Friday, March 21, 2014

Damaging wind and oca seedling update

I woke up to a misty, showery day today, yay, but with it came some gale-force winds which blew over half of my giant Peruvian corn, boo. Oh well, at least we got a bit over half an inch of rain, not a lot but nice anyway. At least I shouldn't have to water for a couple of days as it is also cool, real autumn weather.

This cooler weather and the rain last night and this morning helped the weed seeds to sprout overnight. It is amazing how fast they grow when the weather is right. Yesterday I had clean beds and now they are spotted with clover and grass.

Anyway... here is my update on oca seedlings. Australia only has a couple of varieties of oca and since we can't import tubers the only way to get new varieties is to grow from seed. I bought two packets of seed last spring.

This is my largest seedling from the first batch of seed. I thought I was only able to get one seedling going but I ended up with two (see next picture).

I learned that I need to plant the seed as soon as I get it as maybe more didn't grow because I kept the seed till I thought it was warm enough to plant.

 After my first seedling was growing well I noticed this seedling in the pot below. Obviously a seed washed out of its pot and germinated in the pot where it fell.
This seedling is smaller but it has noticable bigger leaves than normal. I hope this means that the tubers will be bigger too but time will tell.
It should be big enough to tuberise in the frost free weeks we have left.

These are seedlings from the second lot of seeds that I received a couple of months after the first. There is one more plant but I couldn't fit it in the photo. I did get many more germinate but they didn't like being transplanted into bigger pots for some reason and died.

Every seedling is different with different coloured stems. I hope they are big enough to tuberise by frost time but I might have to move them into the poly tunnel to give them more time to grow to size. They are in 15cm pots here to give you an idea of their size.

In the original pot I still have a dozen more seedlings but they are nowhere big enough to tuberise and I don't think they will survive the cold even in the polytunnel, they are still tiny. I will protect them just in case though.


  1. The small oca probably will form some tubers once day length hits the critical length. Small plants make small tubers, but tubers nonetheless.