Considering Oca - to grow or not?

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madcat

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Considering Oca - to grow or not?
« on: January 01, 2019, 19:36 »
I can see from a search of topics that these tubers were very popular 2014 - 2016 .... but there has been little mention since.  Are they worth the space, or is the return not worth it?  They are pricey, so I don't want to buy them and discover that, in the opinion of those that have tried, they aren't worth it or wont like my ground or that the rats/shrews/slugs adore them and I'll lose the lot!
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mumofstig

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Re: Considering Oca - to grow or not?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2019, 20:28 »
I didn't think they were worth repeating, the yield wasn't very good in my soil.
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Aunt Sally

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Re: Considering Oca - to grow or not?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2019, 20:56 »
I tried them once. Didn't bother again.

The tubers were very small and hardly worth harvesting  :(
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Aidy

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Re: Considering Oca - to grow or not?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2019, 22:16 »
same as above, poor yield so not bothered since.
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Plot 1 Problems

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Re: Considering Oca - to grow or not?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2019, 23:17 »
I had a year when I helped test varieties to find which types grew best in our climate, but the group I was involved with subsequently switched to a mandatory subscription based setup.
They were ok, but only one variety was at all productive. I'd suggest leaving it until the big plant companies hit on a breed that works well here.

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al78

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Re: Considering Oca - to grow or not?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2019, 08:23 »
I've tried them about three times. The first two times they didn't grow at all, the third time I got a handful of tiny tubers. I haven't bothered since.

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New shoot

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Re: Considering Oca - to grow or not?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2019, 09:18 »
There are 2 sides to this one.

I found that in my fairly heavy soil, they struggled.  You need the top growth to go mad and flop over with the weight of all the leaves to get big tubers.  Mine grew, but were no-where near that vigorous. 

Slugs are an issue as well.  You have to let the tops die right down and then leave it another few weeks, for the tubers to really swell up.  That meant harvesting pretty late in the year and slugs had been having a go.  I know Sunshineband tried them and got better results in her soil to me, but mice and rats are a problem on her site and they also found oca pretty attractive.

Now the good news bit  :)  One of my plot neighbours cadged a few tubers from me and tried them in big pots at home.  He reported great results.  He used a John Innes/multi-purpose mix of around 50/50 each and kept them well fed and watered.  He got lots of foliage and flowers and then stood the pots in his greenhouse to finish growing once the leaves had died down.  He had a decent crop of large tubers when he knocked the pots out.  It seems a better way to grow them, but I decided I didn't have room for pots of them at home.


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madcat

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Re: Considering Oca - to grow or not?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2019, 09:22 »
He had a decent crop of large tubers when he knocked the pots out.  It seems a better way to grow them, but I decided I didn't have room for pots of them at home.

Perhaps I'll save the idea till I get my polytunnel ....  I have clay and rats and slugs ...

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New shoot

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Re: Considering Oca - to grow or not?
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2019, 09:51 »
As they are pricey, you could buy a few and use pots to bulk up your stock.  Despite all the problems, I started with 3-4  :unsure:, not many anyway, and had a goodly seed stock for the following year, even growing out on the plot  :)

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sunshineband

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Re: Considering Oca - to grow or not?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2019, 13:14 »
I grew them for several years, and despite clay and rats, did have a decent enough yield, not too chewed by slugs.

They were OK to eat, but not so wonderful I looked forward to the first ones of the season, so..... they are now off "The List" for 2019
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AlaninCarlisle

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Re: Considering Oca - to grow or not?
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2019, 15:24 »
I grew them in my polytunnel. Got a decent harvest but nobody particularly liked them to eat.

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New shoot

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Re: Considering Oca - to grow or not?
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2019, 15:49 »
I liked them raw or barely cooked.   They were crispy like water chestnuts in stir-fry and had a lemony tang, especially raw in salads.

My plot neighbour liked them roasted, but I wasn't so keen on them that way.



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