Something is digging up my Jerusalem artichokes


I planted Jerusalum artichokes this year which have reached an impressive 10 feet tall, and are still going strong. HOWEVER last night some animal, of a large nature came and dug big holes in the ground and helped himself to several. One was pulled clean out of the ground, pulled to one side and munched , there are teeth marks on the stem!

Does anyone know what it is likely to be. We are pretty rural, on the edge of a small wood with open farmland around? I can not see any trails in the wet grass large enoungh, just one hedgehog size & I do not suspect him.


  • Could it be badgers? I understand they are very strong so would be capable of digging them up. I have some on my allotment and are about 12 foot, they are monsters. I dont even like them but my husband does but oh they do spread. Think i will not plant so many next time.

  • Thanks Maud, I thought of that, however found some forum threads that said Badgers don't dig them up. However I also read that chilli powder can put them off, so will try & see if that stops the problem. Shame to loose the first years crop.

  • My sister in law has badgers that visit her garden. They eat everything including sugar puffs and peanut butter. I onlt thought of them as they have good digging claws. We went to a badger hide many years ago and fell in love with them then. Hate the idea of them being culled

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    I am pretty sure it is badgers digging up your fartychokes.

  • Thanks, I am trying hot curry powder as a deterent. I hope you are wrong as they are not easy to keep away, and if they get in the polytunne it will be carnage!

    We lost a big carp from the pond earlier in the year and I did wonder then if it was a badger. The fish was left on the side not eaten!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,882

    Think you're confusing badgers and otters - badgers are land-based digging animals and will dig up and eat artichokes.

    Otters are swimming animals and will catch and eat fish.  

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • I do know the difference, however with no river within 5 miles of us, I assumed it was a bit of opportunism by another animal.

  • We call them fartychokes as well al though my husband needs no help in that department. Perhaps you should stay up one night and see what creature appears. Wrap up warm.

  • I have spread curry powder & so far no return of the nocturnal vandal.

    I read that if you cook the fartychokes with winter savory then you get around the windy issue, so I have grown that aswell. Proof is in the pudding as they say!

  • I will give that a go.

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