It’s Worth a Try
1. Advice given to gardeners by the Guardian Weekend (24/04/10), as well as ads, has abounded with hints on sowing potatoes of common and exotic varieties. However, there’s not much about sweet potato, which is a separate plant but with some similarities to types familiar in the UK (as being unsuitable in our climate) and well regarded in tropical and subtropical areas as an advance nutritionally on starchy tubers in areas where deficiencies hinder efforts at establishing satisfactory protein-calorie levels, with reserves to fortify the status of immunity against common scourges such as malaria and leishmanias (kala azar).
2. A Reader Offer states that the variety Beauregard “will do well in warmer parts of the country outdoors, or in a greenhouse or cloche elsewhere.” To follow this advice “pot up” the young ‘slips’ on arrival and plant out a few weeks later. Buy 5 sweet potato ‘Beauregard’ slips for £9.95 or 10 for £15.90 (prices include UK mainland postage and packaging). To order, call 0330 333 6851, quoting ref GUPW 230. Delivery from May onwards).
3. Sweet potatoes are already easily available as imports into the UK (eg from the USA) and have a number of uses in cookery (eg in our Portfolio of Eating Plans). We would like to hear from any gardener or commercial grower or cook who has given the Beauregard variety a trial. We would also like some of the conditions and weather (yet to come) in which the crops succeed or fail, and the susceptibility to pests.