Seems like Japanese purple sweet potato, that is what they call it, is becoming increasingly popular among gardeners. It’s time to dive deep into planting Japanese sweet potatoes.
People who love gardening want a plant or a vegetable, which is commonly used and easily available along with these qualities, it is easy to take care of and has enough nutritional value in it.
Japanese Sweet Potatoes
Japanese sweet potatoes are like all other sweet potatoes. But some differences include color along with having different varieties. These sweet potatoes are richer in nutrients than other sweet potatoes in the world.
Purple Japanese Sweet Potato
In addition to their purple and pale color, these sweet potatoes have a sweeter flavor than other varieties of sweet potatoes. These Japanese sweet potatoes are fluffier and have a light texture along with distinct creaminess in them.
Sweet Potatoes In Japan
Not exactly by their name, these sweet potatoes are native to South America actually. These are sweeter than the common sweet potatoes. People like it, and it is usually used in cold weather areas. They are usually baked and sliced nicely to eat.
These potatoes are famous in japan which is why they are named Japanese sweet potatoes. Now, these can be found in grocery stores and markets in the United States. Also, these have the same health benefits as the other sweet potatoes, they are antioxidants.
Sweet potatoes have a lot of varieties. Therefore you need to pick the right one for you. That is the Japanese sweet potato. They can be checked and acquainted by their purple color.
Why Japanese Sweet Potatoes?
Potatoes are like universal food. This vegetable is used in all cultures and every part of the world with different techniques of cooking and eating. Moreover, its nutritious and enjoyable value to eat is widely accepted. The same goes for the case of sweet potatoes, especially in terms of Japanese sweet potatoes.
Japanese sweet potato nutrition
Japanese sweet potatoes are richer in nutrients. Here is a detail of the nutritional value of this potato.
Fat 0.1 grams
Cholesterol 0 mg
Dietary Fiber 3.9 grams
Sugars 5.4 grams
Protein 2 grams
Sodium 72 mg
Potassium 438 mg
Total Carbohydrates 26 grams
Vitamin C 5.2%
Vitamin A 369 %
This is a widely used vegetable to get rid of instant appetite. When a nicely cut portion of Japanese sweet potato is being taken into the mouth, it just melts there. Your appetite would surely run away.
Japanese Sweet Potatoes Calories
A hundred grams of Japanese sweet potatoes will give you 132 calories.
Besides its main course to be eaten, its leaves can also be eaten. They are edible and can be used in many dishes and salads.
Moreover, besides its richness of nutrients and sweetness, if we compare the efficiency and effectiveness in terms of growing this sweet potato, you will get a positive result. You will get more organic sweet potatoes than those available in the market.
If you can get a constant supply of sweet potatoes, by just doing slightly more effort in planting and taking care of them, I recommend you should go for it because it will not only give a great harvest but also will make you a permanent lover of Japanese sweet potatoes.
Growing Japanese Sweet Potatoes
How do you start a sweet potato plant?
Sweet potatoes are grown and planted using two methods. One is used while growing sweet potatoes on a commercial scale. It is burying the sweet potatoes in the soil and then taking care of them. Sweet potatoes grow from the sprouts and then they are taken care of.
The other method of growing these potatoes is from slips. This method is quite common and successful. Moreover, the slip-making system makes sure that you get maximum success in growing Japanese sweet potatoes.
Growing Japanese Sweet Potatoes From Slips
As we know sweet potatoes are not grown from seeds but rather from slips. You need to get a mature Japanese sweet potato. Rinse and wash it thoroughly. Then you need to cut the potato into smaller slips. You can get around 40 slips from one sweet potato.
Place the slips in a container or pot of clean water. Make sure that half of the slip is inside the water and the other half is outside. You can use toothpicks to make the slips stay in place. These slips need warmth. Therefore you can put the pot where there is warmth or near the sun-facing window. Within a week the sprouts on the slips will start to appear.
Japanese sweet potato seedlings
Now we have to root the seedlings. Get the sprouts of the sweet potatoes and keep them in a shallow bowl of water. Keep them in such a way that their leaves are out of the water, and the other part of it is in the water. In a few days, roots will emerge. This will be ready to plant when the roots are one inch long.
Keep the water fresh in the pot where the slips have been growing, and also discard those slips which are not rooting. Because It will give a space for the other slip to root and get enough water and nutrients.
Selection of Soil & Sowing the Japanese Sweet Potatoes
As we all know, Japanese sweet potato spreads a lot. That’s why you need to select the soil which is feasible for it. You can add about 2 to 3 inches of organic compost mixture. Because this will make the soil soft and nutrient-rich for sweet potatoes.
Mix the soil and organic matter well. Keep in mind these potatoes need space and good soil to grow. Loosen the soil where you are going to plant the slips of Japanese sweet potatoes. Moreover, keep the pH of the soil between 5 to 6.
Now dig some narrow holes in the soil for the slips of the sweet potatoes. Each hole should be around 12 inches far from the other, and each row needs to be 3 feet spaced. Holes should be deep enough to plant the slips. Gently put the slip in the hole, making sure that the leaves are outside and above the ground.
Now fill the holes with soil, and make sure that the slips and soil have a good connection. After that press the soil around the plant and add more soil where needed.
Water and Use of Fertilizers
Water the plants immediately after planting them. Japanese sweet potatoes need about 1 inch of water each week. You need to make sure that it doesn’t get dry. Don’t water if it is the rainy season. Because the composted organic matter we first added, will ensure enough moisture during the rainy season.
You can use mild fertilizers for the sweet potatoes, after two weeks of the plantation. Gently add two cups of fertilizers for each row. Use a trowel or any other tool to mix the fertilizers in the soil. Nitrogen along with other fertilizers is good for Japanese sweet potatoes.
Taking Care of Japanese purple Sweet Potatoes
First of all, Japanese sweet potatoes don’t attract a lot of pests or diseases. So, you need not worry much about it. If you have pets at home, they might like to eat the leaves as well as the sweet potatoes themselves. Deer likes it. You just need to take care of them.
Maintain the area where the Japanese sweet potatoes are planted and grown. Keep the area weed-free. You can use hand weeding in this regard. Also, add mulch after two weeks because adding mulch every week for almost one month after the plantation would result in a healthy harvest.
Mulching is important for these sweet potatoes, as they have to grow underground. Make it up to 3 to 4 inches high. Check the vines of sweet potatoes also, because while mulching is done it might get covered and cause hindrance in the way of new sprouts or plant growing.
Japanese sweet potatoes don’t need extreme care and attention. They just need a good watering schedule, which keeps them moist and the soil in which they can grow steadily. If these things are in place, you are good to go.
Harvesting Japanese Sweet Potatoes
One easiness in terms of sweet potatoes is they let you know where to harvest them. You can use tools, but they might damage the tubers, which can be used to grow further. So, you can use your hands easily. Just loosen the soil around the main crown of the plant.
Then get the soil aside and find the Japanese sweet potatoes. You might not find all, you have to dig for others also. Get the green ones out also. They are also sweet. Kindly note it takes three to five months for sweet potatoes to ripen. It can rip early or late based on cultivation area and method.
How do you cure Japanese sweet potatoes?
After harvesting, sweet potatoes need to be cured. This cure includes keeping them in 80 to 90 F temperature for 8 to 10 days. But in the end, this will help them develop flavor and sweetness along with protective skin which will make it possible to store Japanese sweet potatoes for several months.
So, the Japanese sweet potatoes are such a blessing of mother nature, which you need to enjoy yourself and if possible, share with others. It will open new doors of connections for you.