Yacon: Happy in the Heat

This has been a tough year for Andean crops on the Washington coast.  The weather has been significantly drier and warmer than any time in the ten years that we’ve lived here.  In most years, we look for temperatures to reach into the 70s (Fahrenheit) about twice.  This year, we’ve had almost thirty days with […]

Ulluco: Generation 2 in the Works

Ulluco is a plant with a demographic challenge.  As far as we know, all of the existing ulluco varieties are old.  I haven’t seen any studies that attempt to determine the age of the major cultivars, but it isn’t unreasonable to think that they could be hundreds of generations old.  It probably isn’t even unthinkable […]

Ulluco: Seedling Updates

This continues to be an exciting year on the ulluco front.  We have had a total of 8 seeds germinate, one as recently as last week.  The first four plants survived the fragile stage and are now vigorous and healthy, having reached perhaps half of their ultimate size (assuming that they do not grow larger […]

Yacon: Leaves of Three, Let Them Be

Nature is a good teacher.  One of the most valuable lessons that it teaches is the degree to which we take our powers of observation for granted.  In reality, observation is not a passive activity.  When we observe passively, the brain takes shortcuts.  That is the only explanation I have for the fact that I […]

Mauka: Germination

This has been a big learning year for us with mauka (Mirabilis expansa).  We’ve started to work out the details of seed production and have finally been able to produce enough seed to grow larger numbers of seedlings.  Our initial packets of seed this year were labeled at 90% germination, which is very good, but […]

Oca: Is potato cyst nematode a concern?

I’ve had a few inquiries lately about potato cyst nematode infestation of oca (Oxalis tuberosa) and any time I see a question more than once, I start thinking about a blog post.  I should emphasize from the beginning that I have no direct experience with this subject.  As far as I know, there aren’t any […]

Mashua: Subterranean Seedlings

Mashua seedlings continue to arrive at their own slow pace.  Every time I get to thinking that the flat of mashua seed is done for the year, another pops up.  Mashua seedlings are surprisingly shy.  There is a lot going on under the ground.  I grew a few seeds in a pot where I could […]

Yacon & Ulluco from Seed

This post marks the relocation of Wetting the Beds from Google Blogger to the Cultivariable web site.  You will find all future posts here and hopefully I have migrated all of the old posts over here more or less seamlessly.  Existing links to posts should still work, but will bring you here instead.  The reasons […]

Mauka: Going to seed

I was lucky to get a few seeds of the mauka (Mirabilis expansa) variety Blanco last year.  They grew very well, although a fairly late start meant that they didn’t produce substantial roots.  I had two immediate goals for these plants: to keep them alive over the winter and to get them to produce a […]

Oca: Crunching the numbers on 2 years of oca from seed

Last week, I answered the most frequently asked question that I receive about oca.  This week, I am taking on the second most common question: What are the odds that I will get a variety worth keeping from oca seed? Oca, as an octaploid, is a fundamentally heterozygous plant.  Every oca seed produces a different […]