Friday, 9 August 2013

Ocas Pop Up Apace

Oca seedling Oxalis tuberosa
Oca seedling June 2013
During the hot dry spell in July, I was concerned for the safety of the oca seedlings which had appeared, almost magically, earlier in the year as an intercrop amongst the beetroots.

Luckily, the beet leaves offered some shade to the tender seedlings and the majority have made steady growth. Those that found themselves exposed in the full glare of a surprisingly fierce summer sun, I protected with handfuls of grass; it seemed to do the trick.

Oca seedling Oxalis tuberosa
Oca seedling, August 2013
The intense sunshine has since been replaced by some equally intense rain and the vegetable beds are sprouting impressive numbers of weed seedlings. Not to be outdone, yet more oca seeds are germinating and with the warm temperatures and plentiful soil moisture, they're shooting away quite vigorously. Whether they will make sufficient growth to tuberise before the autumn is anyone's guess, but I'm giving them leave to remain just in case.

Now I'm alert to this new development, I've abandoned casual hoeing in favour of scrutinising the crevices and irregularities of the bed surface for yet more oca seedlings. It seems that those who seek will be rewarded - yesterday I spotted some tiny tell-tale cotyledons amongst the leeks. So if you happen to be passing Oca Acres and see me bottoms up like a dabbling duck, I'm merely doing what any other certifiable oca enthusiast in my position would.


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