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Oca Growing 2020

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  • Oca Growing 2020

    A right sad state, I had no Oca tubers left!!!!! I didn't even grow any last year.
    I have some old seeds but I think it is past germinating, but I will give it a good go.

    Remedy, at a costly sum, I ordered a pack of mixed tubers from Real Seeds in the hope of gathering some seed later this summer and having some delish tubers. I'm fairly sure there are at least a couple of good seed setters in the mix so a hopeful start. There are a couple I don't recognize, I think perhaps newer varieties and the others I don't know enough about.

    I took a couple of pictures while they are still quite fresh. A mixture of either one or two of each variety and one I can't decide on, I think different but growing them will likely make it more obvious.

    My little pack of small tubers contained all of these, I've put together the pairs I think I have. The tuber at 9 o'clock is the largest, the others are mostly quite small but very growable. I'm really looking forward to planting time.

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    I think seven possibly eight varieties.
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    Anyone else planning on growing oca this year?

  • #2
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    I have just dug out some here which should have been done earlier, but have lost the labels. It is a fair disaster and one of the casualties of this year's other events. I think I recognise Bracelet, with some certainty. The number 3. Tubers for you if you would like to get at least one of your varieties returned to you after last year's mishap with the package I sent to you. I had lost all of mine in the previous year when I covered them under cloches to grow for longer and the voles must have had a party, but Clumsy fortunately shared his good harvest, most of which I passed on. These are from a couple of tubers I kept and replanted.
    Last edited by Galina; 14-01-2020, 17:19.

    Comment


    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh wow, that's fantastic to still have one, happy smile, I'm sorry the voles like them so much. I'm so sorry about that, I think it went to family and sadly was not returned to me. Do you think number 2 is Pobbles? Although I think perhaps not quite the right shape?

    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes number 2 is Pobbles. The above photo shows the baggie that I received as part of the A4A seed circle share out. These were the highest yielding of the oca you bred Jayb, all over 1 kilo harvested weight. You had asked me to take a photo of what I received as you had not taken a photo yourself. The above is this photo, taken at the time of the seed share out. You can see the numbers on the 3 ocas which you marked up, and you can read the text at the bottom of the little bag they came in. Pobbles is red with an orange bottom, Redley is red with whitish eyes and Bracelet is whitish with red stripes on the eyes. This photo is what helped me identify Bracelet.

    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      Lol, I'm with you now! I was so excited when you said you recognised Bracelet I thought it was a picture of the ones you were deciding about now. I just skipped through the remainder of text and didn't take it in, I'm bad.

  • #3
    I’ve kept oca ticking over for the last four years or so, usually not harvesting much more than I’ve planted at the beginning of the season. I think the first year or two I dug them up too early in fear of frost, but realise now that they’re hardier than I thought and put on a lot of growth quite late.
    In fact I left them in the ground during winter 2018-9 and had a healthy patch of volunteers this last summer. But mostly I’ve produced tubers only a couple of inches or rather less in length.
    So yes, I’ll be growing them again but I’m afraid I don’t know what variety they are, mostly simply reddish. When I get home I’ll check how my smallish tubers have over-wintered. I’d be delighted to share if they’re as plentiful as I think they might be.
    I’m intrigued by the possibility of growing them from seed and resolve to keep a closer eye on them this year.
    I’m also intrigued as to what might be enjoyable ways of eating them as I keep growing them but haven’t got round to eating any yet!

    Comment


    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      A favourite recipe here is rice with oca.
      Prepare Oca (clean in salad spinner with a little bit of water, if necessary finish with toothbrush). Take one standard mug full of rice (250mil), Put it into a saucepan with lid. Cover with twice the amount of water (2 mug fulls)and a pinch of salt. Add oca, maybe half a mug or just a bit more if available. Less is also fine, recipe is forgiving. Lid on. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about ten minutes or until all water is absorbed. Keep the lid on and take off heat. Leave to stand for another ten minutes (more is no problem but it needs at least ten) with lid closed. Serve. For 2 greedy people but probably enough for 2 adults and 2 kids as a side. Recipe can be adjusted by using a smaller or bigger mug.
      Last edited by Galina; 14-01-2020, 17:15.

    • Jang
      Jang commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks very much. Noted and filed. Definitely one to try.
      Just need to make sure now that I nurture my oca carefully this year!

  • #4
    I find growing them planted into the top of a furrow works well here and produces a good crop, though it might be because our garden gets very wet autumn/winter time.

    Seed production isn't completely straightforward with oca. The ability to set seeds differs between the varieties, some will, some won't and some only a bit and then you have to have the right mix of flower types! Plus catching the seeds before it flies off! To have the best chance of seeds you will need more than one variety, hand-pollinating helps too. But being rewarded with seed is well worth the faff, I think.

    If I have any luck germinating seed, hopefully, I will have some good potential seed and tuber bearers to share later on in the year.

    Comment


    • Jang
      Jang commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the useful pointers on both maximising chances of getting a better crop and the clearly tricky business of getting seed. I certainly intend to monitor the flower production more closely. Lots to learn and work on here.

      Do they respond to lots of compost/manure enrichment?

  • #5
    Gosh, I miss the seed circles!

    I'm not sure if I have posted these already but shows what can be grown from seed. The photos are from the three varieties I shared with A4A Seed Circle. All seed sown the same year, so I think a fair harvest, particularly compared to some of the other grow outs which would have only weighed in at a few hundred grams.

