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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: 3,114

    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!

  • 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 in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • 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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