Author Topic: Growing oca  (Read 410 times)

lin

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Growing oca
« on: December 26, 2018, 23:10:26 »
I haven't been on here for a while but wonder if anyone else grows oca.
I have been growing for a number of years, saving the biggest oca for replanting the following year, but this year is the worst crop I have had, extremely small bulbs and I was wondering if I need to get a few from another supplier, perhaps growing from the same original plants weakens the end result?
Any opinions? Linda

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Growing oca
« on: December 26, 2018, 23:10:26 »

galina

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Re: Growing oca
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2018, 23:26:03 »
No it does not necessarily.  You are meant to keep them as long as possible for the largest harvest, but some years are difficult.  Mine were not wonderful this year either.  Better luck next year.  :wave:

ACE

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Re: Growing oca
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2018, 11:01:49 »
I tried them for a few years, wasted growing space really. I expect they are still coming up on my old plot, like all oxalis a nuisance plant.

Vinlander

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Re: Growing oca
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2018, 11:58:06 »
One of the things that keeps me growing oca (apart from the good flavour raw or cooked & the no-blight thing) is that I haven't seen any indication that planting undersized tubers begets undersized tubers (unlike shallots, where it is a major problem best solved by growing them from seed).

A good season can hide any difference caused by starting with tubers too small to be worth cleaning for the table* (though I have to admit I almost certainly plant undersized tubers a bit more closely than big ones).

In any average season the "small starts" bed has always produced normal (finger) size tubers - just slightly less of them. Whopper tubers the size of my thumb are so rare on my soil that I can't say how or why they turned up.

BTW When I've dug a few tubers early (say mid-Sep) for a specific recipe I tend to re-bury the whole plant - because it can produce tubers from the stems without light - I haven't recorded actual sizes and numbers and I can't say if the smaller ones are any good as starts.

Cheers.

*PS. They definitely don't need peeling, and they are quite shiny and easy to clean that the work from soil to chopping board is much less than you would think. There are even varieties that have no indentations around the buds.

For the record, Chinese Artichokes (Stachys, Crosne) are so shiny that even their witchetty wrinkles get cleaned out with just a 10min soak and a rinse - they also (to me) taste even better.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

saddad

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Re: Growing oca
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2018, 18:44:45 »
I don't think I've ever heard anyone say anything positive about Chinese Artichokes Vinlander... so thank you I might look at them again!

Vinlander

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Re: Growing oca
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2018, 11:46:56 »
I don't think I've ever heard anyone say anything positive about Chinese Artichokes Vinlander... so thank you I might look at them again!

They are really good in stir-fries and raw in salads but they do spread almost as badly as their relative - mint - so planting them in a trench lined with plastic and filled with decent soil is the best way - also especially good for tuberous pea, because though they are easier to eradicate, their blackish tubers are near impossible to find if you let them run. If the trench is in a well-drained area or a raised bed you can minimise the size & number of drain holes and make them down the middle well away from the corners.

Now all my favourite fringe veg are in this thread - there are a whole load of others I've tried that are really famine food - Apios is probably the worst. Of the near-mainstream veg I'd say the most pointless are Asparagus Pea, Celtuce, and the unforced heading chicories.

The first two are leaders in the "10th rate asparagus substitutes" category - I do like Hop shoots though - they taste nothing like asparagus but at least they taste good and hopefully help reduce the insane vigour of the plant.

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

saddad

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Re: Growing oca
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2018, 13:48:49 »
Well I have a golden hop that needs some control... so shoots may get a try this year. I agree about Asparagus Peas!

 

anything