I had read all of the horror stories of the sunchoke, otherwise known as the Jerusalem artichoke. So I followed some advice and decided to start them in containers. I figured this would be handy as well considering how tall they get (well over 6 feet) and the fact that they take so long to mature, so I will need to move them around the yard to the available spaces.
So I mixed some sandy loam and some homemade compost into some old black containers, since I had read that sunchokes are very disease resistant. Perfect! A few days later I started to see sprouts. Then about a week later I started to see more sprouts… of a distinctly different variety…
I got volunteered.
That’s what I call it.
That’s when your compost doesn’t heat up enough to kill any random seeds that may have been put in there. I’m figuring that the majority of these are watermelon seeds since, well we went through a lot of watermelons last summer and they are about the right size, shape, and color.
I’m always torn when it comes to volunteers. I mean, really, they volunteered. It just feels kind of mean to pull them out and throw them away. On the other hand, I like things to be where I plant them (probably some latent control issues there). Hmmm… I certainly can’t grow watermelons AND sunchokes in these pots. At the very least they will need to be transplanted.
Do you get volunteers? What do you do with them?