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When are you planting your oca and how deep?

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  • When are you planting your oca and how deep?

    As said really.

    I've been wondering whether to put my oca in now, but wondering if I've been lulled by the warm weather. But then surely they will sit there till they are ready (with a few slug pellets around them I should think).

    I also wondering how deep to plant them and how to grow them. Reading all I can online I feel there is something else in the way they are being grown we can do.
    What about earthing up gently as they grow, I know the tubers form near the surface often.
    There is a guy who talks about growing them on ridges and he said it works well for harvesting, may also keep them drier I feel.

    Results from last year show me that after the first frost that kills them it was a good idea to throw some earth over the dead plants, as it protected the tubers near the surface. I also found that some tubers could be damaged by frost if they are too near the surface, another reason to cover them up I think.

    Deepness, alot of the tubers can grow down to 10"', now, they will presumably grow from that depth, so why shouldn't I plant them that deep? It could provide more tubers, or it could let some tubers rot before they sprout.

    Love to hear your thoughts.
    "Orinoco was a fat lazy Womble"

    Please ignore everything I say, I make it up as I go along, not only do I generally not believe what I write, I never remember it either.

  • #2
    Last year I put mine in 5" pots in April. They grew into lovely little bushy plants which went outside in June. I treat them as tender plants because I know they are cut down by the frost in late Autumn. I think if the new foliage got heavily frosted you'd just kill off the top growth and get no further tuberous growth.
    Whoever plants a garden believes in the future.

    www.vegheaven.blogspot.com Updated March 9th - Spring

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    • #3
      I was given a few to try by a lovely grape last November but unfortunately between then and now, they rotted in the box
      Is there a good way to store them to save this happening again?

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      • #4
        Where did you store them?

        Last year I had mine in my cold bedroom and put them on a cold windowsill for a month to see if they would sprout, they didn't.
        Some this year I washed and some not. The washed ones seem to be a bit softer, but then I did dig them up first.

        I would guess in a cold place, but not frosty, and out of the light would be the best place, probably in sand in the shed.

        I seem to have a shrinkage/shrivelling problem with some of mine, with the ones about 1" round being the best to survive.
        "Orinoco was a fat lazy Womble"

        Please ignore everything I say, I make it up as I go along, not only do I generally not believe what I write, I never remember it either.

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        • #5
          I keep mine from harvesting (after Christmas) till planting (April) wrapped up in the fridge salad box, same as I do seed potatoes I keep.
          Whoever plants a garden believes in the future.

          www.vegheaven.blogspot.com Updated March 9th - Spring

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          • #6
            I did earth mine up later on last year, having planted them only a few inches deep - I went by the rule of three times the diameter of the seed - and that was definitely the thing to do. Having practically buried the foliage, the few green tinted ones that had been lying on the surface suddenly bulked up and invited friends over to stay !
            I too had a problem with them going mouldy. I ended up storing them in two ways; some that I had stored in a cardboard box were going mouldy within a couple of weeks, so I threw out the worst, cleaned the rest off, and put them somewhere warm and dry to kill off the mould. Since then I have stored them in a better ventilated box in just a single layer, and they have gradually dehydrated. I think they need to be dehydrated to be stored long term - like mushrooms.
            Some others I had over looked were sitting at the bottom of the original bucket I put them into when I gathered them. They were caked with damp soil that gradually dried out. Lo and behold, I looked into the bucket the other week and suddenly they were sprouting really healthy wee shoots, happy as Larry and with not a sign of mould.
            This year I intend to combine these treatments by keeping them stored in wooden boxes filled with cool, dry soil. If I don't crack the storage problem I might leave a couple in for the foliage/flowers, but I won't bother with them as a crop; it was not an inspiring yield.
            Mine are cream coloured. Does anyone know of any differences in the way the plants behave/taste, between the different colours of tubers ?
            There's no point reading history if you don't use the lessons it teaches.

            Head-hunted member of the Nutter's Club - can I get my cranium back please ?

