Romeo is a very high producing variety of oca with pink tubers.
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Romeo is a high producing oca variety. It produces pink, medium size tubers with darker pink eyes. Around 50% or more of the tubers are eating size (smaller tubers can be eaten but are just a bit more fiddly). This variety can produce up to 2kg of tubers per plant.
The tubers become quite sweet after storage (around 10 days of storage before using) and are starchy after cooking. Oca do not need to be peeled, just wash and cook. They are usually roasted until soft and served, split, with butter but can also be microwaved.
All oca tubers can also be eaten raw after storing long enough to dehydrate until wrinkly. They are sweet and are similar to dried fruit.
To get the most tubers from this plant wait till the plant falls over in late summer (this variety is a big plant) and cover most of the stems with a folded piece of shadecloth. This will encourage the plant to produce tubers up the covered stems in late autumn.
Oca should be grown under shade as they can’t cope with Australian heat and sun in summer. Plant the tubers around 30cm apart in October and cover with some straw mulch. They will sprout when they are ready so don’t worry if they are a bit late. Plant about 10cm deep.
Water regularly. In late summer the plants will fall over, this is normal so don’t worry or disturb them.
In late autumn the plants will begin to develop tubers. Leave the plants alone (except for watering or weeding) until they die down close to winter. As the plants die down the tubers put on their fastest weight.
When the plants have died down dig up the tubers and place in a bowl or bucket. Separate the tubers that you are going to replant and place them in a plant pot and cover with potting soil or coir, leaving it in a shady place where it will be rained on over the winter. If they start sprouting too early in spring it is ok, you can plant them out or just leave them in the pot until you are ready to plant them.
The tubers you are going to eat should be placed in your garage or house and left for about 10 days or more during which time they will sweeten. They can then be used. You can leave the tubers you are not eating straight away in a bowl or in the crisper of your fridge.