Sunchoke/Jerusalem Artichoke dying leaves

jrleekSeptember 16, 2012

I live in zone 11a. I planted Sunchokes this year, but they haven't done well. I have never planted them before, I got the tubers from the Farmers Market, so the variety is a mystery. Anyway, the lower leaves are continually dying. The top leaves look fine, the next few down have brown spots, below that, more brown and some holes, below that the leaves are totally dead. See pictures below.

I've searched around, but every website says that diseases and pests are not an issue. Contributing factors could be:

1. The spot where I planted them is only partial sun.

2. The bed I planted them in has a lot of clay soil, mixed with compost.

3. Last year the tomatoes I planted in that bed all got blossom rot. On the other hand, this year some tomatoes came up in that bed as volunteers. They have been my best, healthiest tomatoes. Weird.

Any ideas? Micro-nutrient deficiency perhaps?

Pictures:

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Dying of thirst. Please water them. Evenly moist soil is the goal.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 1:00AM
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jrleek

No, that's not due to lack of water. I water them plenty, and Sunchokes don't need much, they are adapted to dry climates.
A guy on another board said that's pretty common if they aren't in really good soil, which these aren't. He said they should produce a decent crop anyway.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 10:57PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

they look sunburnt and underwatered to me too ...

there is a big difference what an ESTABLISHED plant can do.. and what a recent transplant can cope with.. this is old damage.. so its hard to tell.. now.. when the insult to the leaf tissue occurred ..

the soil in the pic looks recently turned.. as compared to that further behind ... if so.. it just couldnt cope.. as your other dude suggested ..

regardless.. it lives..

mulch will help reduces swings in soil moisture ...

ken

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 9:34AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

It's true they don;t needmuch water, but they do need enough.

The browning is classic for water shortage. May even have been the after-effects of one very hot day when the roots couldn't keep up with the top's requirements. The area to brown & die 1st t=is the tissue between the veins. Those cell are at the end of the water supply line.

This doc explains water shortage in many kinds of plants
http://www.coopext.colostate.edu/4dmg/Garden/drought6.htm

Scroll down to "symptoms in leaves" then look at the middle picture in the 1st row. Same as your sunchokes.

Here is a link that might be useful: symptoms of water shortage

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 11:14PM
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