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            • #7
              was very intrigued by this thread because I thought you were talking about ocra but had missed out the R. So I had a look on the web & boy was I surprised by what I found. They sound a very interesting plant & I may even try a few next year. During my "research" I found some on e bay for not a lot of money. The seller was selling orange, pale yellow, red & white varieties & I like snohare above was wondering if there any difference other than the obvious tuber skin colour ie season, hardiness,taste etc etc. Another site advised "People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition. Has anybody any experience of this because my OH has a problem with kidney stones. His body produces literally hundreds of small stones & he has regular hospital visits; to shall we say "seek & destroy" the larger stones. I don't want to cause him more problems than he already has because he is often in so much pain however if he upsets me again it would be so funny to ooooops I mustn't even go there.


              Anyway many thank for bringing this interesting new vegetable to my attention
              Sheila
              Last edited by flighty1; 20-03-2010, 01:12 AM.

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              • #8
                I had orange and some red. The red produced a smaller yield of nobblier tubers. I'm only growing the orange this year. Don't know about the medicinal problems, could it be like rhubarb with the high acidity? They do taste slightly citrussy - so could be acidic.
                Whoever plants a garden believes in the future.

                www.vegheaven.blogspot.com Updated March 9th - Spring

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Flummery View Post
                  I had orange and some red. The red produced a smaller yield of nobblier tubers. I'm only growing the orange this year. Don't know about the medicinal problems, could it be like rhubarb with the high acidity? They do taste slightly citrussy - so could be acidic.
                  Yes Flum. Oca, Oca oxalis to give it its full name contains very high levels of oxalic acid, the same one that is in rhubarb. As with rhubarb, most of it accumulates in the leaves, which, with Oca can be added in small quantities to salads to give a rather pleasant acidic zing. Oxalic acid is poisonous in even medium quantities which is why nobody has invented rhubarb leaf wine. And also why adding too much Oca leaf to your egg mayonnaise is not a good idea.
                  Last edited by sarraceniac; 20-03-2010, 10:02 AM.
                  Why didn't Noah just swat those 2 greenflies?

                  Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?
                  >
                  >If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

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                  • #10
                    Just re-posting to add that I am growing only the red this year. We find they stay crisp when stir fried whereas the white ones can go mushy. I shall also plant a bit deeper than last years 3" because the winter got to some of my more 'surface' ones before I could harvest them all this year.
                    Why didn't Noah just swat those 2 greenflies?

                    Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?
                    >
                    >If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for the info folks. I am going to try a few red ones from e-bay. Less than a fiver including P&P. However do they really look pretty as in the link below or have these been spruced up for the camera. They look so pretty I just can't resist buying a few to try . Will they be OK grown in large pots which I will move into a cold greenhouse before the first frosts.

                      10 Red oca tuber oxalis new allotment crop super food on eBay (end time 01-Apr-10 20:32:42 BST)
                      Last edited by flighty1; 20-03-2010, 01:51 PM.

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                      • #12
                        To get a crop you actually need them to be hit by the frost. The foliage and the thick, fleshy stems collapse and a month or so later the tubers will have bulked up enough to harvest.
                        Whoever plants a garden believes in the future.

                        www.vegheaven.blogspot.com Updated March 9th - Spring

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          thanks for that bit of advice flummery I will find a bit of space on my plot for them. It's so nice being able to get good sound advice from forum members.

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                          • #14
                            Your picture is a bit 'enhanced' I think. Mine look more like this one Growing Oca (Oxalis tuberosa) in the UK

                            But if you give them a good long growing season (I planted mine last year in mid-April and harvested in the New Year this year after the frost got to them) you should still find them interesting. The main thing to remember is that they are not potatoes. They do not benefit from chitting and do not need earthing up. Just pop them in and forget them for 8 or 9 months.
                            Why didn't Noah just swat those 2 greenflies?

                            Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?
                            >
                            >If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What a fool. I have spent the last couple of hours making up my mind what to do & when I finally go on to flea bay to by my nice shiney red oca they have sold out, well the listing is closed. This was so annoying because the listing showed it being open till 1st April. Still no problem as there are others for sale I was just taken by the wonderful red colour.

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