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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
  • Jerusalem Artichoke/Sunchoke
  • 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

20 Aug 19, Brian GRIBBEN (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Where can I acquire some tubers to grow I live in Auckland?
26 Aug 19, Anon (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Search on-line where to buy JA in NZ.
17 May 19, Mike (New Zealand - temperate climate)
So if I've just been given tubers (good gardener but never grown them before), they need to be stored like other tubers (spuds/kumaras) over winter? I have a couple of areas on the north side of a stucco house that definitely doesn't get frost - has anyone planted now and managed to overwinter them in the ground ok?
19 May 19, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Mike, you can leave the tubers in the ground in warmer areas of NZ, we have done that in Northland. In fact it is difficult to find all the tubers, so they will probably shoot up in the Spring even if you have light frosts.
01 Apr 19, Helen peipi (New Zealand - temperate climate)
My j/a are 3mtrs tall with lovely flowers, and are growing like wildflowers they are absolutely lovely, this is their 2nd season growing. I watered them everyday with plenty water. The tubes are massive. Not eating yet, just want them to grow. I live in Murupara, NZ.
23 Apr 19, Shane Rudolph (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi Helen, could I get your contact number please.
07 Apr 19, Lyn (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Wow, sounds like the height hasn't lowered your yield, I will await and see what happens with mine :) As I am Tauranga area I am guessing similar climate
31 Mar 19, Helen Peipi (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Do you still need some j/a, the bottom leaves are slowly going btown
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?
Showing 1 - 10 of 27 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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