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Growing Jerusalem Artichokes, also Sunchoke

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                    P P

(Best months for growing Jerusalem Artichokes in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Plant tubers

  • Easy to grow. Plant tubers about 5cm (1.5") deep.. Best planted at soil temperatures between 46°F and 59°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 12 - 18 inches apart
  • Harvest in 15-20 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Tomatoes, cucumbers
  • Artichoke harvest

These are the edible root of a sunflower. Plant the tubers deep enough to cover with soil. They are quite drought-tolerant, but keep well-watered to grow larger tubers. They grow through the summer to 1.5m-tall sunflowers with a smallish flower. Dig up the tubers when the flowers die down in autumn.

Get a couple of tubers from the supermarket or fruit shop. Two years after planting you will probably have enough to give away. Perennial, if you don't manage to harvest all the tubers - they will regrow year after year.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Jerusalem Artichokes

Scrape clean or peel (add a tsp of lemon or vinegar to the water to stop the tubers browning). Steam, boil, or use in artichoke soup (make with artichokes and some stock). Caution - because they contain 'resistent starch' Jerusalem Artichokes are a great promoter of flatulence in some individuals.

Your comments and tips

18 Mar 19, Lyn (New Zealand - temperate climate)
My boysenberry and blackberry plants are 'running rampant' I 'nipped' the ends out but now there is twice as many shoots going everywhere. Should I cut back now to encourage the 'bits' that will fruit next season or wait for autumn
09 Feb 19, Lyn (New Zealand - temperate climate)
My first year JAs are well over 2 meters with no sign of flowers, have I given them too much water or does this mean a huge first crop?
10 Feb 19, mike (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I think you need to read the notes here. You eat the root in the ground - nothing to do with the flower I feel. Probably too much nitrogen and watering to have 2m plants.
13 Mar 19, Lyn (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Thanks Mike, yes I know to eat the tubers [luv them, my Father always had them in the vege garden-many years ago] think from your answer I may have watered too much. Was hoping as they had grown so tall that the tubers would be more, but...... I have read somewhere since posting my query, that if one stops them flowering a bigger crop is produced?
02 Feb 19, Vic (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Hi. is there anyone here who can spare a small piece of Jerusalem Artichokes this time of the year. i only need a small portion to plant.
06 Feb 19, Mike (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Ask around nurseries or go on the internet and try and find garden clubs in NZ.
14 Jan 18, Phillip (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Does anyone have any JAs at this time of the year? I'm looking for up to 15 kilos but any amount ok. Jan 2018
24 Aug 18, Linda (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Hi Phillip, I have 15kgs of JAs if you are still looking. Growing beautifully pretty much in the deep south. Will still have then in Jan next year.
21 Sep 18, Pat shannon (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Hi Linda Do you have any seed tubers now (Oct)?
17 Feb 17, Deborah Wells (USA - Zone 7a climate)
I've been growing these for some years now and am a huge fan. Absolutely LOVE them. So do my chickens, turkeys, horses, sheep, cattle and dogs. All except dogs will eat tops and tubers. Dogs only eat the tubers. Cats don't much care for any part of them tho. Cooking tips: I like them best roasted. Cut into 1" x 1" (2cm x 2cm) or so, put on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive or coconut oil, salt, pepper maybe a little basil or rosemary. Roast at 350F (180C) for 25 - 40 min. They come out about the same consistency as roasted garlic - almost like a paste. Use on a nice cracker with a small slice of cream cheese. Side with a glass of a nice, oaky Chardonnay, a good movie and a sexy friend. I'm done. Night, night. Growing tips: don't do anything to them except give them water and some good manure. If you want to get fancy, cut off the flowers and put them in a vase in the kitchen. (Stripping the flowers puts more energy into the tuber production.) Ungrowing tips: If you want to get rid of them, mow them off once a week and don't water. Turn out pigs or chickens. They will dig up every living morsel and consume it. CAUTION! Do NOT use a rototiller on them. It cuts the tubers into microslices and only encourages them to propagate. Enjoy your sunchokes. They are a gift from the gods.
Showing 1 - 10 of 17 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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