Origin: Australia - Garden Larder breeding program
Solomon is a fat pink tuber with red eyes. 6-8cm. The tuber skin can be a bit spotty but that is normal. After storage the tubers are starchy but not as nice to eat raw as other varieties, but very nice when roasted where it has a sort of sweet/savoury flavour.
The plants are a non weedy relative of garden oxalis. They grow about 50 cm tall but in autumn they fall and sprawl on the ground and grow a bit bigger.
When to sow: October to December
Plant Type: Edible tuber
Uses: Oca is fairly versatile. It is usually roasted until soft and then served with melted butter. But it can also be microwaved with is much quicker. The tubers can be eaten raw after storage from 2-4 weeks or more. The longer they are stored the sweeter they become.
Growing Conditions: Oca must be grown under shade in most parts of Australia. They also like to be mulched with straw or wood chips. You can easily make a shade bed cover with shadecloth and tomato stakes or bent poly pipe. Pin the shadecloth down with tent pegs or something similar. If you already have a fernery you can grow them in there. hey must be watered frequently in dry weather.
The soil does not have to be very fertile but mixing in a bit of compost or manure before planting is good. Just make sure the soil is not too fertile and doesn't get waterlogged.
They are ready to dig when the plants die down completely in winter. The tubers put on the most growth when the plants are dying down so don't be impatient to dig them.
Pests and Diseases: Oca does not have many pests but I have heard that deer like to munch on the foliage. watch out for mice getting into the tubers when they begin to form in April/May.
Special Qualities: This variety is productive and can form large tubers.