Author Topic: Ipomoea batatas - breeding of Sweet Potato - Camote clones - New Zealand  (Read 5458 times)

reed

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Wow, I know they take awhile to sprout sometimes. When will you be digging to see what kind of roots you got? 
I'm only about a month out from getting mine going for this year. The windowsill house plants have started growing a little faster recently and the saved roots are looking good, couple have small sprouts already. Not sure that is necessarily a good thing but it is probably due to poor storage conditions.

Richard Watson

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 So in what way do you mean 'poor storage conditions'.

I dont want to dig just yet as ive only just put soil over heaps of stems, so maybe a month yet, did quite a few cuttings yesterday from sections that did have roots.
Wouldn't think the tubers would be growing much now the days are cooling.
Ive had a wee poke away and I know Bbcuzzie is a dark red tuber.

oh and one of the two clones in the tunnelhouse is now getting flowers, both these two have done so well in the indoor heat
« Last Edit: 2019-03-13, 11:40:23 AM by Richard Watson »
Changeable year round climate with warming winters - 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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"So in what way do you mean 'poor storage conditions".


Well, I don't rightly know. There is lots of advice to be had on how to store them, some is very specific as to temp and humidity. Some says root cellars environment is good, some say they like it warm.  My house isn't consistent for temp or humidity either one, humidity especially can get very low when it's cold and the wood stove is in use. I take the general position that I can't be too bothered by the precise likes of any particular crop, it has to adapt to me more or less or I give it up and move on.

That said, I am trying to figure out what they like for storage. Those put away to eat are in a long bin under the kitchen windows and some more in trays under it. They are just in cardboard boxes or trays and not sealed up so they are exposed intermittently to the cold drafts off the window and hotter temps, again when the wood stove is burning.

Some more are in stone jars in the largely unheated spare room upstairs.

The ones I want for cloning are in a box in a drawer in the bath room with my underwear and socks. This is the warmest and most constant place in the house. Interestingly these are the ones that are sprouting a little prematurely. They are just little sprouts so I'm not worried about it but roots of the same varieties in the other places are not doing it.

So, since I want them to adapt to me, storage under conditions that may generally be considered poor is part of that but this fall I'll probably put my favorites in one of the other places. I guess I'm suggesting not to worry too much over what they want, just give em what you got and let em make the best of it. ;D

(add) O' except anything close to freezing or even refrigerated, pretty sure they don't like that.
« Last Edit: 2019-03-13, 01:42:07 PM by reed »

Joseph Lofthouse

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I am also selecting sweet potatoes for storage under conditions which are available to me. Which means inside a closed cardboard box in an unheated (above 60 F) bedroom.

Lauren

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The ones I want for cloning are in a box in a drawer in the bath room with my underwear and socks. This is the warmest and most constant place in the house. Interestingly these are the ones that are sprouting a little prematurely. They are just little sprouts so I'm not worried about it but roots of the same varieties in the other places are not doing it.
I'm guessing it's the humidity in the bathroom. Mine are in a closed cupboard in the kitchen and they were fine all winter. Taken out and exposed to humidity (no difference in heat) they started to sprout.

reed

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It is also more consistently warm in the bath room but I also suspect the humidity is what encouraged sprouting. I think overall they are very forgiving of varied conditions. 

Richard Watson

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Ive still to nut out where I'm going to store mine yet.  Pulled one of my Kumara plants a few days ago, had one good root, wont be pulling the Camotes for a few weeks yet till there's heaps of roots for cuttings. Noticed too that they are good at growing roots above ground, one the Camote plant in the tunnelhouse has roots half a metre above the ground.
Changeable year round climate with warming winters - 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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I don't know of anything that is easier to sprout, any growing tip 3 - 4 inches long can just be chopped off and rooted. It's just speculation but I bet if the weather has cooled to where above ground growth has slowed the roots probably are't growing either. You can also dig the plants, remove the big storage roots and pot up or replant the whole thing.

By waiting to harvest you may be on the way to answering a question I have. That is, is there a point where a root is past mature? I mean is there a point it is good to eat or store after which it gets woody, or pithy or starts sprouting new shoots or something? I suspect that might be the case but I haven't done the experiments to see for sure.

Richard Watson

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Harvest time should really be way there's no more growth happening which is pretty much now. So they are not like a potato where I can leave them in the ground over winter and be dug anytime and still will be fine?.

Noticed with the outside clones that all but three plants have stopped producing flowers, but three are still going for it, this would be a good trait to select from would it not. I will note this so cuttings from these are plants are then spaced close together for next summer.
Changeable year round climate with warming winters - 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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O'no not at all like potatoes. I think in tropical climate they are actually perennial but if it gets anyway near freezing I imagine they would ruin and croak, even if mulched. I don't know that for sure though. I'v sure of it here though, it gets way too cold. They also can't be stored cold, like in refrigerator, ruins the flavor and texture.  Just put em in a box and shove em under the bed or something. I have had a few get wrinkled or dry in storage but only ones I ever had rot were some the woman put in a plastic bag.

