Just happened into some sunchokes and looking for expedient ways to get them going (already sprouting ecstatically), but not sure that I want them to become a nuisance as I'm not 100% settled about the location for them on the property. Can't find anything on doing sunchokes a la straw-bale gardening via the forums or Google, any thoughts about this as a strategy? Many thanks!
Hi, Travis...Welcome to Permies. Maybe the simplest thing and you'd do best with just growing your sunchokes in a bucket or other-like container, until you could get settled as to where you'd like a more permanent or stable location.
If they are surrounded by other plants, like grass, they will not spread significantly, in my experience. Pretty much impossible to eradicate them too, for that matter. But they are not the invasive beasts that I had once feared. A little bit does go a long way from dietary standpoint, they are pretty bland and not parituclarly nutritious. But I like my little patch, mostly becuase they just keep going without any consideration.
Thanks guys, they were already pretty root-bound, the guy selling them had been meaning to break the large pots up into smaller pottings, but hadn't gotten around to it. Decided on placing them in-ground next to a well-compacted gravel path where it will be easy to put down rhizome barrier on 3 sides before they get too wild. May try hay bales as I have some tubers left, may update this thread later if I do.
I made a straw bale raised bed last year near where there were some sunchokes and the sunchokes seemed to migrate over and embed themselves. Because of decomposition I think the soil temp was warm in that bed, perhaps that had an effect. There were SO many sunchokes growing into the bottoms of some of the bales.