know if he had much luck with mine or not.

2-4 kgs per plant yield sounds pretty good too. Most of mine have been less than that I think but I have mostly grown them in small pots and not been especially diligent on preparing a good soil mix nor watering during hot dry spells. I'm changing that this year with clones of the twenty best seedlings from last year.

Orflo, when you say you start them in Feb, are you talking about cloning slips or sprouting seeds? Here I do both in mid to late April. I also plant them out in May but here by then we are over 10c for nighttime lows. I generally harvest in October but once in awhile it stays hot into November so I leave them as long I can.

From what I have seen they are not daylength sensitive, some start blooming as small seedlings but I wonder if that might vary as some heirlooms such as Beauregard and Hong Hong don't bloom until much later. 


I start to make slips at that moment, the seeds are sown by the end of March, we probably have less hot and long summers than many places in North America, so at 51 į north we need to take an early start, frosts can occur until mid-May.  In my experience sweet potatoes are not daylength sensitive, not for producing potatoes nor for flowering. Flowering here is very dependant on the variety, some varieties flower already when the are about 30 cms long, others need stems up to one metre...The 022 variety I mentioned probably comes from your Swedish connection...
In my experience only early pollinations in open field lead to completely matured seed. I also used the indoor water glass method for vines with unmatured seed (I got seeds; germination test not yet done).

Iím growing parent plants in pots in the greenhouse (slightly higher seed set) and with trellising (easier harvest, seed capsules stay dry unlike in dense field foliage). Seedlings and new varieties are evaluated in the field.

I tend to agree on that. I put hardly flowering varieties under (admittedly improvised) short-day conditions and havenít noticed a significant increase in flower settingÖ

Interesting, I definitely have to get those Erato varieties;)

I can grow some extra slips for you and send them in May, the only problem is that deliveries are quite slow since the pandemic, and I did have issues once sending live material (oca/yacon) to Switzerland.

If you can get seed set at your latitude Frank surely i must. Getting to late summer here and Ive had little in the way of flowers since spring.
Richard, are sweet potato seeds still allowed into NZ?  I don't have many this year, but I'll dedicate some plants only for seed saving in 2021, so with some luck I could have some for you

Morris Charbonnier

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Europe
« Reply #8 on: 2021-02-16, 02:39:09 AM »
@orflo: I'm always interested in new varieties (sent you a PM) and of course I'm willing to share mine (in accordance with my capacities:).

Someone familiar with such color patterns?


reed

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Re: Breeding Sweet Potato in Europe
« Reply #9 on: 2021-02-16, 03:21:04 AM »
Someone familiar with such color patterns?
Cool!, yes I see similar from time to time. White with purple star pattern or streaks or swirls. One time I had one with purple spots. I don't think it really means anything as far as flavor or otherwise but it's always fun to find. Do you notice that the snowy white part starts to discolor almost immediately when exposed to air? 
« Last Edit: 2021-02-16, 03:22:40 AM by reed »