I'm really just guessing also that root growth stops as foliage growth does, just kind of makes sense. Another way they are different from potatoes, a sweet potato is actually a root rather than a tuber or at least I think that is so. The roots, assuming you got some nice sized ones and I hope you did will keep inside for months during which you can eat some whenever you want and save back a few to start new plants from the next spring.

If they only made stringy roots but you want to keep them because of blooming ability you have to keep cuttings as house plants. If you have warm sunny window you might even still get seeds this year by taking cuttings from the ones still blooming inside and hand pollinating.  I about always get a few more seeds inside in the fall. Even ones that make crappy, stringy roots are good to keep as they might be the ones that cross to your local ones.

Once you have that cross all kinds of interesting new ones will start popping up!
« Last Edit: 2019-03-20, 04:40:26 PM by reed »

Mike Jennings

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These are the 2 seed-grown roots I have decided to keep and grow again this year. They both have white flesh, are viney, and made plenty of seeds. I also really liked some of the bush plants, and they made the most seeds by far, but the few that I grew didn't produce substantial enough roots to warrant growing again.

At final count (estimated) I got about 1200 seeds. Roughly half of those came from just a few bushy plants. I have a very long, warm growing season in CA and I let the sweet potatoes keep ripening seeds right up until frost killed the vines (about mid-November). Most of the seeds I produced are descended from seeds that Reed shared with me, but I also got a few seeds from some purple-fleshed and orange-fleshed heirlooms as well. I'm planning to grow at least twice as many sweet potatoes this year, so I should have lots of seeds to share next winter.

I am primarily interested in sweet potatoes with colored flesh, but I have to say that I kind of enjoy how the white fleshed ones cook up a bit more firm, whereas the orange or purple ones seem to get more mushy. I wonder if those trait are linked tightly, or could I get an orange fleshed one that is more firm?


Richard Watson

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I'm certainly chomping at the bit to dug them up, I know one plant has a big root right below the stem.
Changeable year round climate with warming winters - 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.

Richard Watson

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Dug all the outside plants yesterday.

Starting with plant # one, poor flowering, reasonable amount of top grow which produced a red long tapered root which is white inside






#two was much the same as #one but slightly lighter skin colour, this was my fastest germination seedling








#three - This was one of three that became very good flowering clones and still had flowers when dug up, it was though not the hardiest with the late spring cold, the root very small and white.









#four produced a orange skin and flesh long tapered root, poor flowerer.








#five produced no flowers, lots of growth and a ok sized dark red skim white inside tuber.








# six was a poor flowering and small amount of top growth, but the best tuber grower of all, right below the stem too.








#seven at the end became a top flower producer but root was disappointing, dark red and white inside.







Didnt bother with a photo of Bbcuzzie as there was no tubers at all, just roots that seemed like they were heading to Australia. This just leaves the two clones that are still doing well in the heat of the tunnelhouse. So all the outside plants have had lots a cuttings taken for next summer, I feel I'll see far better results next then by having plants flowering much earlier than this summer, Bbcuzzie started flowering mid summer but the other two good flowering plants didn't really start till after the main heat period.
So look forward now to next summer where there will be also a few other gardeners besides myself growing these clones around NZ.


   
« Last Edit: 2019-03-22, 03:11:41 PM by Richard Watson »
Changeable year round climate with warming winters - 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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I really like the look of #6 and sounds like it might have the clump root trait I like. Those in Mike's picture have nice shape, I like the sort of bulbous ones, they are easy to dig. The white one is interesting. I'v had two or three white ones show up but didn't keep them cause they were not very good bloomers and roots were puny. Too bad cause they tasted very good. I do have one saved from last year that is the first white one to make a larger root and it was a better bloomer. It isn't really as large as should be but it has stored fine so I'll probably start a couple from it.

I'v also discarded some all purple ones for same reasons, plus the purple are the only ones I'v seen so far that had any disease or bug issues in the roots.

Shows how diverse they are I guess cause neither of those were in the original parents. Richard, did you not get any seeds this year?

« Last Edit: 2019-03-23, 04:25:46 AM by reed »

Richard Watson

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No, no seed, I think its just down to timing, the bulk of the flowering kicked off as the heat started to wane. Like I said, I think I will see a big difference next summer.

Its good to know that the white rooted clones you've had taste good, at least my one was a good bloomer, so I'm pleased. But no purples, though it doesn't sound like I'm missing out on much.
Changeable year round climate with warming winters - 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.