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Growing Oca from seed?

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  • Growing Oca from seed?

    I've some Oca seed to sow in the spring, not my own, I've had no luck with getting them to set. I wonder if anyone has had success growing them from seed, I'd be interested to learn more before sowing them?

  • #2
    I have problems getting them to flower, let alone make seed. Only growing them from the tubers and struggling to get the tubers bigger than an inch, especially the yellow ones.

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    • #3
      I didn't realise they were picky growers too, I thought it was just making seed there were issues . They do ok down here, perhaps because it is slightly milder?

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      • #4
        Ian has pointed me in the direction of some great of some really helpful information on his blog Oca True Seed Germination and Oca True seed progress

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        • #5
          I don't know how Ian does get his Ocas to flower. He thinks it has to do with moisture in the air. Well recently we had very heavy dew for many hours in the morning but nothing. I only recall 2 occasions in many years of oca growing where they flowered at all here. And that was in October. Maybe the longer season in maritime IOW helps, rather than dew. I applaud that he got plants and tubers growing from his own seed with the aim of making oca less daylength sensitive. Sexual propagation has the potential for a big jump in adaptation (as we know to our cost from blight which got much worse in the last decade or so since more than one strain arrived in the UK and they started mixing). Interesting read.

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          • #6
            They flower here most years too, although I've never seen any form pods. I perhaps haven't been growing the right mix of varieties or they weren't flowering at the same time. Yes a good blog, loads of inspiration and lots to read.
            I think I'm going to make an early start in the spring and keep my fingers crossed! I'll sow them on the surface and keep them in a heated propagator, I've usually got it running for a month or two germination different seeds

            I wonder why they are struggling a bit with you? Where did you source yours from?

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            • #7
              I think it is length of growing season. Doesn't matter, they produce ok, although not very large tubers.

              My pink ones I had like for 20 odd years and I struggle to remember. Could have been from Future Foods. My yellow ones were swapped at Hampshire Potato Day a couple of years ago (and I have often wondered whether the donor might have been Ian from IOW given the location).

              I have learned how to grow them that they perform well enough for eating and if I can't participate in the excitement of growing from seed and achieving sexually reproduced UK varieties, so be it. Still love reading about it and admiring other people's progress. And when this early producing new variety comes along, I shall happily switch to it.

              We have the triple whammy of very heavy clay (although much improved from what it once was) and centre of the country position with much colder winters, coupled with a top-of-the-hill location, that is exposed despite hedges etc. Our season is shorter than in other parts.

              I grow oca in the shade of the greenhouse (warmer and more sheltered to keep going for as long as possible and cloched after the first frosts arrive. Should it turn out that oca would actually benefit from the brightest location in full sunshine, then I might have cultivated them wrongly all those years. But as I say, they produce. I've seen bigger and better but overall I wouldn't really say I'm struggling with oca.

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              • #8
                [QUOTEI wouldn't really say I'm struggling with oca. ][/QUOTE] either would I, it wasn't the right word!
                I must admit I thought full sun in the UK was best for them, or at least that's what I do, though it sounds like they are doing pretty well for you shade.

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                • #9
                  Sorry I am hijacking the thread. But I am so excited. Look what I've got!

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                  • #10
                    Not at all, they are gorgeous
                    They must have heard us chatting!

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                    • #11
                      I came across, interesting reading, https://www.cultivariable.com/?page_id=134

                      Did you have any luck with flowers setting seed?

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                      • #12
                        No seed here

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                        • #13
                          Yayy, I think I can see the first signs of a couple of seeds sprouting, Chuffed as the seed is not fresh, fingers crossed they develop

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                          • #14
                            Little babies, just potting these up,

                            Oca seed, just germinating. by jayb 35, on Flickr

                            Oca seed, just germinating. by jayb 35, on Flickr

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                            • #15
                              Oooooohhhhhh!

                              I LOVE that moment when you just see the tiny little root appear!

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