It started raining yesterday and continued through the night and most of today. Some of my sunchokes, which were standing nearly 10’ tall when the storms began, have fallen over into the driveway and the roots seem to be lifting up out of the soggy ground. I wasn’t sure if I should stake them up again or cut them down and harvest the tubers before the plants had a chance to bloom. I asked the advice of members of the active gardening group, Gardenaholics Anonymous on Facebook, and was directed to this link How to Grow Sunchoke. It seems they would advise advise “lodging” them at this point, or stepping on stems at soil level and bend them to the side diverting energy to the tubers. I’ll bend the fallen plants into the middle of the bed and out of the driveway and leave the rest as they are for now.
I am a little concerned because I recently read somewhere that there is a compound in the sunchoke plant that impedes other, nearby plant growth, so they shouldn’t be used as mulch. Hopefully, bending the plants won’t bother the surrounding sweet potato or baby kale. I’ll update when I harvest this section of Jerusalem artichokes to show the difference between the plants that did fall and the ones that are still standing.