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Jerusalem artichokes in containers

REMF33REMF33 Posts: 608
Has anyone done this. A google search suggests half soil and half compost in a 5 gallon (=abt 23 litres) pot. I would struggle to extract that much soil form the garden. Would half home made compost half multipurpose do? Is the soil requirement a nutrient or texture requirement? (Or both!) If so how should I simulate these? (I did read also that it helps to weigh down the pot, but maybe gravel on the top would help? I don't have any large stones to put in the bottom...)
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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,269
    I've not grown them in a container but I have grown them in several gardens ... any container would have to be very weighty ... they grow about 6-8ft tall with a lot of foliage ... they catch the wind like a sail ... they would blow over unless the container was very heavy.  I think a compost/MPC mix wouldn't be heavy enough. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • REMF33REMF33 Posts: 608
    Hmm. I will see if I can glean enough soil then. Tricky though. Would purchased topslil work? I imagine adding (well rotted) manure would be too much (nutrientswise)?
  • robairdmacraignilrobairdmacraignil CorkPosts: 670
    REMF33 said:
    Hmm. I will see if I can glean enough soil then. Tricky though. Would purchased topslil work? I imagine adding (well rotted) manure would be too much (nutrientswise)?

    Had some growing last year on an area that was grass lawn that I wanted to change use of so I had just covered with barrows full of manure and used horse bedding and they grew away fine with this high nutrient medium. I used a part filled windowbox of Jerusalem artichoke tubers in a small area and dug up a full wheelbarrow of them from the same spot a few weeks back. They also had some of the best flowers I have seen on them when grown on this high manure content area. Very tough and adaptable plants so I don't think they would have any problem with manure.

    Happy gardening!
  • REMF33REMF33 Posts: 608
    edited April 2022
    Ok. Thanks! That sounds hopeful. Perhaps I could scrape off some soil here and there, use some manure, some homemade compost and some potting compost. The only bit of garden that is remotely bare was created last year by digging out stupid amounts of slate/shale some previous owner had put down (it had worked its way down at least a foot. I think they must have been adding more as it disappeared.) I can put more manure down to replace what I take off from there. Sorry... thinking on screen! Just thinking about doing this is tiring me out!
    They were given to me unpotted. I potted them up. I guess they will be ok in multipurpose until I have the time and energy to do this. (Post Covid lack of the latter.) I am excited to have them though!
  • robairdmacraignilrobairdmacraignil CorkPosts: 670
    What dove said about the container maybe becoming unstable due to the height the Jerusalem artichoke could grow to is also worth considering. If you have absolutely no stone to put in to weigh down the container then maybe there could be a way to tie it to something to stabilise it and maybe they would be less inclined to grow as tall as they usually do when restricted in a container. Best of luck with them!
  • REMF33REMF33 Posts: 608
    I might be able to find a brick or several. Thanks!
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    I was planning to grow some this year for the flowers and the height, as they are helianthus. I hear that, when they are planted in the soil, they can spread like crazy and are hard to get rid of. I don't really want them as a 'forever plant' in the back garden. Has anyone experience of this?
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,903
    We grew them many years ago in the ground without adding anything else to the soil. They did very well for some years and yes @Fire if you leave just a tiny bit behind then they will be there for a long time. We haven't had any come back for some time now so they do weaken.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,269


    The Jerusalem artichokes behind a very young @WonkyWomble were the result of my having tipped a bowl of water with some peelings out on that corner of Wonky’s garden. That area was almost solid clay and rubble … you can see how poor it was by the numerous flowers on Wonky’s nasturtiums.  We had some lovely roasted artichokes that winter, and there were a few there every year after that, but they didn’t really spread. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Fire said:
    I was planning to grow some this year for the flowers and the height, as they are helianthus. I hear that, when they are planted in the soil, they can spread like crazy and are hard to get rid of. I don't really want them as a 'forever plant' in the back garden. Has anyone experience of this?

    I grow them down the allotment and they reach 10ft plus. Last year they didn't flower, which isn't unusual and even when they do its not the best display because the flowers are well over our heads. If you like the look I would go for one of the helianthus cultivars. I have helianthus salicifolius, which is nice, gives an excellent display but is vigorous.



    I've grown them in pots once and they didn't do anywhere near as well as they do in the ground. They definitely need a heavy pot or a way to stop it blowing over. They tend to dry out very quickly as well and benefit from heavy feeding. 
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