Ulluco in Austrralia

This is the time for harvesting the Andean Vegetables in Australia. With our drought and extra hot temperatures I had an almost total oca crop failure but I was very surprised at how well the ulluco has fared, it has grown vigorously despite the heat. I do cover all my Andean crops with shadecloth covers over the summer though.

We have been very lucky with our frosts which have been very late this autumn and that has given the ulluco time to grow hugely and I am expecting a large crop going by the size of the plants and the few tubers I have found while waiting for the plants to die down.

With everything said about how they hate the heat I was worried about getting any plants to survive the summer and I have been pleasantly surprised.

At least part of the problem with heat can probably be attributed to the level of viral infection that is present in most varieties. As I have gotten our stock cleaned up, they have become much more tolerant. I still think it is unusal to find oca is less tolerant of heat than ulluco though. Warmer weather and drought are so intertwined here that it can be hard to figure out which condition is more serious.

Yes, with the difficult conditions this past couple of years I am not assessing anything for productivity and such. It looks like the drought has broken now so this coming season will tell.

I think it was a combination of the weather conditions and my new block which ruined the oca. The new block has VERY difficult soil - my soil test came back suggesting that my soil is much like washed river sand with vinegar mixed in. It is nearly pure sand and had practically no organic matter or nutrients and 3.5 ph - with high aluminium leading to the risk of aluminium toxicity because of the low ph. I was surprised that it even grew weeds.
I immediately added dolomite to bring the ph down but I am thinking that the oca might be sensitive to aluminium so I may have to bring the ph up even more and stabilise it before the oca will do better there. The mauka and aracacha had no such problems though they were a little smaller than they should be.

Each year will be better as I amend the soil and bring up the fertility.

Hi Rowan

How did you manage to find ulluco. I have been searching it for ages and couldnt find here in australia…
Can I ask the source, or do you sell them