Monday, 11 April 2011

Oca — Sprouting and Ready to Go

If these tubers could talk, they'd shout "plant us!"

Usually I have them starting in pots in the greenhouse by this time of year, but I've been busy, and as a result they've been sitting in storage, in an orderly but impatient manner in their egg boxes...

That's a lot of varieties to fit in to my available growing space.  I had a rough planting plan in my head, and felt it would all be fine at a squeeze, but then last week I received a package from Frank Van Keirsblick containing a further seventeen new varieties, all neatly bagged and labeled, from his breeding programme.
This was good because I now have greatly improved crossing potential with so many varieties increasing the chances of compatible flower forms, but I'm going to have to rethink the grand plan to accommodate all of these extra plants.

With Frank's, plus four each of my existing varieties totaling about 70 plants, there are going to have to be some logistical cut-backs too; greenhouse-space, pots, compost, are all in short supply. I'd like to plant out direct, but the ground is not prepared yet, so I'll try a method less extravagant than individual 4" pots.
I've packed 64 tubers into two root-trainer trays. They should be fine for a couple of weeks, and take up very little space in the mean time.
One set of venetian blinds later, Frank's varieties are labeled up...
... and order is maintained - so far.