    Redley

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    Pobbles
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    and Bracelet
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    You are right Galina, Bracelet does look very similar, what do you think about the other two?

    Comment


    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you Jang, it was great to be able to grow out so many in one go and pick the best tasting and producing ones for the growing conditions here. Hopefully, I'll be able to build up again and it is good to know growing from seed has so much potential.

    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      Sorry for the confusion. I lost all tubers under the cloches. only a few straggly bits of plants were left, half frozen, torn apart and scattered. I could no longer identify what belonged where. Whilst I rescued what plant material I could, it was no longer attributable to varieties. The seed labels were also scattered as the voles must have done their worst inside the cloches, safe from predators.

      From plant debris that I potted up in the conservatory I rescued "some" oca and got tiny tubers. I replanted, but not sure which varieties and I took less care with them than usual. I may have rescued one of my own varieties from seed and others yet to be identified. Clumsy sent some of his harvest from the circle, which I think is Bracelet, sent to you and replanted a few here. So the survival of Bracelet is due to Clumsy's guardianship and generosity. The old adage, "give your seeds away to keep them" has proved true here once again.

      Good luck with the oca from Real Seeds.
      Last edited by Galina; 15-01-2020, 11:14.

    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      Aghhhh, I hate the comments system sometimes. I didn't notice your comment 2 until I read comment 5. I need to keep up!!!!!!!!
      Thank you and for your patience. Yes, You and Clumsey are stars. It would be good to get some new varieties going again and out there.

  • #6
    I sowed approximately half of the seed I saved from 2015/16 on January 23rd and as expected germination has been pretty nonexistent. Three have germinated but were fairly weak growing and were unable to push off their seed coat. But two have made it and although very small look like they have the strength to make it. A couple more might germinate but I won't be holding my breath. I'll sow the remainder of the seed in the hope of a couple more break through.

    I'm so chuffed to have these two from Oca TS to pot on, one with it's first true leaf too.

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    Comment


    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      Very nice indeed. Of course they are erratic, slow germinators, so there might be more.

    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      I hope so, but not expecting.

  • #7
    That's great. Where there's life there's hope!

    Do you know whether the seeds are from one of your varieties, or are they a cross?

    Comment


    • #8
      I mixed all the seeds up before sowing, so they could be from anything to anything I was growing. But more likely to be seed from plants I had an interest in saving from for one reason or another.

      Comment


      • #9
        Galina has very kindly sent me a few tubers for Bracelet which I'm so happy to have again, they are lovely and did very well here. Looking forward, I'm excited to have the chance of obtaining some seed from them if all goes well this season.

        Comment


        • clumsy
          clumsy commented
          Editing a comment
          The oca that I grew did flower (yellow flowers) but nothing was produced ie the flower disappeared but no seed buds.

        • jayb
          jayb commented
          Editing a comment
          Oca are a little tricky to collect seeds from. When ripe the seed pods kind of explodes scattering the seeds about. The pods need to be bagged before bursting open. Also the flowers aren't all compatible so it is best to grow several varieties to cross-pollinate each other.

          Thank you Clumsy for keeping Bracelet going and sharing it with Galina, it would have been lost otherwise. Do they grow and crop well for you in your area?

        • clumsy
          clumsy commented
          Editing a comment
          Bracelet was the one that did brilliant good size tubers, From memory the other two the tubers harvested where small. I was trying to find a photo of the harvest as I dug them up but can't find it.

      • #10
        I'm stuck with shall I grow veg in the allotment or not, I'm not sure otherwise was thinking of growing them again. At home I'll grow the essential things.

        Comment


        • #11
          Okay I found the photo's of the tubers as I dug them up. I know the reds didn't do much the following year only bracelet and I was able to share.

          Comment


          • #12
            Great photos, Galina kindly shared a few Bracelet back to me, so thank you Both.
            Unfortunately, one of the tubers has shrivelled and died but the other two are potted up and hopefully going to sprout. I'm pretty sure at least one will and perhaps I can take a few cuttings later on.
            Oca is also easy to propagate from stem and stolon cuttings, and from slips. Oca stem and stolon cuttings can be easily rooted in water or damp soil as long as they are taken before the plant begins to form tubers. Slips are produced by rooting tubers in shallow soil. As soon as the main sprout begins to form, remove it. This will awaken additional buds on the tuber. Typically, by the time the sprouts are about 2 inches (5 cm) tall, they will have formed sufficient roots to detach the slip and plant immediately.
            https://www.cultivariable.com/instru...w-to-grow-oca/

            Comment


            • #13
              My two little oca seedlings are growing on well although no sign of any further seeds germination.

              At the beginning of March

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              and today

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              Comment


              • Jang
                Jang commented
                Editing a comment
                I love the colouring on the leaves of the plant to the right. I imagine it suggests some nice deeply coloured tubers should follow.

              • jayb
                jayb commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes I think it is likely, though whether it is a producer or not time will tell.
                I think it's possible the leaf colour is being enhanced by being grown under lights, it may not be obvious from the picture that both have a tint of colour but much stronger in the one on the right.

            • #14
              The plants look quite different from each other. With any luck the oca will be very different too. Thriving little plants.

              Comment


              • #15
                Yes, it's nice to have them looking so different, fingers crossed they set an ok crop as plants are really variable, anything from a couple of grams up to several kgs!
                But I'm really pleased to have them growing and hope they will be a useful addition to the gene mix.

                Comment

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