Website for home gardeners looking to learn about and grow sweet potatoes, potatoes and yams by a PhD candidate.

Grow Martian Potatoes Without Leaving Earth

100% Guaranteed to Grow – Give it a Try

Sweet Potato Plants For Sale

    We sell:

    • sweet potato slips
    • seed potatoes
    • yam bubils

    for home gardeners.

    If you like to try gardening any of these broswe our shop.


    What is my growing philosophy?

    We are a family-owned, small-scale grower of sweet potato starts and potatoes for seed based on sustainable agriculture and innovative sustainable practices. I use zero chemicals. We are certified and inspected by the Florida Department of Agriculture.

    Mark Biernat Potatoes

    What is my philosophy?

    My name is Mark Biernat, and I live in Saint Augustine, Florida. I grow sweet potatoes, potatoes and yams. Balancing physical and mental work makes us grounded and reminds us where we came from and why we are here – Ora et labora. We are not just here to chase consumption but actually create grow, and learn about life through exploring the physical world, in this case, our gardens. Gardening is like taking a vacation to an exotic land in your backyard.



    What are Martian Potatoes?

    Martian Potatoes are what I call our sweet potato, potatoes and yams. I call them Martians because of their resilience and ease in which they grow. These Martians will thrive in virtually any environment.

    All my sweet potatoes are:

    • Drought resistant – They survive until the next rain, then take off faster.
    • Flood resistant – We get rain during our rainy season. You would think it is the end of the world. They survive hurricanes here. They come out greener and more oversized.
    • Poor Soil – No problem, they have adapted to this. Too much N will make them leaf out.
    • Extreme heat – They will grow bigger.
    • Weeds are not an issue; they will overtake them until you see a field of green edible sweet potato leaves.
    • Insects are a joke to these tubers – I live near a forest and a swamp in the jungle of Florida and have never sprayed them with anything.

    You get slips that have roots, and I add some unique, un-rooted variety cuttings that thrive. Hence, your plants get a 3-week head start, which is essential when growing sweet potatoes. This is one of the reasons these plants are different than others.

    I have customers growing them from Alaska to Vermont to South Florida. They grow anywhere if the soil temperatures exceed 65 for 18 c. I also use organic-based practices, but to keep it simple, grow them in your native soil and use the resources around you. I have never used any chemicals, zero. I work smart and with nature and think my yields and quality are superior.

    If you want to try to grow them, you will probably succeed even if you have no green thumb. I cultivated them this way with unique varieties and methods. The genetic varieties matter for survival. I give you roots and vines. Each has its advantages; plant them both.

    Growing sweet potatoes for charity – Some people give their produce to a food bank, a homeless shelter, neighbors, and family for good social credit, altruism, or holiday gifts. This is a better gift than something store-bought with empty calories in a shiny package or can. Whatever your reason for growing, try my sweet potatoes; they are out of this world.

    They are yummy, nutrient-dense, and fun to grow. I would love to see them make it to a Martian Colony.

    Why Grow Sweet Potatoes in Your Garden?

    Here are just a few reasons why a homegardener might want to try Martian Potatoes.

    Taste

    100% different than anything store-bought. You will not even recognize the like; you can cure them or eat them fresh, depending on whether you like a sweet or non-sweet. I can not even eat store-bought. These are super yummy from the garden.

    Super nutritious

    You can research this. I do not want the FDA breathing down my neck for claims, but look it up; they are like blueberries regarding antioxidants.

    Make your backyard the “Blue Zone” – I grow Purple Sweet Potato Slips, so you do not have to move to Okinawa to get the benefits of the blue zone.

    Self-sufficiency

    Maybe I stream too many future dystopian films, and I am not a Malthusian, but… calories + nutrition + easy to grow = food security. Having a backyard full of edible sweet potato greens and colorful, yummy sweet potatoes is OK, even to save money on food.

    Climate adaptation and maintenance

    Plant and walk away, take a vacation for the summer, and come back, and your yard will be covered with sweet potatoes (also less to mow). The first year, I went on vacation to Montreal (I drove up in one day), and they were all over my porch when I returned. It looked amazing.

    Save the planet – I know, I know, it sounds like greenwashing, but they help the earth; they need little nitrogen, grow almost anywhere, and can help developing nations with food. It is the top survival crop in my book (I was thinking of writing a book on it). Food is an allocation issue instead of a supply issue. The key is to get people to grow locally sustainable crops

    Versatile in the kitchen

    Everyone grows tomatoes and kale these days. Dare to be different in the garden and kitchen. I juice them or make steak fries with some turmeric. You can bake them and have them as a meal with some imagination. There are a zillion receipts for sweet potatoes online.

    Kitchen ideas – They can be transformed into fries, juices, side dishes, or the main meal. They will save you money and start you on the road to food security or just a lot of fun to grow. They taste light years X better than store-bought and are nutrient-rich as they grow in the ground and absorb micronutrients. Store-bought are drenched in chemicals that do not wash off. I choose to grow my own.

    Fun versus Unfun

    In life, some things are fun, and some are unfun things. Growing sweet potatoes is fun. You will see why when you grow them.

    Sweet Potatoes and Potatoes

    You choose what you want to grow.

    Seed Potatoes

    • Grow almost all year in warm climates
    • Thick spouts grown in ambient light for hardy growth, rather than long spingly leggy shoots
    • Not sprayed

    Sweet Potatoes

    • A mix of red, purple, white, orange varieties
    • The leaves are etible, as a salad or stirfry
    • They can climb and run so good for small spaces

    “Martian Potatoes – the most resilient potatoes on earth.”

    Martian Potatoes

    Mark Biernat

    Saint Augustine, Florida

    Plant, Nurture, Harvest

    Be humble like the humble potato

    When to Grow Potatoes

    Sweet Potatoes and Potatoes Planting Table for February 2024.

    Sweet PotatoesZone 10
    Florida (southernmost portion)
    Louisiana (southernmost portion)
    Texas (southernmost portion)
    PotatoesZone 8 & 9 & 10
    Plant now in these growing zones

    USDA growing zones for planting by state

    • When do you plant Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum): January to March USDA growing Zone, 10, 9, 8. Florida gardeners, there is no reason not to plant potatoes; they are so much fun to grow. For example, professional Potato chip growers in North Florida plant them in January. My red potatoes are High Yield + Super Yummy. I make steak fries, chips, mashed and potato soup.
    • Northern Growers can plant potatoes below the front line, and they come up great in the spring or in a greenhouse. I grow everywhere, even in my garage. Ask questions about growing potatoes as I have experience and experiment a lot.

    • When do you plant Sweet Potato Slips (Ipomoea batatas) All year in Zone 10b and start to grow them in 10 at the start of the year and after Presiden’s day in Zone 9.

    Florida Grown

    Try to grow.