Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Merry Ulluchristmas

At last I think I've found a future for ulluco: not as a crop, but rather as an edible Christmas tree substitute. The plants look quite attractive with their glossy foliage and brightly coloured baubles hanging from slender threads. Very festive.  Or at least they would if I had taken a little bit more care of these windowsill specimens and kept them them neat and tidy.  I've done it in previous years and the effect was quite good when I kept one on my desk.  The tubers eventually go green, but are still edible if required and seem to make good tough stock for planting in the spring.

One thing I did discover this year was that two of the other varieties (not shown here) seemed happy to tuberise successfully at fairly cool temperatures under a prolonged daylength regime of about 14 hours.  The next step, obviously, is to try and cross these two and produce true ulluco seed.  The question is: are they diploid, triploid or just plain debilitated?   That's something that will have to wait until 2011 for distended stomachs to contract, inquisitiveness to return and days to lengthen.   Merry Christmas.

3 comments:

Vegetable Heaven said...

Merry Christmas yourself. I admire your dedication and questing spirit.

Rhizowen said...

Veg Heaven: Thanks . Questing spirit and dedication are the polite terms for this affliction. How are you overwintering peas and tomatoes doing?

Vegetable Heaven said...

Peas have had it! We've had temps down to -14 here these last few days. Still, got lots more seeds. The toms are in the house and leggy but lush - the intention is to use them as cutting material in spring.

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