Thursday, 23 June 2011

Oca: Solace at the Solstice

Flaming June? No, not exactly - more dripping, when it isn't blowing a gale, that is.  We prayed for rain for two long months and now we've got it; my mother was always telling me to be careful what I wished for.  While the stunted vegetables that gasped in the dry spell are now mostly plump and perky, the slugs that feed on them are also looking pretty sleek.

Many of last year's oca seedlings were annihilated when the winter's early cold snap caught me out. The majority of my original varieties copped it as well - not good.  All is not lost, however: thanks to the generosity of Frank van Keirsbilck and Graham aka MyBigHair, I have managed to source most of the missing varieties as well as get some new ones which they raised themselves - I get by with a little help from my friends.

I've only been able to produce a paltry thirty oca seedlings myself this year; you could say I've been feeling a little underwhelmed by my success. But now the gentle rains of summer (huh) have caused an impressive flush of oca seedlings to appear - I've discovered around twenty popping up spontaneously in various beds.  This means I must now be close to having the 100+ varieties I had last year - a cause for minor celebration in the Radix household. We may have failed to see the sun setting on the longest day - the lowering black clouds saw to that - but things seem to be looking up.

5 comments:

Mark said...

Congratulations. Glad to know the rain does benefit, sometimes.

Esther Montgomery said...

One hundred varieties!

Despite slugs!

Esther

Vegetable Heaven said...

I've only got that many vsarieties of weed. They are enjoying the rain to.

Rhizowen said...

Thanks Mark

You're right, rain does have its uses. Hope the talets are doing OK.

Esther - yes, one hundred varieties, far too few. Slugs don't seem as keen on ocas as they are on some things.

Veg heaven - think of them as wild flowers and it doesn't seem so bad.

Mark said...

Tlets are doing. Although they prefer shade in other places, the optimal seems to dappled sunshine (only had 15 days of sunshine & bleu skies here, absolutely ridiculous) with access to plenty of water from below. They seem to be very vulnerable to slugs, if growing in the shade.

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