Growing Beauregard Sweet Potatoes
Botanical Names: Ipomoea batatas ‘Beauregard’
‘Beauregard’ is a cultivar of sweet potato. It was developed at Louisiana State University in 1987 by the late Larry Rolston. The sweet potato is named after French-Louisiana Confederate General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard as Rolston was a fan of the Civil War.
Since 1987, this variety has become one of the world’s most popular and for good reason. When introduced, it saved the failing Louisiana sweet potato market due to its high-yield and disease-resistant qualities.
There are mixed reviews regarding the flavor, some say it is so sweet that butter and brown sugar are not even needed. However, others say it has lower sugar content and tastes more like a sweet potato crossed with an Idaho making it a great choice for savory dishes, but not so much for dishes such as sweet potato pie. As we all know, tastes vary and ultimately it is up to the gardener. Typically, when grocery shopping one can find this variety quite easily as most commercial growers produce it.
As mentioned, the Beauregard is favored for high yield, which for a commercial grower is about 400-500 bushels per acre. For the home gardener, plan accordingly factoring in your garden plot and th eend yield preferred. One ‘Beauregard’ can produce multiple slips (maybe 10) with each 10 slips producing that much or more on their own.The skin of this long and large spud is more of a reddish-purple, with the flesh being a moderately, deep orange. Slips are easily found online or could be produced at home.
Like all sweet potatoes, ‘Beauregard’ prefers full sun with high daytime and
night time temperatures. Plenty of sun is needed to develop maximum flavor and sweetness. For optimum performance, soil should be a pH of 5.8 to 6.0. Soil pH test kits can be purchased at most any garden center or online. Some local extension services offer this as well. It is important to know your soil pH prior to planting your vegetables and amending as needed. Slips should be planted 12 to 18 inches apart in mounded up hills.
This variety is not best for containers due to its vigor and spread needed to produce a high yield. The semi-training vines will reach about 3 to 6 feet long. Harvest typically takes place around 80 to 95 days dependent on your location.
Regarding pests, white grubs do not bother this variety like others. It was bred to be resistant to fusarium wilt, soil rot and rhizopus soft rot, but not resistant to nematodes. This variety does not crack like others.
In the last 30 years, there has been multiple varieties of sweet potatoes introduced. Look for a recent improvement over ‘Beauregard’ called ‘Evangeline’. This variety touts the same high-yield and disease-resistant qualities but with a sweeter taste. It may be more difficult to find, but told it is well worth it.
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