The jerusalem artichokes in the hugelkultur bed started blooming in late fall. The photo below was taken on September 3rd. By the end of September all the sunchokes were in full bloom and getting really top heavy from all the flower heads. It didn’t take much wind to cause the tallest plants to topple over to the ground.
Jerusalem artichokes blooming in late summer
Results and Conclusions from Growing Jerusalem Artichokes in a Hugelkultur
I guess the final results will be the harvest of the jerusalem artichokes and how well they produce. I plan on harvesting some soon and hopefully continue the harvest throughout the winter months. But as far as growing them is concerned, they were pretty much care free. I did a little weeding here and there, provided no supplemental irrigation all year, and well….that’s it. Though there was no sign of disease, I did have an infestation of some type of bag worm and there also seemed to be a high concentration of ants living on the plants. They were able to weather the storm from the bag worms and didn’t show any signs of stress. Next year I will be sure to mulch more heavily and I will also add some type of support to keep them from toppling over when in full bloom. I will also try to make the hugelkultur bed more of a polyculture by planting some other species of plants with the sunchokes.
Harvesting and Cooking
My next post concerning jerusalem artichokes will be on my first attempts at harvesting and the ways that we find to use them. In the mean time, check out Paul Wheaton’s latest video on sunchokes.