NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: oca anyone??  (Read 256 times)

Ghdp

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Conwy
oca anyone??
« on: April 07, 2019, 12:11:45 pm »
I made an impulse purchase of four oca tubers.Now wondering why I did. I now have then chitting happily but just wondered if anyone else has tried growing these and what their experience was (ie would you do it again and is it worth the amount of space they seem to need and what did you do with them?)
Voss Electric Fence

PK

  • Joined Mar 2015
  • West Suffolk
    • Notes from a Suffolk Smallholding
Re: oca anyone??
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2019, 12:25:30 pm »
Oca don’t like cold soil and are not tolerant of frost. Because of this, when I have grown them I start them off in individual pots in the greenhouse and plant them out mid May to give them a flying start. They are reputedly tolerant of poor soil, but I never got a decent crop in my sandy soil which dries out very quickly in the summer despite copious compost being added to it. Consequently I’ve given up on them but might give it another go.

Ghdp

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Conwy
Re: oca anyone??
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2019, 11:32:46 pm »
Thanks PK I will start them off in pots then as you suggest as the site is quite exposed although south facing.
 


YorkshireLass

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: oca anyone??
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2019, 05:40:42 pm »
I love them, but unfortunately my benign neglect has left me with a population that can withstand frost but has tiny yields. Oops  :roflanim:


Once they're going, they need very little. The foliage will flop and wilt if it's a bit hot, but recovers. The flopping also helps shade out weeds. I've not know them be troubled by pests.
You can add horti fleece in late autumn to extend their time growing (tuber formation depends on short days, so the gamble is between day length and frost damage). However, earthing up to keep warm has the effect of lots of little extra tubers forming instead of the existing ones growing in size.

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: oca anyone??
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2019, 10:44:05 pm »
A friend gave me a plant to try. I misheard her and thought she said okra but put it in a big pot and  watered it regularly. I have a lovely bushy plant which, in autumn, started to grow back but I was disappointed that it hadn't produce anything other than leaves so the lot went on the muck heap. It was only when I mentioned it to my friend that I discovered it's a root crop.  :roflanim:

 

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