A Jerusalem artichoke is not an artichoke at all; it's an unrelated root vegetable. Nonetheless, it's still a vegetable worth kitchen and garden space. Its edible tubers are featured in many vegetable recipes. In this article, we'll talk about growing Jerusalem artichokes.
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About Jerusalem Artichokes
Jerusalem artichoke is a large, upright, hardy perennial. It has small yellow flowers 2 to 3 inches across and rough, hairy leaves 4 to 8 inches long. This plant, which is not related to the globe artichoke, is a type of sunflower and will grow 5 to 10 feet tall. The edible tubers are low in starch and taste a bit like water chestnuts.
Common Name: Jerusalem Artichoke
Scientific Name: Helianthus tuberosus
Hardiness: Hardy (may survive first frost)
In the next section, we'll show you how to grow Jerusalem artichokes.
Growing Jerusalem Artichokes
Jerusalem artichokes will grow anywhere and in almost any soil, as long as it's warm and well drained.
Plant the tubers two to three weeks before the average date of last frost. Plant tubers 2 to 6 inches deep and 12 to 18 inches apart in ordinary soil. Don't fertilize Jerusalem artichokes; rich garden soil will encourage lush leafy growth with a low yield of tubers. Water only during extremely dry periods. The plants themselves can survive long dry periods, but the tubers will not develop without a regular supply of water. As the plants grow, cut off the flower buds as soon as they appear; this will encourage tuber production.
Harvesting Jerusalem Artichokes
The time from planting to harvest is 120 to 150 days. Harvest the tubers when the leaves die back; dig them up with a spading fork. Leave a few in the ground for next year. Plants spread quickly if not harvested.
Types of Jerusalem Artichokes
There are several named selections but none is widely available.