We are having spectacular sunny autumn weather. When I drive home from work the surrounding Shropshire countryside is outstandingly beautiful with silhouettes of trees outlined against the pale golden glow of the late afternoon sun. This time last year the roads and paths were covered in compacted snow and ice, this year we have scarcely had a couple of light frosts.
Freak weather seems to be becoming commonplace, which is worrying in itself, and of course it also disrupts the garden. Some plants don’t know if they are coming or going. I am eager to explore below ground to see how the oca and other roots have been doing. I planned to be patient this year and wait until the top growth of the oca had been killed by frost, then leave a few weeks before digging them up. Currently the top growth is still going strong.
I have however had a bit of a peek below ground and dug one up one oca plant. It had a nice cluster of baby cream tubers clinging near the base of the stem and some of them will probably be on the table for tea tonight! I am hoping that the plants being left longer will have even more tubers attached.
I have sown seeds of field beans in pots which I intended to plant where the oca had been. However they cannot move in until the oca is removed and who knows when that may be? I expect that it will sort itself out eventually.
On a positive note there are signs of new life stirring. Lamb’s lettuce has self sown a thick carpet of new plants which will soon be large enough to pick. Even without it I was able to gether land cress, wild rocket, salad rocket (which has started sprouting again despite also running to seed on the same plant), buckler leaf sorrel and some new growth of three cornered leek to add to our lunch time salad today. The three cornered leek did not appear last winter until late January / early February.