Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Rampant artichokes

A free gift of a bag of Jerusalem artichokes with my Riverford vegbox earlier this year prompted me to plant several of them in early spring.

I can't believe how tall and spreading they are! I had a vague memory of Carol Klein enthusing about them as plants on her growing veg strand of Gardener's World last year, and seeing them in flower, but don't remember them so big.

When they were planted out, I alternated them with a row of carrot, now completely overwhelmed, and parsnip, which are peeping out from underneath the artichoke leaves (see above).
I wonder how many tubers each plant will produce? And whether the parsnips or the artichokes will flourish best in such close quarters?


Scattered Gardener said...

Scattered Gardener returned from holiday to find the plants almost seven foot high, but no flowers yet and a couple of the plants fallen over after recent high winds. Sadly I had to cut off the tops as they were leaning over my neighbour's plot.
I've also recently discovered that once planted they are very hard to get rid of - hoping to move them to the back of the plot in autumn, where they're more likely to find support from the fence...

Scattered Gardener said...

Flowers finally appeared on the plants in late September - perhaps because of the cold wet summer or because I'd chopped their heads off earlier in the summer!
The flowers are very small in comparison with the height of the certainly wouldn't grow them as an ornamental plant.