I won't dig the ocas up just yet. I 'll probably wait a while, so that the dying stems can pump their last vestiges of life force down into the tubers, which should be forming by now.
I say "should be forming" advisedly. Reduced daylight hours, low temperatures, low intensity sunlight - that's a recipe for disappointment if you're hoping that your tubers will bulk up quickly at this time of year. Guaranteed.
All crops can fail; all crops do fail. The knack is to reduce the odds of failure to acceptable levels. And yield ought not to be a dirty word when growing a crop of Andean tubers. The remedy is simple, although not easy: breed better adapted varieties, that are actually fit for purpose at our latitude and are able to tuberise during the summer. That's the magic, not silver, bullet I'm looking for.
I'm hoping that this year's seed crop will be sufficient to enable me grow yet more seedlings next year. I'm also hoping that I'll be able to share some seeds with the various TOSsers who've expressed an interest in taking part in Project Oca. One thing's for sure, there'll be no more oca flowers, seed pods or seeds from my plants this year.