Monday, 23 August 2010

All choked up

They're about 6 feet tall and ready for a fall. I got half a dozen jerusalem artichokes from the greengrocers and slung them in the ground at the end of the plot. (I'd left rather too much space when I transplanted the rhubarb). Then I forgot about them. I think I lost a couple but the rest will provide gallons of soup this autumn. I'll chop them back at some point as the wind will blow them over, but I can't pluck up the courage to do it yet. Probably they'll blow down before I do. So, tell you what, I'll chop every second one down to 3 ft this weekend and see how they get on.

Here's the stack of climbing beans now. There's runners at each end and Barlotti beans for drying in the middle.

Here's how they started off:

And yes, Izzy, these are the beans from the experiment!

Glut on the table:


  1. I have never tried jerusalem artichokes and never seen the plant. I will have to do some googleing on that one, as it looks very interesting.
    Those beans don't know when to stop growing. Have you harvested some already?

  2. Your beans look great...I am getting a good crop off mine but they have grown rather for artichokes...I have never eaten or grown them...maybe something to try for next year though I have to admit to not knowing what to do with them either.

  3. I think I'll have a go with Jerusalem artichokes next year. Your beans are looking good, I haven't harvested any runners yet.

  4. We used to have jerusalen artichokes as a wind break (unfortunate phrase given their reputation) but they just took over and spread to a row about a metre and a half across. When we dug them it was a solid mass of artichokes. Moral dig them up and replant every year. They are supposed to produce sunflower type flowers but our never did.

  5. The beans are on stream - I've added an extra picture to the post. (It's the first year for the raspberries which are autumn - so don't laugh at them).

    I would advise against growing too many jerusalem artichokes, but it is worth growing a few both for the architectural entertainment value and because the soup is a hearty gourmet delight in the middle of winter. But don't believe anyone who says you can chop them up raw and add them to salads!

    Agree about digging up every last one each year, Sue. There are several 'thickets' on our allotment site from people who failed to do this. The flowers aren't a patch on their sunflower cousins but I hope to see them soon, in which case I'll post a pic.

  6. If those beans get much bigger you might hear a big deep voice going "Fee, fi, fo, fum, I smell the blood of an Edinburgh man!"

  7. Hi Mal, I always wait until they look like they're dying back in the Autumn to lop mine. And then leave them in the ground and dig them up as I need them between Nov and March (when they start resprouting). I tried digging them up each year and moving them but all I find is your then end up wit several unwanted patches. So now I leave them at the top end of the plot and let them get on with it! In 5 years of growing I've only had a flower appear once.
    If you're after a new soup recipe this is delicious -

  8. I'm the same, waited until they started to die back. There were small sunflower-like flowers on them last year before I chopped them down to a couple of foot high to leave in the ground until needed.