Sunchoke Stems for the Insect hotel “Frugal”

On Saturday, the temps were above 0 and the sun was shining, this meant that we started clearing some very small garden area’s. We needed to prune down the rose bushes and all the baby roses that will be dug out and moved into different area’s of the yard.

One of the area’s I wanted to check was the bigger rooted Sunchoke growing area. I was hoping that I might be able to dig some for a meal (yes, the first forged food this year from the food forest garden area)

and we took off the canes that had been left for the winter, just rolling them into a big pile next to the area for the next week.

Once the temps warm up for a couple of days above plus 10, I will move it but not yet..  I want to leave them there to give anything in them a chance to come out and move on before I compost them. This will go a long way to melting out the still frozen main part of this patch and get them to start growing.

However, I looked at the stems and went hmm. hard outer shell and soft pithy inside that would be very easy to chew out to make a nice little bed..  Grabbed the snipers and hubby and I selected and then cut up different sizes canes until we had our biggest 10 gallon plant pot filled up with them..

they are all cut to very close to the same length.. but in smaller, med and larger sizes for the entry holes. I would not just leave them out in the weather at this point, and I only expect them to be a single year in regards to use.

However I am very interested in bundling these up and using them in a few spots in regards to different bug hotels. I see it all the time that folks recommend raspberry canes and such, I am not saying I will not add a few of them as well but these are certainly easier to work with as they lack the prickles

Bamboo canes are not cheap these days that’s for sure.. it’s very hard to find them cut to the right size locally, and if you start buying the bundles off amazon or other one line sites and the prices go up.

You see them often talked about being added to the bee houses or the insect hotels, however it’s rarely talked about the fact that these are really only one year in use as there is no real good way to clean them out year to year..

So I am hopeful and will share and report back what “if anything” uses these, because it a cheap frugal renewable yearly cast off on a plant grown for its roots.  While the leaves can be taken off and used for fodder for livestock. The same could be said for the stems if you wanted to cut them down late fall and given to the pig for chewing on..

However I prefer to leave them as a winter habitat for the natives bugs and so I have not really had a spring use for them until this year..

So what do you think?  Will it work? Who do you think will use it? Have you ever used these canes in this way? What was your results?

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5 Responses to Sunchoke Stems for the Insect hotel “Frugal”

  1. I’ve never used them, or any of last year’s standing plants for anything else (other than cutting them back to 6-8” and then breaking/chopping them up to drop right back as mulch from whence they came (and only once this year’s shoots start to come on; ) but there are loads of pollinators who come back year after year, so I assume that they do; )

  2. Very cleaver and a good use of resources.

  3. Sorry, that should have said; “very clever.” Darn fat fingers.

  4. Silveryew says:

    A good, frugal project, I’ll be interested to see what takes up residence there!

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