Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Looking like winter for Ahipa and Jerusalem artichokes

It was a nice, cool day today with a temperature of about 16C. The cool temps combined with the frost a few days ago has got the plants shutting down for winter. All the street ornamental pear trees have almost lost all their leaves and other deciduous trees in peoples yards are dropping them too.

My Jerusalem artichoke have died down now and I will start harvesting the tubers for the May market. I won't take them to the Hamilton Farmers market this coming Saturday just in case I need them later when winter is really here.

I was using this row of Jerusalem artichoke to make a kind of dividing hedge from the shared lane on the back block but it is finished now and ready to dig when I need them.

Here are my ahipa plants (below) that got caught in the frost. Hopefully they can finish ripening their seed pods before we get another frost. We have a week or more before another frost may come due so I will cover them sometime this coming week with plastic to help with the ripening.

I am keen to see if they have managed to grow tubers but I can't check them until they have completely died down. I am not expecting much as you are supposed to take off all their flowers to get them to grow a large tuber but at the moment the seeds are more important to me. I did notice that two of the plants are barely affected by the frost so I hope I can get some ripe seeds of those for selection to grow better in this climate.

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